Amours 2:68

En vain pour vous ce bouquet je compose,
En vain pour vous ma Deesse il est fait :
Vostre beauté est bouquet du bouquet,
La fleur des fleurs, la rose de la rose.
Vous et les fleurs differez d’une chose,
C’est que l’Hyver les fleurettes desfait,
Vostre Printemps en ses graces parfait,
Ne craint des ans nulle metamorphose.
Heureux bouquet, n’entre point au sejour
De ce beau sein, ce beau logis d’Amour,
Ne touche point ceste pomme jumelle :
Ton lustre gay d’ardeur se faniroit,
Et ta verdeur sans grace periroit,
Comme je suis fany pour l’amour d’elle.
                                                                            In vain for you do I put together this bouquet,
                                                                            In vain for you my goddess is it made :
                                                                            Your beauty is the bouquet among bouquets,
                                                                            The flower among flowers, the rose amongst roses.
                                                                            You and the flowers differ in one thing,
                                                                            Which is that winter destroys the flowers
                                                                            But your spring, perfect in its grace,
                                                                            Does not fear any change from the years.
                                                                            Fortunate bouquet, do not go to rest
                                                                            In that fair bosom, that fair home of Love,
                                                                            Do not touch those twin apples;
                                                                            Your lustre, gay and warm, will fade
                                                                            And your freshness will perish gracelessly,
                                                                            As I am faded for love of her.
A neatlt-tied bow to end the book: a bouquet of flowers which is really a bouquet of verse, a metaphor about flowers being outshone by Marie, which is really a self-deprecating remark that his own poetry cannot outshine her…

Blanchemain notes that Ronsard added this in 1578 – but includes it in his ‘1560’ edition, because it is after all a better envoi than the poems around it! He has a variant in line 3 – “Car vous serez le bouquet du bouquet” (‘For you will be the bouquet among bouquets’) – and a different ending. Here’s his final tercet, perhaps re-written through dissatisfaction with the repetitions of the last line, even though they reflect line 3:
Ton lustre gay se faniroit d’esmoy ;
Tu es, bouquet, digne de vivre, et moy
De mourir près des beautez de la belle.
                                                                            Your gay lustre will fade from irritation:
                                                                            You, my bouquet, are worthy of living, and I
                                                                            Of dying near my beauty’s beauties.



About fattoxxon

Who am I? Lover of all sorts of music - classical, medieval, world (anything from Africa), world-classical (Uzbek & Iraqi magam for instance), and virtually anything that won't be on the music charts... Lover of Ronsard's poetry (obviously) and of sonnets in general. Reader of English, French, Latin & other literature. And who is Fattoxxon? An allusion to an Uzbek singer - pronounce it Patahan, with a very plosive 'P' and a throaty 'h', as in 'khan')

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