Tag Archives: Cypris

Amours 2:54

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Quiconque voudra suivre Amour ainsi que moy,
Celuy se delibere en penible tristesse
Vivre comme je vy, il pleust à la Déesse
Qui tient Cypre en ses mains, d’ordonner telle loy.
 
Apres avoir souffert les maux que je reçoy,
Il mourra de langueur, et sa fiere maistresse,
Le voyant trespassé sautera de liesse,
Se moquant du tombeau du mort et de sa foy.
 
Allez donc Amoureux faire service aux Dames,
Offrez leur pour present et vos corps et vos ames,
Vous en receverez un salaire bien doux.
 
« Je croy que Dieu les feit à fin de nuire à l’homme :
« Il les feit (Pardaillan) pour nostre malheur, comme
« Les Tygres les Lions les Serpens et les Loups.
 
 
 
                                                                            Whoever would like to follow Love as I do,
                                                                            Let him plan to live like I live,
                                                                            In vexed sadness ; for it pleases the goddess
                                                                            Who holds Cyprus in her hands to ordain this law.
 
                                                                            Having suffered the ills which I receive
                                                                            He will die of weakness and his proud mistress,
                                                                            Seeing him dead, will leap with happiness
                                                                            Mocking the dead man’s tomb and his faithfulness.
 
                                                                            So go on, lovers, do service to your ladies,
                                                                            Offer them your souls and bodies as a gift,
                                                                            You will receive a sweet payment :
 
                                                                            “I believe God made them to destroy man,
                                                                            He made them, Pardaillan, for our misfortune, like
                                                                            Tigers, lions, serpents and wolves.”

 
 
Ronsard in frustrated mood again, finding yet another way of complaining about a lover’s ills – and particularly, of course, about how he (Ronsard) is the most ill-served of all!  (The goddess of Cyprus is Venus.)
 
The Pardaillan family was an ancient one even in Ronsard’s time; though its most famous representative was still to make his mark – Antoine-Arnaud de Pardaillan de Gondrin, who commanded the king’s armies in Picardy, Savoy and Spain at the end of the century and raised the family to the marquisate, was son of Hector de Pardaillan, who is Ronsard’s addressee.
 
Blanchemain’s earlier version is considerably different in detail, though none of Ronsard’s later amendments really change the content. Note however how line 8’s older version switches the ‘faithfulness’/’loyalty’ under consideration – hers not his; and how in line 11, by adjusting the spelling of the future tense “recev(e)rez”, Ronsard re-balances the motion of the entire line!
 
 
Quiconque voudra suivre Amour ainsi que moy,
Celuy se delibere en penible tristesse
Mourir ainsy que moy : il pleut à la déesse
Qui tient Cypre en ses mains, d’ordonner telle loy.
 
Apres avoir souffert maint deuil et maint emoy,
Il lui faudra mourir, et sa fiere maistresse,
Le voyant au tombeau, sautera de liesse,
Sur le corps trespassé pour luy garder sa foy.
 
Allez donc maintenant faire service aux dames,
Offrez-leur pour present et vos corps et vos ames,
Et vous en recevrez un salaire bien doux !
 
Je croy que Dieu les feit à fin de nuire à l’homme :
Il les feit, Pardaillan, pour nostre malheur comme
Les tigers, les lions, les serpens et les lous.
 
 

 
                                                                            Whoever would like to follow Love as I do,
                                                                            Let him plan to die like I do,
                                                                            In vexed sadness ; for it pleases the goddess
                                                                            Who holds Cyprus in her hands to ordain this law.
 
                                                                            Having suffered much grief and much distress
                                                                            He will have to die, and his proud mistress,
                                                                            Seeing him in the tomb, will leap with happiness
                                                                            On the corpse which died to preserve her loyalty.
 
                                                                            So go on now, do service to your ladies,
                                                                            Offer them your souls and bodies as a gift,
                                                                            And you will receive a sweet payment :
 
                                                                            I believe God made them to destroy man,
                                                                            He made them, Pardaillan, for our misfortune, like
                                                                            Tigers, lions, serpents and wolves.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Madrigal (Amours 1.200a)

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Un sot Vulcan ma Cyprine fachoit :
Elle en pleurant qui son courroux ne cele,
L’un de ses yeux arma d’une etincelle,
De l’autre une eau sur sa joüe épanchoit.
 
Tandis Amour, qui petit se cachoit
Comme un oiseau dans le sein de la belle,
En l’œil humide alloit baignant son aile,
Puis en l’ardant ses plumes il sechoit.
 
Ainsi voit-on d’une face diverse
Rire et pleurer tout en un mesme temps
Douteusement le Soleil du printemps,
Quand une nuë à demi le traverse.
 
Quel dueil ensemble et quel plaisir c’estoit
De voir son geste, et les pleurs qu’elle verse
Pleins de regrets que le Ciel escoutoit ?
 
 
 
 
                                                                            A stupid Vulcan annoyed my Cyprian [Venus] :
                                                                            As she cried, not concealing her anger,
                                                                            One of her eyes she armed with a flashing spark,
                                                                            From the other a tear flowed onto her cheek.
 
                                                                            So Love, hiding his tiny self
                                                                            Like a bird within the beauty’s breast,
                                                                            Flew into the wet eye, bathing his wings,
                                                                            Then in the burning one he dried his feathers.
 
                                                                            Thus you might see with a divided appearance,
                                                                            Both laughing and crying at the same time
                                                                            Uncertainly, the Sun in spring
                                                                            When a cloud half-crosses it.
 
                                                                            What grief and what pleasure together it was
                                                                            To see how she acted, and the tears she cried
                                                                            Full of regret, that the Heavens might hear.
 
 
 
For Ronsard, a madrigal is, as you’ll recall, simply a sonnet with a bonus line or two. Here, his opening image is taken from classical myth, the unhappy marriage of Vulcan and Venus; but that is simply scene-setting. Vulcan here is obviously Ronsard who in his clumsy foolishness has upset Cassandre.
 
In Blanchemain, this is a (numbered) sonnet, simply being one line shorter: I’ve marked the spot in line 10 where in the later version above he has simply split the line and inserted 2 extra half-lines.
 
 
Un sot Vulcan ma Cyprine faschoit :
Et elle à part, qui son courroux ne celle,
L’un de ses yeux arma d’une estincelle,
De l’autre un lac sur sa joue épanchoit.
 
Tandis Amour, qui petit se cachoit
Folastrement dans le sein de la belle,
En l’œil humide alloit baignant son aile,
Puis en l’ardant ses plumes il sechoit.
 
Ainsi void-on quelquefois en un temps
Rire et pleurer [ ] le soleil du printemps,
Quand une nue à demi le traverse.
 
L’un dans les miens darda tant de liqueur,
Et l’autre, après, tant de flames au cœur,
Que fleurs et feux depuis l’heure je verse.
 
 
                                                                            A stupid Vulcan annoyed my Cyprian [Venus] :
                                                                            As she standing aside, not concealing her anger,
                                                                            Armed one of her eyes with a flashing spark,
                                                                            From the other a lake flowed onto her cheek.
 
                                                                            So Love, hiding his tiny self
                                                                            Playfully within the beauty’s breast,
                                                                            Flew into the wet eye, bathing his wings,
                                                                            Then in the burning one he dried his feathers.
 
                                                                            Thus you might see occasionally at the same time,
                                                                            Both laughing and crying the Sun in spring
                                                                            When a cloud half-crosses it.
 
                                                                            One of them shot so much water into my own [eyes],
                                                                            The other, afterwards, so many flames into my heart,
                                                                            That I’ve been pouring out flowers and fires since then. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chanson (Amours 2:49b)

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Je suis si ardent amoureux,
Que fol souvenir ne me puis,
Ny où je suis ne qui je suis,
Ny combien je suis malheureux.
 
J’ay pour mes hostes nuict et jour
En mon cœur la rage et l’esmoy
Qui vont pratiquant dessus moy
Toutes les cruautez d’Amour.
 
Et toutesfois je n’ose armer
Ma raison pour vaincre le tort :
Car plus on me donne la mort,
Et plus je suis content d’aimer.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            I am so ardently in love
                                                                            That, mad, I cannot remember
                                                                            Where I am, or who I am,
                                                                            Or how unhappy I am.
 
                                                                            I have as guest night and day
                                                                            In my heart rage and agitation
                                                                            Which practice on me
                                                                            All the cruelties of love.
 
                                                                            And yet all the time I dare not arm
                                                                            My reason to overcome wrong;
                                                                            For the more it pains me to death
                                                                            The more I’m happy to be in love.
 
 
 
A lovely, neatly-wrought poem. Who’d have thought it had been so revised?!  Here’s Blancheamin’s earlier version, sharing just over half its text with the later one!
 
Je suis tellement amoureux,
Qu’au vray raconter je ne puis,
Ny où je suis, ne qui je suis,
Ny combien je suis malheureux. 
 
J’ay pour mon hoste nuict et jour
Comme un tigre, un cruel esmoy
Qui va pratiquant dessus moy
Toutes les cruautez d’Amour. 
 
Et si mon cœur ne peut s’armer
Contre l’œil qui le navre à tort :
Car, plus il me donne la mort,
Plus je suis contraint de l’aimer.

 
 
 
                                                                            I am so in love
                                                                           That truly I cannot tell
                                                                           Where I am, or who I am,
                                                                           Or how unhappy I am. 
 
                                                                           I have as guest night and day
                                                                           Like a tiger a cruel agitation
                                                                           Which practices on me
                                                                           All the cruelties of love. 
 
                                                                           And yet my heart cannot arm itself
                                                                           Against the eyes which wrongly rend it;
                                                                           For the more they pain me to death
                                                                           The more I’m forced to love them.
 
 
 
The poem is another of Ronsard’s responses to Marullus, this time an epigram “De suo amore” (‘On his love’):
 
Jactor, dispereo, crucior, trahor huc miser atque huc,
ipse ego jam quis sim nescio aut ubi sim :
tot simul insidiis premor undique : proh dolor !  In me
saevitiae Cypris dat documenta suae.
Saevitiae documenta suae dat, ego hanc tamen unam
depereo, utque nocet, sic libet usque sequi.
Qua siquis miserum solam me liberet horam,
Hic mihi sit Phoebo doctior et melior.
 
 
                                                 I am cast down, I despair, I’m tortured, I drag myself here and there wretchedly,
                                                 I don’t now know who I am, or where I am;
                                                 I am caught in so many plots, at the same time, on all sides; o wretchedness, against me
                                                 Cypris [Venus] has given evidence of her savagery.
                                                 She has given evidence of her savagery, but I perish
                                                 For this one lady, and as she harms me so I am pleased to follow her further.
                                                 If anyone could free me in my wretchedness from her for just one hour,
                                                 He would be to me wiser and better than Apollo.

 

 
 
 

Stances lyriques (Lyric stanzas) – from the Poèmes retranchées

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This one comes with variant subtitles:  in Marty-Laveaux it is simply “pour un banquet” (‘for a banquet’); but the Blanchemain version is helpfully headed “Stances promptement faites pour jouer sur la lyre, un joueur respondant à l’autre, au baptesme du fils de Monsieur de Villeroy, en faveur de Monsieur de l’Aubespine à présent” (‘Stanzas written to be played on the lyre, one player responding to the other, at the baptism of the son of M. de Villeroy …’).  Here then is a prime example of Ronsard’s concern to make his poetry adaptable to music. Many of his ‘withdrawn’ items were withdrawn simply because their rhyme-schemes no longer fitted the more advanced ideas he developed – principally, about metrical regularity in the use of masculine & feminine endings (broadly, alternating 10-syllable and 11-syllable lines, which clearly has an impact on the way a composer sets the text).

I Joueur
Autant qu’au Ciel on voit de flames
Dorer la nuict de leur clartez,
Autant voit-on icy de Dames
Orner ce soir de leurs beautez.
 
II Joueur
Autant que l’on voit une prée
Fleurir en jeunes nouveautez
Autant ceste troupe sacrée
S’enrichit de mille beautez.
 
I
La Cyprine et les Graces nuës,
Se desrobant de leur sejour,
Sont au festin icy venuës,
Pour de la nuict faire un beau jour.
 
II
Ce ne sont pas femmes mortelles
Qui vous esclairent de leurs yeux,
Ce sont Déesses eternelles,
Qui pour un soir quittent les Cieux.
 
I
Quand Amour perdroit ses flaméches
Et ses dards trempez de soucy,
Il trouveroit assez de fléches
Aux yeux de ces Dames icy.
 
II
Amour qui cause nos detresses
Par la cruauté de ses dards,
Fait son arc de leurs blondes tresses,
Et ses fléches de leurs regards.
 
I
Il ne faut point que l’on desire
Qu’autre saison puisse arriver,
Voicy un Printemps qui souspire
Ses fleurs au milieu de l’Hyver.
 
II
Ce mois de Janvier qui surmonte
Avril par la vertu des yeux
De ces Damoiselles, fait honte
Au Printemps le plus gracieux.
 
I
Ce grand Dieu, Prince du tonnerre,
Puisse sans moi l’air habiter,
Il me plaist bien de voir en terre
Ce qui peut blesser Jupiter.
 
II
Les Dieux épris comme nous sommes,
Pour l’amour quittent leur sejour :
Mais je ne voy point que les hommes
Aillent là-haut faire l’amour.
 
I
A la couleur des fleurs écloses
Ces Dames ont le teint pareil,
Aux blancs Lys, aux vermeilles roses
Qui naissent comme le Soleil.
 
II
Leur blanche main est un yvoire,
De leurs yeux les astres se font :
Amour a planté sa victoire
Sus la Majesté de leur front.
 
I
Las ! que ne suis-je en ceste trope
Un Dieu caché sous un Toreau ?
Je ravirois encore Europe
Au beau milieu de ce tropeau.
 
II
Que n’ay-je d’un Cygne la plume,
Pour joüir encore à plaisir
De ceste beauté qui m’allume
Le cœur de crainte et de desir ?
 
I
Amour qui tout void et dispense,
Ces Dames vueille contenter :
Et si la rigueur les offense,
Nouvel amy leur presenter.
 
II
Afin qu’au changer de l’année,
Et au retour des jeunes fleurs,
Une meilleure destinée
Puisse commander à leurs cœurs.
 
Just as we see the lights in heaven
Gild the night with their brightness,
So we see here ladies
Adorn the evenings with their beauty.
 
 
Just as we see a meadow
Flower with fresh newness,
So this holy band
Enriches itself with a thousand beauties.
 
 
The Cyprian goddess [Venus] and the naked Graces,
Abandoning their homes,
Have come here to the feast
To make night into fair day.
 
 
These are not mortal women
Who light you with their eyes,
These are eternal goddesses
Who have, for an evening, have left the heavens.
 
 
When love loses his fiery bolts
And his darts drenched in pain,
He will find enough arrows
In the eyes of these ladies here.
 
 
Love who causes our distress
Through the cruelty of his darts
Makes his bow from their blond tresses
And his arrows from their glances.
 
 
We need not wish
That another season might arrive,
Here is spring, breathing out
Its flowers in the midst of winter.
 
 
This month of January, which is better
Than April because of the power in the eyes
Of these maidens, makes ashamed
Even the most graceful spring.
 
 
That great god, prince of thunder,
Can live in the sky without me;
I am quite happy seeing on earth
That beauty which can wound Jupiter.
 
 
The gods, smitten as we are,
Leave their dwelling for love;
But I never see men
Going up there to make love!
 
 
Like the colour of blossoming flowers
Is the hue these Ladies have,
Like white lilies, like crimson roses,
Which grow as the sun.
 
 
Their white hands are ivory,
Of their eyes are the stars made;
Love has founded his victory
On the majesty of their brows.
 
 
Alas, why can’t I be among this troop
A god hidden beneath [the likeness of] a bull?
I would again steal away Europa
From the fair midst of this troop.
 
 
Why can’t I have the feathers of a swan,
To play again at my pleasure
With this beauty which fires my
Heart with fear and longing?
 
 
Love, who sees all and grants all,
Wishes to please these Ladies;
And if my strictness injures them
He will present them a new lover.
 
 
If only, at the turn of the year
And when the young flowers come back,
A better fate
Might control their hearts.
 
 The ‘great god of the thunder’ (i.e. Jupiter) re-appears near the end of the poem as the bull who carried off Europa, and the swan that ravished Leda.
 
(Like most items “retranchées”, there is not much to report concerning variants: in this case, “fleurer” rather than ‘fleurir’ in the second verse (a variant conjugation for the verb) is about the only interest!)
 

Sonnet 87

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Si l’escrivain de la Gregeoise armée
Eust veu tes yeux qui serf me tiennent pris,
Les faits de Mars n’eust jamais entrepris,
Et le Duc Grec fust mort sans renommée.
 
Et si Paris qui veit en la valée
La Cyprienne et d’elle fut épris,
T’eust veu quatriesme, il t’eust donné le pris,
Et sans honneur Venus s’en fust allée.
 
Mais s’il advient ou par le vueil des Cieux,
Ou par le trait qui sort de tes beaux yeux,
Que d’un haut vers je chante ta conqueste
 
Et nouveau cygne on m’entende crier,
Il n’y aura ny myrte ny laurier
Digne de toy, ny digne de ma teste.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            If the poet of the Grecian army
                                                                            Had seen your eyes, which hold me bound as a serf,
                                                                            He would never have undertaken the deeds of Mars [war]
                                                                            And the Greek general would have died without fame.
 
                                                                            And if Paris, who glimpsed in the garden
                                                                            The Cyprian [Venus] and fell in love with her,
                                                                            Had seen you as the fourth, he would have given you the prize
                                                                            And Venus would have left without reward.
 
                                                                            But if it happens, by the will of Heaven
                                                                            Or by the wound given by your fair eyes,
                                                                            That in fine poetry I sing of your conquest
 
                                                                            And like a new swan I am heard singing,
                                                                            There will be no myrtle or laurel
                                                                            Worthy of you, nor worthy as my crown.

 

 

Ronsard has a way of turning a compliment, doesn’t he – and often deftly turning it to himself! If ever a poet was secure in his knowledge of his own worth, it’s Ronsard. But of course this poem is about the surpassing charms of Cassandre, greater than any inspiration to any poet before…
 
The ‘poet of the Grecian army’ is of course Homer, the war is the Trojan War, his poem the Iliad, and the Greek general who dies is Achilles. Paris was chosen to judge the contest between Juno, Venus and Minerva and naturally decided the prettiest was best – so Ronsard says Cassandre is prettier than the goddess of love herself. Myrtles and laurels are the prize for poets, and indeed the victors of any contest, in the classical world – though not good enough as a prize for Ronsard apparently!
 
I must admit to some paraphrasing in this translation:  in line 5 Paris actually “saw [Venus] in the valley”, but ‘glimpsed … garden’ offers an alliterative effect similar to “veit en la valée”.  In line 14 Ronsard actually says no myrtle is ‘worthy of you, nor worthy of my head’, but I have changed this (with less excuse) to the more explanatory ‘crown’.
 
Blanchemain’s version shows how Ronsard’s self-confidence had grown later in life: for in this version he ends by receiving (and being pleased to receive) the best of myrtle crowns…
 
 
 
Si l’escrivain de la Gregeoise armée
Eust veu tes yeux qui serf me tiennent pris,
Les faits de Mars il n’eust jamais empris,
Et le duc grec fust mort sans renommée.
 
Et si Pâris, qui vit en la valée
La grand’ beauté dont son cœur fut épris,
Eust veu la tienne, il t’eust donné le pris,
Et sans honneur Venus s’en fust allée.
 
Mais s’il advient, ou par le vueil des cieux,
Ou par le trait qui sort de tes beaux yeux,
Qu’en publiant ma prise et ta conqueste,
 
Outre la Tane on m’entende crier,
Io ! Io ! quel myrte ou quel laurier
Sera bastant pour enlacer ma teste !
 
 
 
                                                                            If the poet of the Grecian army
                                                                            Had seen your eyes, which hold me bound as a serf,
                                                                            He would never have taken up the deeds of Mars [war]
                                                                            And the Greek general would have died without fame.
 
                                                                            And if Paris, who glimpsed in the garden
                                                                            That great beauty by which his heart was seized,
                                                                            Had seen yours, he would have given you the prize
                                                                            And Venus would have left without reward.
 
                                                                            But if it happens, by the will of Heaven
                                                                            Or by the wound given by your fair eyes,
                                                                            That in speaking out of my capture and your conquest,
 
                                                                            Beyond Tanais they hear me singing
                                                                            “Io! Io!”, what myrtle or what laurel
                                                                            Will be woven to twine around my head!
 
 
 
 In the second quatrain his first version is more allusive than the later one – perhaps unusually! – explaining itself only in line 8; but the later version, while making the allusion clearer in line 5, does end up repeating itself if we recognise Cypris and Venus to be the same person. In the final lines, Blanchemain says ‘I believe “la Tane” is Tanais’; this was a city at the southern end of the [modern] river Don, that is to say NE of the Crimea at the top-right of the Black Sea – – or, in classical terms, the far end of the known world. So those beyond Tanais are in effect at or beyond the edges of the known world.  ‘Io’ was a representation of the shouting (or ululation) of Bacchantes and others in the throes of some form of ecstatic dance-trance – again, associated with the mystic east.
 
 
 
 

Ode 4: 32

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Verson ces roses en ce vin,
En ce bon vin versons ces roses,
Et boivon l’un à l’autre, afin
Qu’au cœur nos tristesses encloses
Prennent en boivant quelque fin.
 
La belle rose du printemps,
Aubert, admoneste les hommes
Passer joyeusement le temps,
Et pendant que jeunes nous sommes,
Esbattre la fleur de nos ans.
 
Car ainsi qu’elle défleurit
A bas en une matinée,
Ainsi nostre âge se flestrit,
Las ! et en moins d’une journée
Le printemps d’un homme perit.
 
Ne veis-tu pas hier Brinon
Parlant et faisant bonne chere,
Lequel aujourd’hui n’est sinon
Qu’un peu de poudre en une bière,
Qui de luy n’a rien que le nom ?
 
Nul ne desrobe son trespas,
Caron serre tout en sa nasse,
Roys et pauvres tombent là bas ;
Mais ce-pendant le temps se passe,
Rose, et je ne te chante pas.
 
La rose est l’honneur d’un pourpris,
La rose est des fleurs la plus belle,
Et dessus toutes a le pris :
C’est pour cela que je l’appelle
La violette de Cypris.
 
Le rose est le bouquet d’amour,
La rose est le jeu des Charites,
La rose blanchit tout autour
Au matin de perles petites
Qu’elle emprunte du poinct du jour.
 
La rose est le parfum des dieux,
La rose est l’honneur des pucelles,
Qui leur sein beaucoup aiment mieux
Enrichir de roses nouvelles,
Que d’un or tant soit precieux.
 
Est-il rien sans elle de beau ?
La rose embellit toutes choses,
Venus de roses a la peau,
Et l’Aurore a les doigts de roses,
Et le front le Soleil nouveau.
 
Les nymphes de rose ont le sein,
Les coudes, les flancs et les hanches ;
Hebé de roses a la main,
Et les Charites, tant soient blanches,
Ont le front de roses tout plein.
 
Que le mien en soit couronné,
Ce m’est un laurier de victoire :
Sus, appelon le deux-fois-né,
Le bon pere, et le faisons boire,
De cent roses environné.
 
Bacchus, espris de la beauté
Des roses aux fueilles vermeilles,
Sans elles n’a jamais esté,
Quand en chemise sous les treilles
Il boit au plus chaud de l’esté.
Pour these roses into the wine,
Into this fine wine pour these roses,
And drink one to another, that
Those sad things we keep in our hearts
May meet in drinking some kind of end.
 
The fair rose of spring,
Aubert, admonishes men
To spend their time joyously
And, while we’re young,
To frolic away the flower of our years.
 
For just as her petals fall
Down in a morning,
So our age is blighted:
Alas, in less than a day
A man’s springtime perishes.
 
Didn’t you see Brinon yesterday
Chattering and making good cheer,
Who is nothing today but
A little powder in a beer
Which has nothing of him but his name?
 
None can avoid his death,
Charon closes his net on us all,
Kings and paupers fall down below;
But – time is passing,
O Rose, and I am not singing of you!
 
The Rose is the most distinguished of crimsons,
The Rose is of flowers most beautiful,
And above all others takes the prize:
That’s why I call it
The violet of Cypris (=Venus).
 
Rose is the scent of love
The Rose is the plaything of the Graces,
The Rose makes all around it fade,
In the morning, with tiny pearls
She borrows from the dawn.
 
The Rose is the perfume of the gods,
The Rose is the symbol of virgins,
Who love far more to enrich
Their breast with fresh roses
Than with gold however precious.
 
Is there anything beautiful without her?
The Rose enhances all things,
Venus has skin like roses,
And Dawn is rosy-fingered
And the morning Sun is rose-pink.
 
The nymphs have rosy breasts,
Arms, bodies, legs;
Hebe has a rosy hand,
And the Graces, though fair-skinned,
Have all-rosy brows.
 
Would that mine was so crowned,
That would be for me a laurel of victory;
Up then, call the twice-born,
The good father, and let’s make him drink,
Encircled by a hundred roses.
 
Bacchus, enamoured of the beauty
Of roses with their crimson petals,
Has never been without them
When in shirt-sleeves he drinks
Beneath the arbour in the hottest days of summer.
 
 In the 5th stanza, Charon is the boatman who ferries dead souls across the river Styx; I can’t recall anywhere else where the image is of him fishing them up in his net!  In the 9th stanza, ‘rosy-fingered Dawn’ is how Homer always terms her.  In the penultimate stanza the ‘twice-born’ is Dionysus, or Bacchus as in the final stanza. Why twice-born? Well, Bacchus was the child of Jupiter and Semele; those who know the Handel opera will know Semele died as a result of seeing Jupiter in all his glory – before giving birth. Jupiter then took her unborn child (a ‘six-month child’ according to some Greek writers) and sewed it into his thigh to complete its growth until ready to be born. Hence ‘twice-born’, once from Semele’s womb, once from Jupiter’s thigh.
 
Aubert in the 2nd stanza is Guillaume Aubert, friend of du Bellay & posthumous editor of his works.