Tag Archives: Castor

Amours 1.227

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Le Jeu, la Grace, et les Freres jumeaux,
Suivent ma Dame, et quelque part qu’elle erre,
Dessous ses pieds fait esmailler la terre,
Et des hyvers fait des printemps nouveaux.
 
En sa faveur jargonnent les oiseaux,
Ses vents Eole en sa caverne enserre,
Le doux Zephyre un doux souspir desserre,
Et tous muets s’accoisent les ruisseaux.
 
Les Elemens se remirent en elle,
Nature rit de voir chose si belle :
Je tremble tout, que qulequ’un de ces Dieux
 
Ne passionne apres son beau visage,
Et qu‘en pillant le tresor de nostre âge,
Ne la ravisse et ne l’emporte aux cieux.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Playfulness, Grace, and the twin brothers
                                                                            Follow my Lady, and wherever she wanders
                                                                            Beneath her feet be-spangle the earth,
                                                                            And make from winter a new spring.
 
                                                                            For her the birds chatter,
                                                                            Aeolus binds the winds in his cavern,
                                                                            Soft Zephyr looses a soft sigh,
                                                                            And quietly the streams rise.
 
                                                                            The Elements behold themselves in her,
                                                                            Nature smiles to see something so fair ;
                                                                            I tremble all over, lest one of these gods
 
                                                                            Should become passionate for her fair face
                                                                            And, looting the treasure of our age,
                                                                            Steal her away and carry her to the heavens.
 
 
Once more Cassandre is accompanied by a cluster of classical virtues. Today we have the Dioscuri – Castor & Pollux, the twins – who here must be invoked in their capacity for bringing favourable weather (though that’s usually for sailors). Aeolus is god of the winds, and Zephyr one of his charges. Characteristically, Ronsard injects himself, and a humorous perspective, into the poem – the earthly lover terrified lest these deified virtues make off with his beloved.
 
The only difference in Blanchemain’s edition is the beginning of line 11 – “Mais, las ! je crain que qulequ’un … ” (‘But oh! I fear lest one …’), which is clearly improved in the later version.
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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De la defloration de Lede (Odes 3:20)

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Time for one of Ronsard’s longer poems, I think! This is one of his mythological extravaganzas, and its topic is the ‘Defloration of Leda’ – it is dedicated to Cassandre(!)

Ronsard divides it into 3 ‘pauses’ or parts; and there are two alternative openings (the later 1587 one printed by Blanchemain in a footnote). For simplicity I’ve shown the two at the beginning of the poem. I’ve also added a number of ‘footnotes’, indicated in the text to make it easier to locate them.

Premier pause
 
Le cruel Amour, vainqueur
De ma vie, sa sujette,
M’a si bien écrit au cœur
Votre nom de sa sagette,
Que le temps, qui peut casser
Le fer et la pierre dure,
Ne le sauroit effacer
Qu’en moi vivant il ne dure.
 
[alternative opening (1587) :
Amour, dont le traict vainqueur
Fait en mon sang sa retraite,
M’a si bien escrit au cœur
Le nom de ma Cassandrette,
Que le tombeau mange-chair,
Logis de la pourriture,
Ne pourra point arracher
De mon cœur sa pourtraiture.]
 
Mon luth, qui des bois oyans
Souloit alléger les peines,
Las ! de mes yeux larmoyans
Ne tarit point les fontaines ;
Et le soleil ne peut voir,
Soit quand le jour il apporte,
Ou quand il se couche au soir,
Une autre douleur plus forte.
 
Mais vostre cœur obstiné,
Et moins pitoyable encore
Que l’Ocean mutine
Qui baigne la rive more,
Ne prend mon service à gré,
Ains d’immoler envie
Le mien, à luy consacré
Des premiers ans de ma vie.
 
Jupiter, espoinçonné
De telle amoureuse rage,
A jadis abandonné
Et son trône et son orage ;
Car l’œil qui son cœur estraint,
Comme estraints ores nous sommes
Ce grand seigneur a contraint
De tenter l’amour des hommes.
 
Impatient du desir
Naissant de sa flame esprise,
Se laissa d’amour saisir,
Comme une despouille prise.
Puis il a, bras, teste et flanc,
Et sa poitrine cachée
Sous un plumage plus blanc
Que le laict sur la jonchée.
 
Et son col mit un carcan
Avec une chaîne où l’œuvre
Du laborieux Vulcan
Admirable se descœuvre.
D’or en estoient les cerceaux,
Piolez d’émail ensemble.
A l’arc qui note les eaux
Ce bel ouvrage ressemble.
 
L’or sur la plume reluit
D’une semblable lumiere
Que le clair œil de la nuit
Dessus la neige premiere.
Il fend le chemin des cieux
Par un voguer de ses ailes,
Et d’un branle spatieux
Tire ses rames nouvelles.
 
Comme l’aigle fond d’en haut,
Ouvrant l’espais de la nue,
Sur l’aspic qui leche au chaud
Sa jeunesse revenue,
Ainsi le cygne voloit
Contre-bas, tant qu’il arrive
Dessus l’estang où souloit
Jouer Lede sur la rive.
 
Quand le ciel eut allumé
Le beau jour par les campagnes,
Elle au bord accoustumé
Mena jouer ses compagnes ;
Et, studieuse des fleurs
En sa main un pannier porte
Peint de diverse couleurs
Et peint de diverse sorte.
 
 
Seconde pause
 
D’un bout du pannier s’ouvroit,
Entre cent nues dorées,
Une aurore qui couvroit
Le ciel de fleurs colorées ;
Ses cheveux vagoient errans,
Souflez du vent des narines
Des prochains chevaux tirans
Le soleil des eaux marines.
 
Comme au ciel il fait son tour
Par sa voye courbe et torte,
Il tourne tout a l’entour
De l’anse en semblable sorte.
Les nerfs s’enflent aux chevaux
Et leur puissance indontée
Se lasse sous les travaux
De la penible montée.
 
La mer est peinte plus bas,
L’eau ride si bien sur elle,
Qu’un pescheur ne nieroit pas
Qu’elle ne fust naturelle.
Ce soleil tombant au soir
Dedans l’onde voisine entre
A chef bas se laissant cheoir
Jusqu’au fond de ce grand ventre.
 
Sur le sourci d’un rocher
Un pasteur le loup regarde,
Qui se haste d’approcher,
Du couard peuple qu’il garde ;
Mais de cela ne luy chaut,
Tant un limas luy agrée,
Qui lentement monte au haut
D’un lis au bas de la prée.
 
Un satyre tout follet,
Larron, en folastrant tire
La panetiere et le laict
D’un autre follet satyre.
L’un court après tout ireux,
L’autre defend sa despouille,
Le laict se verse sur eux,
Qui sein et menton leur souille.
 
Deux beliers qui se heurtoient
Le haut de leurs testes dures
Pourtraits aux deux bords estoient
Pour la fin de ses peintures.
Tel pannier en ses mains mist
Lede, qui sa troupe excelle,
Le jour qu’un oiseau la fist
Femme en lieu d’une pucelle.
 
L’une arrache d’un doigt blanc
Du beau Narcisse les larmes,
Et la lettre teinte au sang
Du Grec marry pour les armes.
De crainte l’œillet vermeil
Pallist entre ces pillardes,
Et la fleur que toy, Soleil,
Des cieux encor tu regardes.
 
A l’envi sont jà cueillis
Les verds tresors de la plaine,
Les bassinets et les lis,
La rose et la marjolaine,
Quand la vierge dit ainsi,
De son destin ignorante :
« De tant de fleurs que voicy
Laissons la proye odorante.
 
« Allons, troupeau bien-heureux,
Que j’aime d’amour naïve,
Ouyr l’oiseau douloureux
Qui se plaint sur nostre rive. »
Et elle, en hastant le pas,
Fuit par l’herbe d’un pied vite ;
Sa troupe ne la suit pas,
Tant sa carriere est subite ;
 
Du bord luy tendit la main,
Et l’oiseau, qui tressaut d’aise,
S’en approche tout humain,
Et le blanc yvoire baise.
Ores l’adultere oiseau,
Au bord par les fleurs se joue,
Et ores au haut de l’eau
Tout mignard près d’elle noue.
 
Puis, d’une gaye façon,
Courbe au dos l’une et l’autre aile,
Et au bruit de sa chanson
Il apprivoise la belle.
La nicette en son giron
Reçoit les flammes secrettes,
Faisant tout à l’environ
Du cygne un lict de fleurettes.
 
Luy, qui fut si gracieux,
Voyant son heure opportune,
Devint plus audacieux,
Prenant au poil la fortune.
De son col comme ondes long
Le sein de la vierge touche,
Et son bec luy mit adonc
Dedans sa vermeille bouche.
 
Il va ses ergots dressant
Sur les bras d’elle qu’il serre,
Et de son ventre pressant
Contraint la rebelle à terre.
Sous l’oiseau se debat fort,
Le pince et le mord, si est-ce
Qu’au milieu de tel effort
Ell’ sent ravir sa jeunesse.
 
Le cinabre çà et là
Couloura la vergongneuse.
A la fin elle parla
D’une bouche desdaigneuse :
« D’où es-tu, trompeur volant ?
D’où viens-tu, qui as l’audace
D’aller ainsi violant
Les filles de noble race ? 
 
« Je cuidois ton cœur, helas !
Semblable à l’habit qu’il porte,
Mais (hè pauvrette ! ) tu l’as,
A mon dam, d’une autre sorte.
O ciel ! qui mes cris entens,
Morte puissé-je estre enclose
Là bas, puis que mon printemps
Est despouillé de sa rose !
 
« Plustost vien pour me manger,
O veufve tigre affamèe,
Que d’un oiseau estranger
Je sois la femme nommée. »
Ses membres tombent peu forts,
Et dedans la mort voisine
Ses yeux jà nouoient, alors
Que luy respondit le cygne :
 
Troisiesme pause
 
« Vierge, dit-il, je ne suis
Ce qu’à me voir il te semble ;
Plus grande chose je puis
Qu’un cygne à qui je ressemble :
Je suis le maistre des cieux,
Je suis celuy qui desserre
Le tonnerre audacieux
Sur les durs flancs de la terre.
 
« La contraignante douleur
Du tien, plus chaud, qui m’allume,
M’a fait prendre la couleur
De ceste non mienne plume.
Ne te va donc obstinant
Contre l’heur de ta fortune :
Tu seras incontinant
La belle-sœur de Neptune,
 
« Et si tu pondras deux œufs
De ma semence feconde,
Ainçois deux triomphes neufs,
Futurs ornemens du monde.
L’un deux jumeaux esclorra :
Pollux, vaillant à l’escrime,
Et son frere, qu’on loûra
Pour des chevaliers le prime ;
 
« Dedans l’autre germera
La beauté, au ciel choisie,
Pour qui un jour s’armera
L’Europe contre l’Asie. »
A ces mots, elle consent,
Recevant telle avanture,
Et jà de peu à peu sent
Haute eslever sa ceinture.
 
 
Cruel Love, conqueror
Of my life, his subject,
Has written so well in my heart
Your name with his arrow
That time, which can break
Iron and hard stone,
Could not wipe it away
Such that it will not last in me while alive.
 
 
Love, whose conquering dart
Has made its home in my blood,
Has so well written in my heart
The name of my little Cassandre
That the flesh-eating tomb,
Where decay lives,
Could not take any part
From my heart of her portrait.
 
My lute, which is accustomed
To lessening the woes of the listening woods,
Alas, dries not the fountains
Of my weeping eyes;
And the sun cannot see,
Either when he brings the day
Or when he goes to bed at night,
Any other grief more strong.
 
But your stubborn heart,
Less pitiful still
Than the unruly ocean
Which bathes the Moorish coast,
Does not like my service,
But wants to sacrifice
My own, consecrated to it
From the earliest years of my life.
 
Jupiter, excited
By a similar passionate love,
Once abandoned
His throne and his storm;
For his eye, which compelled his heart
As sometimes our hearts are compelled,
Compelled this great lord
To try a human love.
 
Impatient with the desire
Growing from his love-struck flame,
He gave himself over to love
Like the captured spoils of war.
Then his arms, head and flanks
And his breast he head
Beneath a plumage whiter
Than milk on scattered rushes.
 
And his neck wore a collar
With a chain, on which the work
Of hard-working Vulcan
Could be seen and admired.
The hoops were of gold
Together with enamel of many colours.
The bow which the waters draw
This lovely piece of work resembled.
 
Gold shone out on his feathers
With a light like
The bright eye of the night
On a first snow.
He cleaved his path through the heavens
With the sail of his wings,
And with a measured beat
He pulled his new oarage.
 
As the eagle swoops from on high,
Making an opening in the thick clouds,
Upon the asp which, in the heat, licks
Its recovered youthfulness;1
So the swan flew
Down here to arrive
Upon the pool where Leda
Was accustomed to play on the bank.
 
When fair day had lit
The sky over the fields,
She led her companions to play
On the usual bank
And fascinated by flowers
She bore in her hand a basket
Painted in many colours
And painted many ways.
 
 
 
 
On one end of the basket was shown2
Amidst a hundred golden clouds
A Dawn which covered
The sky with colourful flowers;
Her waving hair flying,
Blown by the breath from the nostrils
Of the nearby horses drawing
The sun from the waters of the sea.3
 
As it makes its journey in the heavens
On its curved, twisting route,
It turns entirely around
The handle [of the basket] in a similar way;
The sinews on the horses swell
And their undaunted power
Tires under the labours
Of the arduous climb.
 
The sea is painted below,
The water ripples so well on it
That a fisherman would not deny
That it was natural;
And the sun sinking at evening
Into the waves beside, goes in
With head lowered, letting itself fall
Right to the bottom of its great belly.
 
On the brow of a rock
A shepherd watches a wolf
Which hastens to get near
The cowardly race which he guards;
But he cares not about that
So much he is amused by a snail
That slowly climbs to the top
Of a lily, at the bottom of the meadow.
 
A frolicking satyr,
A thief, as he frolics steals
A basket and milk
From another frolicking satyr;
The one runs after him, utterly livid,
The other defends his spoils,
The milk gets tipped over them
And soils their breasts and chins.
 
Two rams crashing together
The tops of their hard heads
Shown at the two edges were
The last of its pictures.
Such was the basket which Leda took
In her hands, she who outshines her followers,
On the day when a bird would make her
A woman instead of a maid.
 
One [of the ladies] picked with her white fingers
The tears of fair Narcissus,
And the letters painted by the blood
Of the Greek distraught over the armour. 4
In fear the pink carnation
Pales amidst these looters,
And so too the flower which you, o Sun,
Still watch over from the heavens.
 
As competitively they were picking
The green treasures of the plain,
The buttercup and lily,
The rose and marjoram,
The maid spoke thus,
Ignorant of her fate:
“Leave your perfumed prey,
The flowers that are so many here.
 
Come, my happy band
Whom I love with an artless love,
Come and hear the sad bird
Who laments upon our riverbank.”
And she, hurrying her steps,
Ran through the grass with quick feet;
Her band did not follow,
So sudden was her flight.
 
On the bank, she held out her hand to it
And the bird, which was fidgeting with pleasure,
Approached her, entirely like a man,
And kissed her white ivory.
Sometimes the false bird 5
Played on the bank amidst the flowers,
Sometimes on top of the water
It swam, all daintily, near her.
 
Then in a jolly fashion
It curved both wings over its back,
And with the sound of its singing
It tamed the fair maid.
The silly girl felt
His hidden fire in her lap,
Making all around
The swan little flowers of light.
 
He, from being so gracious,
As he saw his opportune moment
Became more daring,
Going with fortune’s flow.
With long waves of his neck
He touched the maid’s breast
And then placed his beak
Within her crimson mouth.
 
Putting his spurs upon
The arms of her he grasped,
And pressing down with his belly,
He forced her, unwilling, to the ground.
Beneath the swan she fought hard,
Pinching and biting him, yet it was
That in the midst of her efforts
She felt her youth stolen away.
 
Cinnabar here and there
Coloured the shamed lass.
In the end she spoke
In a disdainful voice:
“Where are you from, you flying deceiver?
Where do you come from, who dare
To go around thus raping
Girls of noble race?
 
I thought your heart, alas,
Was like the colours you wear,
But – poor me! – you have one
Of another sort, to my destruction.
O heavens, who hear my cries,
I would rather be dead and shut up
Down below, since my springtime
Has been stripped of its rose!
 
Rather come and eat me,
Some hungry widowed tigress,
Than that I should be called the wife
Of some unknown bird.”
Her limbs fell strengthless
And her eyes were already swimming
In death, her neighbout, when
The swan replied thus to her:
 
 
 
“Maiden,” he said, “I am not
What I seem to you as you see me;
Greater things can I do
Than the swan I appear;
I am the master of the heavens,
I am he who looses
The insolent thunderbolts
Upon the hard flanks of the earth.
 
A painful compulsion
For your warmer [colour], which excites me,
Made me take on the colour
Of these feathers which are not mine.
So do not go on complaining
About the misfortune of your fate;
You will forthwith be
Neptune’s sister-in-law,
 
And so you will lay two eggs
From my fruitful seed,
And with them two new triumphs,
Future ornaments of the world.
One will disclose two twins:
Pollux, valiant in the swordfight,
And his brother who will be praised
As the finest of horsemen;
 
Within the other will grow
The beauty, chosen for heaven,
For whom one day Europe
Will take arms against Asia.”
At these words, she accepted,
Gaining such an outcome,
And then little by little felt
Her belt rising higher.
 
 Footnotes:
 1 i.e. its new skin after shedding the old2 the description of what is painted on the basket, which fills the remainder of the poem, is a gentle parody of the descriptions of heroes’ shields in Homer and Virgil.

3 i.e. the sun’s chariot, pulled by fiery horses, rising from the sea at dawn

4 the narcissus grew from the tears of Narcissus; the ‘flower of Ajax’ [perhaps a fritillary (lily) or a larkspur] grew from the blood spilled at his suicide on failing to win the arms of Achilles, and the Greeks read its markings as the letters AI (= ‘ah, woe!’)

5 the French word means both ‘fake’ and ‘adulterous’; ‘false’ carries something of the same effect in English

 
 Those unfamiliar with the myth – which was a major source of inspiration to Renaissance artists – should glance at Wikipedia, or this indicative set of images! The reference in the last stanza is to Helen of Troy.

Sonnet 129

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Di l’un des deux, sans tant me déguiser
Le peu d’amour que ton semblant me porte,
Je ne sçauroy, veu ma peine si forte,
Tant lamenter, ne tant Petrarquiser.
 
Si tu le veux, que sert de refuser
Ce doux present dont l’espoir me conforte ?
Sinon, pourquoy d’une esperance morte
Me nourris-tu pour tousjours m’abuser ?
 
L’un de tes yeux dans les enfers me rue,
L’autre plus doux, à l’envy s’esvertue
De me remettre en paradis encor :
 
Ainsi tes yeux pour causer mon renaistre,
Et puis ma mort, sans cesse me font estre
Or’ un Pollux, et ores un Castor.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Say one or the other, without keeping from me so much
                                                                            That little love which your pretending brings me;
                                                                            I am no longer able, in view of this strong pain of mine,
                                                                            To grieve so much nor act so like Petrarch.
 
                                                                            If you are willing, what use is refusing
                                                                            That sweet gift, the hope of which comforts me?
                                                                            If not, why do you keep feeding me
                                                                            With dead hope, always deceiving me?
 
                                                                            One of your eyes rushes me into hell,
                                                                            The other is sweeter, it tries hard in opposition
                                                                            To place me back in paradise again;
 
                                                                            So your eyes, causing my rebirth
                                                                            And then my death, ceaselessly make me
                                                                            Now a Pollux, now a Castor.

 

 

 

 

A poem unchanged from edition to edition … The last tercet recalls the story of the heavenly twins Castor & Pollux; one was mortal, one immortal, but when the mortal one was killed the other gave up his immortality to restore his life.  Muret adds a couple of notes: one comments on Ronsard’s invented word “Petrarquiser” which Muret translates as ‘to (pretend to) die for love like Petrarch’. In the other, looking at the opening line  he remarks, ‘I cannot think that this is [addressed to] Cassandre, for he does not speak so boldly to her‘!

 

 
 
 

Sonnet 1

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It’s been too long since my last post!  Not quite back in the swing of things, but let’s start the Helen sonnets.

Ce premier jour de May, Helene, je vous jure
Par Castor par Pollux, vos deus freres jumeaux,
Par la vigne enlassee à l’entour des ormeaux,
Par les prez par les bois herissez de verdure,
 
Par le nouveau Printemps fils aisné de Nature,
Par le cristal qui roule au giron des ruisseaux,
Par tous les rossignols, miracle des oiseaux,
Que seule vous serez ma derniere aventure.
 
Vous seule me plaisez, j’ay par election,
Et non à la volee aimé vostre jeunesse :
Aussi je prens en gré toute ma passion,
 
Je suis de ma fortune autheur, je le confesse :
La vertu m’a conduit en telle affection,
Si la vertu me trompe adieu belle Maistresse.
 
 
 
                                                                                  On this first day of May, Helene, I swear to you
                                                                                  By Castor and by Pollux, your two twin brothers,
                                                                                  By this vine laced about the elms,
                                                                                  By the meadows, by the woods bristling with greenery,
 
                                                                                  By the new Spring, eldest son of Nature,
                                                                                  By the crystal waters tumbling in the lap of the streams,
                                                                                  By all nightingales, the miracle among birds, – [I swear]
                                                                                  That you alone shall be my last affair.
 
                                                                                  You alone please me: I have, by choice
                                                                                  Not by some sudden impulse, fallen in love with your youth;
                                                                                  And too I wish for all my passion,
 
                                                                                  I am the author of my fortune, I confess it:
                                                                                  But virtue brought me into such a state of love;
                                                                                  If virtue deceives me, then farewell fair mistress.
 
 
 
 
In Blanchemain’s version, the second quatrain has a number of changes:
 
 
Par le Printemps sacré, fils aisné de Nature,
Par le sablon qui roule au giron des ruisseaux,
Par tous les rossignols, miracle des oiseaux,
Qu’autre part je ne veux chercher autre aventure.
 
                                                                                  By holy Spring, eldest son of Nature,
                                                                                  By the sand tumbling in the lap of the streams,
                                                                                  By all nightingales, the miracle among birds, – [I swear]
                                                                                  That I shall try to gain no other elsewhere.
 
 
 
He also footnotes an alternative for the penultimate line:
 
 
La vertu qui vous pleige en est la caution
 
                                                                                  But the virtue I pledge to you is what safeguards it;
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sonnet 114

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Je vy ma Nymphe entre cent damoiselles,
Comme un Croissant par les menus flambeaux,
Et de ses yeux plus que les astres beaux
Faire obscurcir la beauté des plus belles.
 
Dedans son sein les Graces immortelles,
La Gaillardise, et les freres jumeaux,
Alloient volant, comme petits oiseaux
Parmy le verd des branches plus nouvelles.
 
Le ciel ravy, qui si belle la voit,
Roses et liz et ghirlandes pleuvoit
Tout au rond d’elle, au milieu de la place :
 
Si qu’en despit de l’hyver froidureux,
Par la vertu de ses yeux amoureux,
Un beau printemps s’engendra de sa face.

 

 

 

                                                                                             I can spot my Nymph among a hundred ladies
                                                                                             Like the crescent moon among those lesser lights
                                                                                             And with her eyes, fairer than the stars,
                                                                                             Eclipsing the beauty of the loveliest.
 
                                                                                             Within her breast the immortal Graces,
                                                                                             Frivolity, and the twin brothers
                                                                                             Fly like little birds
                                                                                             Among the greenery of young branches.
 
                                                                                             Delighted heaven, seeing she is so fair
                                                                                             Rains roses, lilies and garlands
                                                                                             All round her in the middle of the place where she is
 
                                                                                             So that, despite the freezing winter
                                                                                             Through the virtue and power of her loving eyes
                                                                                             A fair spring is born in her face.

 

 
 
 The Gemini (the twins), Castor and Pollux, seem odd companions for the Graces and Frivolity, but are perhaps invoked here as the bringers of fair weather – fitting the image of winter giving way to spring?
 
 
 
 

Sonnet 49

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Amour, Amour, que ma maistresse est belle !
Soit que j’admire ou ses yeux mes seigneurs,
Ou de son front la grace et les honneurs,
Ou le vermeil de sa lèvre jumelle.
 
Amour, Amour, que ma Dame est cruelle !
Soit qu’un desdain rengrege mes douleurs,
Soit qu’un despit face naistre mes pleurs,
Soit qu’un refus mes playes renouvelle.
 
Ainsi le miel de sa douce beauté
Nourrit mon cœur : ainsi sa cruauté
D’un fiel amer aigrist toute ma vie :
 
Ainsi repeu d’un si divers repas,
Ores je vis, ores je ne vy pas,
Egal au sort des freres d’Oebalie.
 
 
 
                                                                       Love, o Love, my mistress is so beautiful!
                                                                       Whether I look on her eyes, which rule me,
                                                                       Or the grace and beauty of her forehead,
                                                                       Or the crimson of her twin lips.
 
                                                                       Love, o Love, my mistress is so cruel!
                                                                       Whether her disdain enmeshes me in sadness,
                                                                       Or her spite makes my tears well up,
                                                                       Or her refusal renews my pleas.
 
                                                                       Thus the honey of her soft beauty
                                                                       Feeds my heart: and thus her cruelty
                                                                       Embitters my whole life with acrid gall;
 
                                                                       Thus, fed on such varied food
                                                                       Sometimes I live, sometimes not,
                                                                       Just like the fate of the brothers from Oebale.
 
 
Oebale is Sparta, in Greece; the twins Castor and Pollux were born there. When Castor was killed, Pollux shared his own immortality with his twin and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini.
 
Blanchemain’s version is identical, except for the opening ejaculation of the two quatrains: “Mon Dieu !  mon Dieu ! que … “