Tag Archives: ivy

Ode retranch. 4

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O Pucelle plus tendre
Qu’un beau bouton vermeil
Que le rosier engendre
Au lever du soleil,
D’une part verdissant
De l’autre rougissant !
 
Plus fort que le lierre
Qui se gripe à l’entour
Du chesne aimé, qu’il serre
Enlassé de maint tour,
Courbant ses bras épars
Sus luy de toutes parts,
 
Serrez mon col, maistresse,
De vos deux bras pliez ;
D’un neud qui tienne et presse
Doucement me liez ;
Un baiser mutuel
Nous soit perpetuel.
 
Ny le temps, ny l’envie
D’autre amour desirer
Ne pourra point ma vie
De vos lèvres tirer ;
Ains serrez demourrons,
Et baisant nous mourrons.
 
En mesme an et mesme heure,
Et en mesme saison,
Irons voir la demeure
De la palle maison,
Et les champs ordonnez
Aux amans fortunez.
 
Amour par les fleurettes
Du printemps eternel
Voirra nos amourettes
Sous le bois maternel ;
Là nous sçaurons combien
Les amans ont de bien.
 
Le long des belles plaines
Et parmy les prez vers,
Les rives sonnent pleines
De maints accords divers ;
L’un joue, et l’autre au son
Danse d’une chanson.
 
Là le beau ciel décueuvre
Tousjours un front benin,
Sur les fleurs la couleuvre
Ne vomit son venin,
Et tousjours les oyseaux
Chantent sur les rameaux ;
 
Tousjours les vens y sonnent
Je ne sçay quoy de doux,
Et les lauriers y donnent
Tousjours ombrages moux ;
Tousjours les belles fleurs
Y gardent leurs couleurs.
 
Parmy le grand espace
De ce verger heureux,
Nous aurons tous deux place
Entre les amoureux,
Et comme eux sans soucy
Nous aimerons aussi.
 
Nulle amie ancienne
Ne se dépitera,
Quand de la place sienne
Pour nous deux s’ostera,
Non celles dont les yeux
Prirent le cœur des dieux.
O maid more tender
Than a fair crimson bud
To which the rosebush gives birth
At the rising of the sun,
Partly growing fresh and youthful,
Partly blushing redder!
 
Stronger than the ivy
Which climbs around
Its beloved oak, which it hugs
Wound in many a twist,
Curving its wide-spread arms
Above it on all sides,
 
Embrace my neck, mistress,
With your two bent arms;
In a knot which holds and squeezes
Sweetly bind me;
May our shared kiss
Be everlasting.
 
Neither time, nor the longing
To enjoy some other love
Can in any way pull my life
Back from your lips;
So let’s stay embracing
And we’ll die kissing.
 
In the same year, the same hour,
The same season,
We’ll go and see the dwellings
Of that pale house,
And the fields ordained
For happy lovers.
 
Love with the flowers
Of eternal springtime
Will see our love-dalliance
In our maternal woods;
There we shall discover how many
Good things lovers enjoy.
 
Along the fair plains
And among the green meadows,
The rivers play their music, full
Of many varied harmonies;
One plays, and the other
Dances to the sound of the song.
 
There the fair sky constantly
Shows a mild brow;
The grass-snake does not vomit
His venom on the flowers;
The birds are always
Singing in the branches;
 
The winds there are always making
Some sweet sound;
The laurels there always give
Their moist shade;
The beautiful flowers there always
Retain their colours.
 
Amid the great space
Of this happy orchard
We shall both take our place
Among the lovers,
And like them without a care
We too shall make love.
 
No ancient lover
Will be vexed
When from her spot
For us two she will remove herself,
Not even those whose eyes
Captured the hearts of the gods.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Chanson – Amours 2:67d

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Quand ce beau Printemps je voy,
     J’apperçois
Rajeunir la terre et l’onde
Et me semble que le jour,
     Et l’amour,
Comme enfans naissent au monde. 
 
Le jour qui plus beau se fait,
     Nous refait
Plus belle et verte la terre :
Et Amour armé de traits
     Et d’attraits,
En nos cœurs nous fait la guerre. 
 
Il respand de toutes parts
     Feux et dards
Et domte sous sa puissance
Hommes Bestes et Oiseaux,
     Et les eaux
Luy rendent obeïssance. 
 
Vénus avec son enfant
     Triomphant
Au haut de son Coche assise,
Laisse ses cygnes voler
     Parmy l’air
Pour aller voir son Anchise.  
 
Quelque part que ses beaux yeux
     Par les cieux
Tournent leurs lumieres belles,
L’air qui se monstre serein,
     Est tout plein
D’amoureuses estincelles. 
 
Puis en descendant à bas
     Sous ses pas
Naissent mille fleurs écloses :
Les beaux liz et les œillets
     Vermeillets
Rougissent entre les roses.  
 
Je sens en ce mois si beau
     Le flambeau
D’Amour qui m’eschauffe l’ame,
Y voyant de tous costez
     Les beautez
Qu’il emprunte de ma Dame. 
 
Quand je voy tant de couleurs
     Et de fleurs
Qui esmaillent un rivage,
Je pense voir le beau teint
     Qui est peint
Si vermeil en son visage. 
 
Quand je voy les grand rameaux
     Des ormeaux
Qui sont lassez de lierre,
Je pense estre pris és laz
     De ses bras,
Et que mon col elle serre.  
 
Quand j’entens la douce vois
     Par les bois
Du gay Rossignol qui chante,
D’elle je pense jouyr
     Et ouyr
Sa douce voix qui m’enchante. 
 
Quand je vois en quelque endroit
     Un Pin droit,
Ou quelque arbre qui s’esleve,
Je me laisse decevoir,
     Pensant voir
Sa belle taille et sa gréve. 
 
Quand je voy dans un jardin,
     Au matin
S’esclorre une fleur nouvelle,
J’accompare le bouton
     Au teton
De son beau sein qui pommelle. 
 
Quand le Soleil tout riant
     D’orient
Nous monstre sa blonde tresse,
Il me semble que je voy
     Davant moy
Lever ma belle maistresse. 
 
Quand je sens parmy les prez
     Diaprez
Les fleurs dont la terre est pleine,
Lors je fais croire à mes sens
     Que je sens  
La douceur de son haleine.
 
Bref je fais comparaison
     Par raison
Du Printemps et de m’amie :
Il donne aux fleurs la vigueur,
     Et mon cœur
D’elle prend vigueur et vie. 
 
Je voudrois au bruit de l’eau
     D’un ruisseau
Desplier ses tresses blondes,
Frizant en autant de nœus
     Ses cheveux
Que je verrois frizer d’ondes. 
 
Je voudrois pour la tenir,
     Devenir
Dieu de ces forests desertes,
La baisant autant de fois
     Qu’en un bois
Il y a de fueilles vertes. 
 
Hà maistresse mon soucy,
     Vien icy,
Vien contempler la verdure :
Les fleurs de mon amitié
     Ont pitié,
Et seule tu n’en as cure. 
 
Au moins leve un peu tes yeux
     Gracieux,
Et voy ces deux colombelles,
Qui font naturellement
     Doucement
L’amour du bec et des ailes : 
 
Et nous sous ombre d’honneur,
     Le bon heur
Trahissons par une crainte :
Les oiseaux sont plus heureux
     Amoureux,
Qui font l’amour sans contrainte. 
 
Toutesfois ne perdons pas
     Nos esbats
Pour ces loix tant rigoureuses :
Mais si tu m’en crois vivons,
     Et suivons
Les colombes amoureuses.
 
Pour effacer mon esmoy,
     Baise moy,
Rebaise moy ma Deesse :
Ne laissons passer en vain
     Si soudain
Les ans de notre jeunesse.
When I see the fair Springtime
I recognise
Earth and sea renewing their youth
And it seems to me that Day
And Love
Like children are born into the world.
 
Day which makes itself lovelier,
Makes the earth again
Lovelier and greener for us,
And Love armed with charms
And harms
Makes war on us in our hearts.
 
He looses in all directions
His fiery darts
And overcomes with his power
Men, beasts and birds,
And even the waters
Give him obedience.
 
Venus with her
Triumphant son
Sitting up high on her couch
Sets her swans flying
Through the air
To go and see her Anchises.
 
Wherever her lovely eyes
Around the heavens
Turn their fair light,
The air, remaining calm,
Is filled
With sparks of love.
 
Then coming down low
Under her feet
A thousand flowers blooming are born;
Fair lilies and bright red
Carnations
Redden among the roses.
 
In this month so lovely, I feel
The flame
Of Love warming my soul,
Seeing there on all sides
The beauties
Which it has borrowed from my Lady.
 
When I see so many colours
And flowers
Studding a riverbank,
I imagine I see the fair colour
Which paints
Her complexion so pink.
 
When I see the great branches
Of the elms
Which are laced with ivy,
I imagine being taken into the lakes
Of her arms
And her supporting my neck.
 
When I hear the soft voice
Of the happy nightingale
Singing in the woods,
I imagine enjoying her
And hearing
Her soft voice which enchants me.
 
When I see in some place
A tall pine
Or some other tree growing tall
I allow myself to be deceived
And imagine I see
Her lovely shape and size.
 
When I see in a garden
In the morning
A new flower opening,
I compare its bud
With the nipple
Of her fair breast, swelling.
 
When the sun, smiling
In the east,
Shows us his golden tresses,
I imagine I see
Before me
My fair mistress arising.
 
When I spy the meadows
Dotted
With the flowers which fill the earth,
Ah then I make my senses believe
That I feel
The softness of her breath.
 
In short, I make the comparison,
With good reason
Of Springtime with my beloved;
One gives the flowers their new strength,
And my heart
Takes from the other its strength and life.
 
I’d like, to the sound of the water
Of some stream
To untie her blonde tresses
Curling her hair into
So many knots
That I’d see waves curling.
 
I’d like, so I could hold her,
To become
God of these empty forests,
Kissing her as many times
As there are
Green leaves in a wood.
 
Ah, my mistress, my desire,
Come here
Come and consider the greensward;
The flowers take pity
On my love
And only you care not.
 
At least lift your gracious eyes
A little
And see these two doves
Who quite naturally
And sweetly
Make love with beak and wings.
 
And we, beneath the shade of honour
Betray
Our happiness through fear:
The birds are luckier
Lovers
Who make love without constraint.
 
Still, let us not give up
Our frolics
For these too restrictive laws;
But if you trust me, let’s live
Let’s copy
The amorous doves.
 
To sweep away my anguish
Kiss me
Kiss me again, my goddess!
Don’t let them go by empty
And quickly,
These years of our youth!
 
 One of Ronsard’s most famous poems – and deservedly so.
 
We met Venus & Anchises recently; also Zephyr the warm west wind.
 
Perhaps surprisingly there are no many variants between versions; though he did remove stanzas here and there as he revised. So in Blanchemain’s version, after the 6th stanza (just before “Je sens en ce mois si beau”) there is an extra stanza:
 
Celuy vrayment est de fer
   Qu’eschaufer
Ne peut sa beauté divine,
Et en lieu d’humaine chair
   Un rocher
Porte au fond de la poitrine
 
 
                                                          He indeed is made of iron
                                                             Whom her divine
                                                          Beauty cannot set afire,
                                                          And in place of human flesh
                                                             A rock
                                                          He carries deep in his breast.
 
 
Then, 4 stanzas later, just before the tall pine:
 
Quand Zephyre meine un bruit
   Qui se suit
Au travers d’une ramée,
Des propos il me souvient
   Que me tient
Seule à seul ma bien aimée.
 
 
                                                          When Zephyr’s sound
                                                             Chases itself
                                                          Through the branches,
                                                          I recall her words
                                                             Which keep me
                                                          Alone with my beloved alone.
 
 
Additionally there are a few minor changes:  in the 3rd stanza Love looses “Feu et dards” (‘His fiery darts’) in the 2nd line; 3 stanzas later, beneath her feet “Croissent mille fleurs écloses” (‘Grow a thousand flowers blooming’); and just before Zephyr (above) he hears the soft voice “Du beau rossignol” (‘Of the fair nightingale’) in the woods.
 
Incidentally, I love the way (in the middle of the poem) he bends the word ‘tetin’ into ‘teton’ to rhyme with ’bouton’, and makes it sound like a form of endearment at the same time!
 
 
 
 
 

Discours – à Pierre L’Escot

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This ought to be, approximately, the 300th poem I’ve posted. So to mark this ‘special occasion’ I thought I’d post a tongue-in-cheek follow-up to Ronsard’s autobiographical Elegy which was my 200th post.  This time it’s from book 2 of his “Poems”, and one of many longer poems which Ronsard called ‘discours’ – discourses. Here his father lectures him – in perfect Alexandrines! – about why almost anything is better than being a poet…

It’s addressed to Pierre L’Escot, architect and friend of Ronsard. In Marty-Laveaux’s edition he is identified just as ‘Pierre L’Escot, Lord of Clany’, but in the earlier edition he is given a longer set of titles: ‘Abbot of Cleremont, Lord of Clany, chaplain in ordinary to the King’. Blanchemain further adds: ‘This piece is addressed to Lord L’Escot of Clany, who designed the pavilion of the Louvre. In the 1572 edition, it begins the 2nd book of Poems, which is dedicated as a whole to Pierre L’Escot.’

(I hope this layout works – I’m having trouble getting the ‘stanzas’ lined up 🙂 )
 
Puis que Dieu ne m’a fait pour supporter les armes,
Et mourir tout sanglant au milieu des alarmes
En imitant les faits de mes premiers ayeux,
Si ne veux-je pourtant demeurer ocieux :
Ains comme je pourray, je veux laisser memoire
Que j’allay sur Parnasse acquerir de la gloire,
Afin que mon renom des siecles non veincu,
Rechante à mes neveux qu’autrefois j’ay vescu
Caressé d’Apollon et des Muses aimées,
Que j’ay plus que ma vie en mon âge estimées.
Pour elles à trente ans j’avois le chef grison,
Maigre, palle. desfait, enclos en la prison
D’une melancolique et rheumatique estude,
Renfrongné, mal-courtois, sombre, pensif, et rude,
A fin qu’en me tuant je peusse recevoir
Quelque peu de renom pour un peu de sçavoir.
 
Je fus souventesfois retansé de mon pere
Voyant que j’aimois trop les deux filles d Homere,
Et les enfans de ceux qui doctement ont sceu
Enfanter en papier ce qu’ils avoient conceu :
Et me disoit ainsi, Pauvre sot, tu t’amuses
A courtizer en vain Apollon et les Muses :
Que te sçauroit donner ce beau chantre Apollon,
Qu’une lyre, un archet, une corde, un fredon,
Qui se respand au vent ainsi qu’une fumée,
Ou comme poudre en l’air vainement consumée ?
Que te sçauroient donner les Muses qui n’ont rien ?
Sinon au-tour du chef je ne sçay quel lien
De myrte, de lierre, ou, d’une amorce vaine
T’allecher tout un jour au bord d’une fontaine,
Ou dedans un vieil antre, à fin d’y reposer
Ton cerveau mal-rassis, et béant composer
Des vers qui te feront, comme pleins de manie,
Appeller un bon fol en toute compagnie ?
 
Laisse ce froid mestier, qui jamais en avant
N’a poussé l’artizan, tant fust-il bien sçavant :
Mais avec sa fureur qu’il appelle divine,
Meurt tousjours accueilly d’une palle famine :
Homere que tu tiens si souvent en tes mains,
Qu’en ton cerveau mal-sain comme un Dieu tu te peins,
N’eut jamais un liard ; sa Troyenne vielle,
Et sa Muse qu’on dit qui eut la voix si belle,
Ne le sceurent nourrir, et falloit que sa fain
D’huis en huis mendiast le miserable pain.
 
Laisse-moy, pauvre sot, ceste science folle :
Hante-moy les Palais, caresse-moy Bartolle,
Et d’une voix dorée au milieu d’un parquet
Aux despens d’un pauvre homme exerce ton caquet,
Et fumeux et sueux d’une bouche tonnante
Devant un President mets-moy ta langue en vente :
On peut par ce moyen aux richesses monter,
Et se faire du peuple en tous lieux bonneter.
 
Ou bien embrasse-moy l’argenteuse science
Dont le sage Hippocras eut tant d’experience,
Grand honneur de son isle : encor que son mestier
Soit venu d’Apollon, il s’est fait heritier
Des biens et des honneurs, et à la Poësie
Sa sœur n’a rien laissé qu’une lyre moisie.
 
Ne sois donq paresseux d’apprendre ce que peut
La Nature en nos corps, tout cela qu’elle veut,
Tout cela qu’elle fuit : par si gentille adresse
En secourant autruv on gaigne la richesse.
 
Ou bien si le desir genereux et hardy,
En t’eschauffant le sang, ne rend acoüardy
Ton cœur à mespriser les perils de la terre,
Pren les armes au poing, et va suivre la guerre,
Et d’une belle playe en l’estomac ouvert
Meurs dessus un rempart de poudre tout couvert :
Par si noble moyen souvent on devient riche,
Car envers les soldats un bon Prince n’est chiche.
 
Ainsi en me tansant mon pere me disoit,
Ou fust quand le Soleil hors de l’eau conduisoit
Ses coursiers gallopans par la penible trette,
Ou fust quand vers le soir il plongeoit sa charrette,
Fust la nuict, quand la Lune avec ses noirs chevaux
Creuse et pleine reprend l’erre de ses travaux.
 
« O qu’il est mal-aisé de forcer la nature !
« Tousjours quelque Genie, ou l’influence dure
« D’un Astre nous invite à suivre maugré tous
« Le destin qu’en naissant il versa desur nous.
 
Pour menace ou priere, ou courtoise requeste
Que mon pere me fist, il ne sceut de ma teste
Oster la Poesie, et plus il me tansoit,
Plus à faire des vers la fureur me poussoit.
 
Je n’avois pas douze ans qu’au profond des vallées,
Dans les hautes forests des hommes recullées,
Dans les antres secrets de frayeur tout-couvers,
Sans avoir soin de rien je composois des vers :
Echo me respondoit, et les simples Dryades,
Faunes, Satyres, Pans, Napées, Oreades,
Aigipans qui portoient des cornes sur le front,
Et qui ballant sautoient comme les chévres font,
Et le gentil troupeau des fantastiques Fées
Autour de moy dansoient à cottes degrafées.
 
Je fu premierement curieux du Latin :
Mais voyant par effect que mon cruel destin
Ne m’avoit dextrement pour le Latin fait naistre,
Je me fey tout François, aimant certes mieux estre
En ma langue ou second, ou le tiers, ou premier,
Que d’estre sans honneur à Rome le dernier. 
 
Donc suivant ma nature aux Muses inclinée,
Sans contraindre ou forcer ma propre destinée,
J’enrichy nostre France, et pris en gré d’avoir,
En servant mon pays, plus d’honneur que d’avoir. 
 
Toy, L’Escot, dont le nom jusques aux Astres vole,
As pareil naturel : car estant à l’escole,
On ne peut le destin de ton esprit forcer
Que tousjours avec l’encre on ne te vist tracer
Quelque belle peinture, et ja fait Geomettre,
Angles, lignes et poincts sur une carte mettre :
Puis estant parvenu au terme de vingt ans,
Tes esprits courageux ne furent pas contans
Sans doctement conjoindre avecques la Peinture
L’art de Mathematique et de l’Architecture,
Où tu es tellement avec honneur monté,
Que le siecle ancien est par toy surmonté. 
 
Car bien que tu sois noble et de mœurs et de race,
Bien que dés le berceau l’abondance te face
Sans en chercher ailleurs, riche en bien temporel,
Si as-tu franchement suivi ton naturel :
Et tes premiers Regens n’ont jamais peu distraire
Ton cœur de ton instinct pour suivre le contraire. 
 
On a beau d’une perche appuyer les grands bras
D’un arbre qui se plie, il tend tousjours en bas :
La nature ne veut en rien estre forcée,
Mais suivre le destin duquel elle est poussée.
 
Jadis le Roy François des Lettres amateur,
De ton divin esprit premier admirateur,
T’aima par dessus tous : ce ne fut en son âge
Peu d’honneur d’estre aimé d’un si grand personnage,
Qui soudain cognoissoit le vice et la vertu,
Quelque desguisement dont l’homme fust vestu.
 
Henry qui apres luy tint le sceptre de France,
Ayant de ta valeur parfaite cognoissance
Honora ton sçavoir, si bien que ce grand Roy
Ne vouloit escouter un autre homme que toy,
Soit disnant et soupant, et te donna la charge
De son Louvre enrichi d’edifice plus large,
Ouvrage somptueux, à fin d’estre montré
Un Roy tres-magnifique en t’ayant rencontré.
 
Il me souvient un jour que ce Prince à la table
Parlant de ta vertu comme chose admirable,
Disoit que tu avois de toy-mesmes appris,
Et que sur tous aussi tu emportois le pris,
Comme a fait mon Ronsard, qui à la Poësie
Maugré tous ses parens a mis sa fantaisie.
 
Et pour cela tu fis engraver sur le haut
Du Louvre, une Déesse, à qui jamais ne faut
Le vent à joüe enflée au creux d’une trompete,
Et la monstras au Roy, disant qu’elle estoit faite
Expres pour figurer la force de mes vers,
Qui comme vent portoyent son nom par l’Univers.
 
Or ce bon Prince est mort, et pour faire cognoistre
Que nous avons servi tous deux un si grand maistre,
Je te donne ces vers pour eternelle foy,
Que la seule vertu m’accompagna de toy.
Although God did not make me to take up arms
And die all bloodied in the midst of alarms
Mimicking the deeds of my earliest ancestors,
Yet do I not want to remain useless:
However I can I want to leave a memorial
That I went up Parnassus to gain glory,
That my fame, unconquered by the centuries,
Should sing to my descendants that I lived
Cherished by Apollo and his beloved Muses,
Whom I have honoured more than my life in this age.
For them, I was grey-haired at thirty,
Thin, pale, defeated, shut up in the prison
Of melancholic and arthritic study,
Scowling, discourteous, gloomy, pensive and coarse,
So that in killing myself I might have gained
Some little fame for little understanding.
 
 
 
I was many times scolded by my father
Who saw I loved too much Homer’s two daughters,
And the children of those who learnedly were able
To give birth on paper to what they’d conceived;
And he would say to me, “You poor fool, you amuse yourself
With courting – in vain! – Apollo and the Muses ;
What can he give you, that fine singer Apollo,
But a lyre, a bow on a string, a murmur
Which will be lost in the wind like smoke,
Or like ash in the air burned up without gain?
What can the Muses give you, who have nothing themselves?
Perhaps around your head some thread
Of myrtle, or ivy? Or with empty attraction
Luring you all day beside a fountain,
Or in some ancient cave, so that there you can rest
Your un-calm head, and gaping compose
Some verses which, as if full of madness, will get you
Called a right fool in all company?
 
 
 
 
“Leave this cold career, which has never brought
To the fore the artisan, however skilled he is;
But rather, in that passion he calls divine,
He always dies, welcomed by pale famine.
That Homer you have so often in your hands,
Whom you paint as some sort of god in your unsound brain,
Never had a farthing; his Trojan fiddle,
And his Muse whom they say had so fair a voice,
Could not feed him, and his hunger had
To beg from door to door for the wretched pain.
 
 
“Leave this foolish study for me, you poor fool;
Haunt palaces for me, caress Bartolle for me;,
Either carry on your cackle with your golden voice
In the middle of the floor [=centre-stage?] at the expense of some poor man,
Or smoky and sweaty, with thundering lips,
Put your tongue on sale for me before some president;
In this way one can arrive at riches
And make oneself lionised by people in all places.
 
 
“Or else embrace for me that silvery learning
Of which the wise Hippocras had such experience,
The great honour of his island; though his path too
Came from Apollo, he became the heir
Of goods and honours, while to Poetry
His sister left nothing but a mildewed lyre.
 
 
“Or be not idle in learning what Nature
Can do in our bodies, all that she favours,
All that she rejects; through noble address
In helping others, you can win riches.
 
 
“Or even, if noble and bold desire
Does not, as it warms your blood, make your heart
Too afraid to undertake earthly dangers.
Take arms in your fist, go follow war,
And with a fine wound opened in your stomach
Die upon some rampart, covered in dust;
By such noble means people often become rich,
For to his soldiers a good Prince is not stingy.”
 
 
 
Reproaching me thus my father spoke to me,
Whether when the Sun leads from the waters
His chargers galloping on their arduous course,
Or when towards evening he submerges his chariot,
Or at night, when the Moon with her dark horses,
Both hollow and full, takes up the course of her labours.
 
 
 
“Oh how uncomfortable it is to force nature!
Always some spirit, or the harsh influence
Of some star, invites us to follow, despite everything,
The fate which it poured upon us at our birth.”
 
Whatever threat or prayer or courteous request
My father made me, he could not drive
Poetry from my head, and the more he reproached me,
The more the passion to write verse drove me on.
 
I was not yet twelve when, in deep valleys,
In the high forests from which men shrink,
In hidden caves entirely swathed in dread,
Without a care for anything I composed verses;
Echo replied to me, and the simple Dryads,
Fauns, Satyrs, Pans, Naiads, Oreads,
Goat-Pans who bear horns on their brows
And who in their dances leap as stags do,
And the gentle troop of fantastical Fairies
Danced around me, their skirts unfastened.
 
 
I was at first intrigued by Latin;
But seeing by trying that my cruel fate
Had not made me naturally skilful in Latin,
I made myself entirely French, preferring far to be
In my own tongue the second, or third, or first,
Than to be the last, and without honour, in Rome.
 
 
So, following my nature inclined to the Muses,
Without constraining or forcing my own fate,
I enriched our France, and made the choice to have
In serving my country more honour than wealth.
 
 
You too, L’Escot, whose name flies high as the stars,
Have a similar nature: for when you were at school
They could not compel your mind’s destiny,
So that you could always be seen with ink tracing
Some fine painting, or now doing Geometry,
Making angles, lines and points upon some sheet;
Then when you reached the end of twenty years,
Your brave spirits were not content
Till learnedly joining together with Painting
The arts of Mathematics and Architecture,
In which you have risen so high with honour
That ancient times are surpassed by you.
 
 
 
For though you are noble in manner and family,
Although since the cradle abundance has been yours
Without seeking it from outside, rich in worldly goods,
Yet have you boldly followed your nature;
And your first regents never could distract
Your heart from your instinct to oppose them.
 
 
 
 
One might as well prop up with a pole the great limbs
Of a tree which bends over, it will still tend downwards;
Nature does not wish anywhere to be compelled,
But to follow the destiny by which she is impelled.
 
 
Previously King François, a lettered man,
The first admirer of your divine spirit,
Loved you above all others; there was not in his time
Little honour in being loved by so great a personage
Who could immediately recognise vice and virtue
Whatever disguise a man was dressed in.
 
 
Henry who after him took up the sceptre of France,
Having perfect understanding of your worth,
Honoured your learning so well that that great King
Wanted to hear no other man than you,
Whether at dinner or supper, and gave you the charge
Of enriching his Louvre with a larger building,
A sumptuous work, that he might be shown to be
A most magnificent King in having encountered you.
 
I recall a day when that Prince, speaking
At table of your virtue as a thing to be wondered at,
Said that you had learned from yourself
And that beyond all others too you took the prize,
As has done my Ronsard who to Poetry
Despite all his family has set his imagination.
 
And therefore you had sculpted at the top
Of the Louvre a goddess, never short of breath,
Her cheek puffed out at the mouthpiece of a trumpet,
And showed it to the King, saying that she had been made
Expressly to symbolise the power of my verse,
Which like the wind bore his name throughout the world.
 
 
Now that good Prince is dead, and that it should be known
That both of us have served so great a master
I give you these verses as an everlasting oath
That virtue alone accompanies me from you.
 
 
In the second ‘stanza’, Homer’s two daughters are the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey. In the fourth, the advice to ‘caress Bartolle’ apparently refers to a ‘spiky’ senior lawyer (he’s referred to elsewhere as “l’espineux Bartolle”). 
 
In the 5th ‘stanza’, Marty-Laveaux’s text has “Hippocras”: hippocras is a drink, but Ronsard (or his father) here clearly means Hippocrates the Greek physician. I’m not sure whose mistake this is – I suppose Ronsard is making fun of his father for not quite getting the name right?! Blanchemain’s version has “Hippocrate” so Ronsard (or his father, or Blanchemain) obviously had got the right one at some stage… The island Hippocrates honours is Cos, where he was born. His medical learning comes from Apollo, because Aesculapius was Apollo’s son; Apollo’s sister is Minerva.
 
In ‘stanza’ 7, I enjoy his father saying ‘go and die in battle – that’s a good way to get rich’… Ronsard poking a little fun at his father again…
 
The statue placed by L’Escot on the Louvre represents Fame. Though Ronsard says that the King ‘gave you the charge / Of enriching his Louvre with a larger building’, he doesn’t say that the original work was undertaken by L’Escot’s rival, Philibert de Lorme, whom Ronsard apparently disliked (perhaps out of loyalty to L’Escot!). In  poems 2.3 he writes
 
Maintenant je ne suis ny veneur, ny maçon
Pour acquerir du bien en si basse façon,
Et si j’ay fait service autant à ma contrée
Qu’une vile truelle à trois crosses tymbrée !
 
 
                                                                         Now I am neither a hunter [ overtones of ‘venal’, arriviste’] nor a mason
                                                                         To gain riches in so base a fashion,
                                                                         And yet I have done as good service to my country
                                                                         As a vile trowel stamped with three bishoprics!
 
The last line is an allusion to the three abbeys enjoyed by Philibert de Lorme; and note that “timbré” also means ‘crack-brained’…
 
 
 

Variants

Naturally there are also plenty of variants in Blanchemain’s version. These are:
 
‘stanza’ 1
line 2, “Et pour mourir sanglant …” (‘And to die bleeding …’)
line 6, “Que les Muses jadis m’ont acquis de la gloire” (‘I want to leave a memorial / That the Muses once gained me glory’)
 
‘stanza’ 3
«  Laisse ce froid mestier qui ne pousse en avant
Celuy qui par sus tous y est le plus sçavant ;
Mais avec sa fureur qu’il appelle divine,
Tout sot se laisse errer accueilly de famine.
Homère, que tu tiens si souvent en tes mains,
Que dans ton cerveau creux comme un Dieu tu te peins,
N’eut jamais un liard ; si bien que sa vielle,
Et sa Muse qu’on dit qui eut la voix si belle,
Ne le sceurent nourrir, et falloit que sa faim
D’huis en huis mendiast le miserable pain.
 
 
                                                                         “Leave this cold career, which does not bring to the fore
                                                                          He who above all others is the most skilled;
                                                                          But rather, in that passion he calls divine,
                                                                          All those fools allow themselves to wander in error, welcomed by famine.
                                                                          That Homer you have so often in your hands,
                                                                          Whom you paint as some sort of god in your empty brain,
                                                                          Never had a farthing; so much so that his fiddle,
                                                                          And his Muse whom they say had so fair a voice,
                                                                          Could not feed him, and his hunger had
                                                                          To beg from door to door for the wretched pain.
 
Later on, the Sun’s chargers are “haletans de la penible trette” (‘panting from their arduous pulling’); and the fairies dance “à cottes agrafées” (‘their skirts pinned up’). As for Ronsard’s Latin, “Mais cognoissant, helas! que mon cruel destin … ” (‘But recognising, alas, that my cruel fate / Had not made me naturally skilful…).
 
When he arrives at the description of L’Escot’s youth, he says:
 
Toy, L’Escot, dont le nom jusques aux astres vole,
En as bien fait ainsi ; car estant à l’escole,
Jamais on ne te peut ton naturel forcer
Que tousjours avec l’encre on ne te vist tracer
Quelque belle peinture, et ja fait geomettre,
Angles, lignes et poincts sur une carte mettre ;
Puis arrivant ton âge au terme de vingt ans,
Tes esprits courageux ne furent pas contens …
 
 
                                                                          You too, L’Escot, whose name flies high as the stars,
                                                                          Have rightly done the same: for when you were at school
                                                                          They could never compel your nature,
                                                                          So that you could always be seen with ink tracing
                                                                          Some fine painting, or now doing Geometry,
                                                                          Making angles, lines and points upon some sheet;
                                                                          Then when your age arrived at the term of twenty years,
                                                                          Your brave spirits were not content …
 
and later “Toutefois si as-tu suivi ton naturel ” (‘Yet always have you followed your nature’).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

To Robert Garnier (3)

Standard
Quel son masle et hardy, quelle bouche héroique,
Et quel superbe vers enten-je icy sonner ?
Le lierre est trop bas pour ton front couronner,
Et le bouc est trop peu pour ta Muse tragique.
 
Si Bacchus retournoit au manoir Plutonique,
Il ne voudroit Eschyle au monde redonner,
Il te choisiroit seul, qui seul peux estonner
Le theatre François de ton cothurne antique.
 
Les premiers trahissoient l’infortune des Rois,
Redoublant leur malheur d’une trop basse voix :
La tienne comme foudre en la France s’écarte.
 
Heureux en bons esprits ce siecle plantureux :
Auprés toy, mon Garnier, je me sens bien-heureux,
De quoy mon petit Loir est voisin de ta Sarte.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            What sound, manly and bold, what heroic voice,
                                                                            And what proud verse do I hear ringing out here?
                                                                            The ivy is too poor to crown your brow,
                                                                            And the ram too little for your tragic Muse.
 
                                                                            If Bacchus returned to Pluto’s domain
                                                                            He would not want to give Aeschylus back to the world,
                                                                            He would choose only you, who alone can astonish
                                                                            French theatre with your antique buskin.
 
                                                                            Earlier writers betrayed the misfortune of kings,
                                                                            Redoubling their misfortunes with too poor a voice:
                                                                            Yours, like thunder, rolls forth across France.
 
                                                                            Blessed with great spirits is this bounteous age;
                                                                            Beside you, my Garnier, I feel myself fortunate
                                                                            That my little Loir neighbours your Sarte.

 

 
 
As with the previous poem, Ronsard writes here in his usual Alexandrines. They seem appropriate for a poem proclaiming the voice of thunder with which Garnier speaks, and for comparing him with Aeschylus, perhaps the most noble and high-flown of the three great Greek tragedians and the most natural compaarator (in my view) for the French grand style. (By contrast, Shakespeare is comfortable in Sophoclean or Euripidean style, though he can rise to Aeschylean heights when he wants to:  French tragedy cannot descend to the commonplace of Euripides, and rarely to the middle ground of Sophocles!)  Incidentally this is the first time one of the ancient Greek tragedians has been mentioned in a poem (as opposed to a footnote) on this blog.
 
Having said which, it is pretty obvious that the compliment is over-blown… and Ronsard’s self-deprecation in the final line doesn’t of course stop him making sure we know exactly who has written this encomium!  I imagine Ronsard with his tongue in his cheek; and I have to say I like his style here!
 
In the first stanza the ivy wreath or laurel wreath is an ancient tragic prize; the ram is a sacrifice appropriate to the gods of ancient Greece, but as Ronsard says here too small to say thank you for so great a talent as Garnier…
 
 
 
 

Sonnet 42

Standard
Il ne sera jamais, soit que je vive en terre,
Soit qu’aus enfers je sois, ou là-haut dans les cieus,
Il ne sera jamais que je n’aime trop mieus
Que myrthe ou que laurier la feuille de lierre.
 
Sus elle cette main qui tout le coeur me serre
Trassa premierement de ses doigts gracieus
Les lettres de l’amour que me portoient ses yeus,
Et son coeur qui me fait une si douce guerre.
 
Jamais si belle fueille à la rive Cumée
Ne fut par la Sibylle en lettres imprimée
Pour bailler par écrit aus hommes leur destin,
 
Comme ma Dame a paint d’une espingle poignante
Mon sort sus le lierre: é Dieu, qu’amour est fin!
Est-il rien qu’en aimant une Dame n’invente.
 
 
 
 
                                                                              It will never happen. Whether I live on earth
                                                                              Or am in hell, or up above in the heavens,
                                                                              It will never happen – I will always love, better
                                                                              Than myrtle or laurel, the leaves of the ivy.
 
                                                                              Upon them, that hand which so grips my heart
                                                                              First traced with her graceful fingers
                                                                              The letters of that love which her eyes bore me
                                                                              And her heart, which made on me such sweet warfare.
 
                                                                              Never was so beautiful a leaf on the Cumaean shores
                                                                              Imprinted with letters by the Sibyl
                                                                              To open out for men their fate in writing,
 
                                                                              As my Lady with a sharp pin painted
                                                                              My destiny on the ivy; oh God, how shrewd is love!
                                                                              Is there nothing which a Lady in love cannot contrive?!

 

 
 
 Another sonnet ‘retranchée’, this time with less reason. I find this light and charming and well up to the standards Ronsard set himself! As well as a very good classical reference – the Sibyl did after all write her prophecies on leaves – there is that very arresting and unusual beginning. One of the ‘lesser’ poems well worth knowing.
 
 
 

Sonnet 12

Standard
Je veux me souvenant de ma gentille Amie,
Boire ce soir d’autant, et pource, Corydon,
Fay remplir mes flacons, et verse à l’abandon
Du vin pour resjouir toute la compaignie.
 
Soit que m’amie ait nom ou Cassandre ou Marie,
Neuf fois je m’en vois boire aux lettres de son nom,
Et toy si de ta belle et jeune Madelon,
Belleau, l’amour te poind, je te pri’ ne l’oublie.
 
Apporte ces bouquets que tu m’avois cueillis,
Ces roses, ces oeillets, ce josmin et ces lis :
Attache une couronne à l’entour de ma teste.
 
Gaignon ce jour icy, trompon nostre trespas :
Peult estre que demain nous ne reboirons pas.
S’attendre au lendemain n’est pas chose trop preste.
 
 
 
                                                                      Thinking of my noble Beloved, I want
                                                                      To drink so much tonight; so, Corydon,
                                                                      Fill my flagons, and pour wine with abandon
                                                                      To delight the whole company.
 
                                                                      Whether my beloved is named Cassandre or Marie,
                                                                      I want to drink nine times to the letters of her name,
                                                                      And you too, Belleau – if love for your fair
                                                                      Young Maddy pricks you, I beg you don’t forget her!
 
                                                                      Bring those bouquets you’ve cut for me,
                                                                      Those roses, carnations, jasmine and lilies;
                                                                      Fix a crown around my head.
 
                                                                      Let’s seize the day, let’s cheat death:
                                                                      Perhaps tomorrow we shall not drink again.
                                                                      Waiting for tomorrow is not a smart thing.
 
 
 
Interesting that Ronsard uses Corydon as a servant’s name; it’s of course a perfectly good name in classical, pastoral poetry, but it’s usually a shepherd-lover rather than the boy bringing the drinks around.  I’m sure line 12 is a reference to Horace’s famous ‘seize the day’ (Carpe diem). And not for the first or last time in Amours II, he couples Marie’s name with Cassandre’s: elsewhere this usually is Marie accusing him of still thinking of Cassandre; yet here he gives us some evidence that it was not just her jealous nature that brought such accusations on him!
 
I’ve translated Belleau’s girl’s name as Maddy, though perhaps it could be Magda; Madelon (or Magdelon, in Blanchemain) is a pet-name, though it is believed Belleau’s girl was invented. She is Madelon in the 1555 Amours, but in Belleau’s 1560 (and 1565) edition he amends it to ‘Catelon’ (Cathy), before it changes back to ‘Madelon’ in 1572. A 1559 wedding-hymn (Chant pastoral sur les Noces de Mgr Charles duc de Lorraine et de Madame Claude) by Ronsard has the lines,
        “Belin me l’a donné, houpé tout à l’entour
         Des couleurs qu’il gaigna de Caton l’autre jour”
Assuming Belin is a pet-name for Belleau, this suggests that the real girl – if there was one – may have been Cathy not Maddy, and ‘Madelon’ may have been a disguise!   [ Info from Google Books which unfortunately won’t tell me whose work I am quoting here! ]
 
The second half of Blanchemain’s version is completely re-written; as well as a minor change in line 6 “je m’en vais boire” for “je m’en vois boire” (I’m going to drink, instead of I want to drink). Here are the final 6 lines in his edition; I have to say this is one case where as far as I’m concerned the chnages in M-L’s late version are a significant improvement, especially the last tercet…
 
 
Qu‘on m‘ombrage le chef de vigne et de lierre,
Les coudes et le col ; qu‘on enfleure la terre
De roses et de lys, de lavands et de jonc.
 
Sus ! verse dans ma coupe et boivon à notre aise.
Quoi ! n’est-ce pas bien fait ? Or sus ! commençons donc,
Et chassons loing de nous tout soin et tour malaise.
 
 
                                                                      Shade my head with vines and ivy,
                                                                      My shoulders and neck too; cover the ground in flowers,
                                                                      Roses and lilies, lavender and rushes.
 
                                                                      Up! Pour wine in my cup, let‘s drink at ease.
                                                                      What – wasn‘t it done properly? Come on! Let‘s start,
                                                                      And chase far from us all care and unease.
 
 
 

Odes 4, 20 – to Remy Belleau

Standard
Du grand Turc je n’ay souci,
Ny du grand soldan aussi;
L’or ne maistrise ma vie,
Aux roys je ne porte envie;
 
J’ay souci tant seulement
De parfumer cointement
Ma barbe, et qu’une couronne
De fleurs le chef m’environne.
Le soin de ce jour me point,
Du demain je n’en ai point.
Qui, bons Dieux! sçauroit cognoistre
Si un lendemain doit estre.
 
Vulcan, en faveur de moy,
Je te pri’, despeche-toy
De me tourner une tasse,
Qui de profondeur surpasse
Celle du vieillard Nestor;
Je ne veux qu’elle soit d’or,
Sans plus fay-la-moi de chesne,
Ou de lierre, ou de fresne.
 
Et ne m’engrave dedans
Ces grands panaches pendans,
Plastrons, morions, ny armes:
Qu’ai-je soucy des allarmes,
Des assauts ni des combas?
Aussi ne m’y grave pas
Ny le soleil ny la Lune,
Ny le jour ny la nuict brune,
Ny les astres radieux :
Eh ! quel soin ai-je des cieux,
De leurs Ours, de leur Charrette,
D’Orion ou de Boète?
 
Mais pein-moi, je te suppli,
D’une treille le repli
Non encore vendangée ;
Peins une vigne chargée
De grapes et de raisins,
Peins-y des fouleurs de vins.
[Peins-y Vénus et Cassandre,
Laisse de Bacchus espandre
Le lierre tout autour ;
Peins-y la Grâce et l’Amour,]
Le nez et la rouge trongne
D’un Silene et d’un yvrongne.
 
 
 
                                                                                                I don’t care about the Grand Turk
                                                                                                Nor the Great Sudan
                                                                                                Gold is not master in my life
                                                                                                I have no envy of kings.
 
                                                                                                In fact my only care is
                                                                                                To calmly perfume 
                                                                                                My beard, and put a crown
                                                                                                Of flowers around my head.
                                                                                                Today’s care is enough for today
                                                                                                For tomorrow I don’t care at all.
                                                                                                Who, by the gods, could even be sure
                                                                                                That tomorrow will really come?
 
                                                                                                Vulcan, while you favour me
                                                                                                I beg you hurry
                                                                                                To make me a cup
                                                                                                Which in its volume surpasses
                                                                                                That of old Nestor.
                                                                                                I want only that it be of gold
                                                                                                Without any fiddly fittings of oak
                                                                                                Or ivy or ash
 
                                                                                                Don’t engrave me within it any of
                                                                                                Those great swinging plumes,
                                                                                                Breastplates, helmets or weapons:
                                                                                                What do I care about battle’s alarms
                                                                                                Or assaults or fighting?
                                                                                                Also don’t engrave on it for me
                                                                                                Sun or Moon
                                                                                                Day or dark night
                                                                                                Nor radiant stars:
                                                                                                What do I care for the heavens
                                                                                                The Great Bear, Auriga,
                                                                                                Orion or Boötes?
 
                                                                                                Instead, paint me I beg
                                                                                                The meanders of a climbing vine
                                                                                                Not yet harvested;
                                                                                                Paint a vine heavy
                                                                                                With bunches of grapes,
                                                                                                Paint there the treading of the grapes.
                                                                                                [Paint there Venus and Cassandra,
                                                                                                Let Bacchus’s ivy spread
                                                                                                All around;
                                                                                                Paint there Grace and Love,
                                                                                                The nose and the red face
                                                                                                Of a Silenus and a drunkard.
 
 
Ronsard plays with the Homeric set-piece of describing some great object made for a hero by a god; in Homer it’s Achilles’ shield – here, it’s a large wine-cup…  Nestor’s proverbially huge cup is described in the Iliad:
 
     When that cup was full,
     another man could hardly lift it from the table
 
(translation by Ian Johnston, mala.bc.ca).    Ronsard’s poem is the immediate source of the poem ‘Upon his drinking cup’ by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (though his last line unsurprisingly goes for the crude shock word; very unlike Ronsard!).
 
                       Vulcan contrive me such a Cup,
                      As Nestor us’d of old;
                      Shew all thy skill to trim it up,
                      Damask it round with Gold.
 
                      Make it so large, that fill’d with
                      Sack, Up to the swelling brim,
                      Vast Toasts, on the delicious Lake,
                      Like Ships at Sea may swim.
 
                      Engrave no Battail on his Cheek,
                      With War, I’ve nought to do;
                      I’m none of those that took Mastrich,
                      Nor Yarmouth Leager knew.
 
                      Let it no name of Planets tell,
                      Fixt Stars, or Constellations;
                      For I am no Sir Sydrophell,
                      Nor none of his Relations.
 
                      But carve thereon a spreading Vine,
                      Then add Two lovely Boys;
                      Their Limbs in Amorous folds intwine,
                      The Type of future joys.
 
                      Cupid, and Bacchus, my Saints are,
                      May drink, and Love, still reign,
                      With Wine, I wash away my cares,
                      And then to C*** again.                                                           (text sourced from recmusic.org/lieder)
 
 
Both Ronsard and Rochester go back ultimately to Greek originals by Anacreon: Odes 17 & 18 in older editions, more recently relegated to the ‘Anacreonta’ (nos. 4-5) i.e. pseudonymous works in the style of Anacreon. Ode 17 is a far better work than ode 18; though the latter contributes a few ideas, the bulk of Ronsard & Wilmot’s ideas can be traced to ode 17.
 
 
ΕΙΣ  ΠΟΤΗΡΙΟΝ  ΑΡΓΥΡΟΥΝ
 
Τὁν ἄργυρον τορεὐσας,
Ἥφαιστέ, μοι ποιήσον,
Πανοπλίαν μὲν οὐχί ·
Τί γὰρ μάχαισι κᾀμοί ;
Ποτήριον δὲ κοίλον,
Ὅσον δύνῃ,  βάϑυνον.
Ποίει δέ μοι, κατ΄ αὐτὸ,
Μήτ̕ ἄστρα, μήϑʹ ἁμάξας͵
Μὴ στυγνὸν Ὠρίωνα·
Τί Πλειάδεσσι κᾀμοί ;
Τί δ΄ ἄστρασιν Βοὠτεω ;
Ποίησον ἀμπέλους μοι,
Καὶ  βότρυας κατ΄ αὐτὸ,
Καὶ χρυσέους πατοῦντας,
Ὁμοῦ καλῷ Λυαίῳ,
Ἔρωτα καὶ Βάϑυλλον.
 
 
                                                                                               ON A SILVER CUP
 
                                                                                              After carving the silver,
                                                                                               O Hephaestus [Vulcan], make for me
                                                                                               No suit of armour;
                                                                                               For what have I to do with battles?
                                                                                               But rather [make] a hollow bowl
                                                                                               As deep as you can.
                                                                                               And make for me , on it,
                                                                                               Not stars, not the Wagon [=Plough],
                                                                                               Not hateful Orion;
                                                                                               For what have I to do with the Pleaides?
                                                                                               Or with the stars of Boötes?
                                                                                               Make for me vines
                                                                                               And clusters of grapes on it,
                                                                                               And, treading the grapes, golden
                                                                                               Love and Bathyllus [a beautiful boy],
                                                                                               Together with fair Lyaeus [Bacchus].
 
 
Here is Ode 18, which has the same title.
 
Καλλίτεχνά, μοι τόρευσον
Ἔαρος κύπελλον ἡδύ.
Τὰ πρῶτα, τερπνὸν ἡμῖν,
Ῥόδον φέρουςαν ὥρην.
Τὸν ἄργυρον δ΄ ἁπλώσας,
Πότον ποίει μοι τερπνόν.
Τῶν τελετῶν, παραινῶ,
Μή μοι ξένον τορεύσῃς,
Μὴ φευκτὸν ἱστὀρημα.
Μᾶλλον ποίει Διὸς γόνον,
Βάκχον Εὔϊον ἡμῖν,
Μύστην νάματος· ἢ Κύπριν
Ὑμεναίοις κρατοῦσαν.
Χάρασσ’ Ἔρωτ’ ἄνοπλον,
Καὶ χαρίτας γελώσας
Ὑπ’ ἄμπελον εὐπέταλον,
Εὐβότρυον, κομῶσαν,
Σύναπτε κούρους εὐπρεπεῖς,
Ἂν μὴ Φοῖβος ἀϑύρῃ.
 
 
                                                                                               O gifted craftsman, carve for me
                                                                                               The sweet cup of Spring.
                                                                                               First, the season which brings
                                                                                               The rose, delightful to us.
                                                                                               Shaping the silver,
                                                                                               Make me a delightful drinking-cup.
                                                                                               Do not carve for me a strange
                                                                                               And shocking tale
                                                                                               Of sacrifices, please.
                                                                                               Rather, make for us the son of Zeus,
                                                                                               Bacchus Euios,
                                                                                               The priest of running wine; or Venus
                                                                                               Who has charge of weddings.
                                                                                               Engrave Cupid unarmed,
                                                                                               And the laughing Graces
                                                                                               Under a leafy vine,
                                                                                               Heavy with fine grapes;
                                                                                               And add some handsome boys,
                                                                                               If Phoebus [Apollo] is not playing there.