A l’aller, au parler, au flamber de tes yeux, Je sens bien, je voy bien que tu es immortelle : La race des humains en essence n’est telle : Tu es quelque Demon ou quelque Ange des cieux. Dieu pour favoriser ce monde vicieux, Te fit tomber en terre, et dessus la plus belle Et plus parfaite idée il traça la modelle De ton corps, dont il fut luy-mesmes envieux. Quand il fist ton esprit, il se pilla soy-mesme : Il print le plus beau feu du Ciel le plus supréme Pour animer ta masse, ainçois ton beau printemps. Hommes, qui la voyez de tant d’honneur pourveuë, Tandis qu’elle est çà bas, soulez-en vostre veuë. Tout ce qui est parfait ne dure pas long temps. By your walk, by the flaming of your eyes I readily feel, readily see that you are an immortal : The human race is not in essence like this; You are some demon or an angel from Heaven. To gratify this vice-plagued world, God Sent you falling to earth, and beyond the fairest And most perfect Idea he traced the form Of your body, which he himself envied. When he made your spirit, he stole it from himself ; He took the finest fire of highest Heaven To give life to your form, before your fair spring. O men who see her adorned with so much honour, While she is here below, gorge your eyes on her. Whatever is perfect does not last long. A lovely version of the ‘divine origins’ theme: embedded not just in Classical myth, but also in Platonic thought. The ‘idea’ or ‘form’ (line 7) is, to Plato, the essence of the thing of which we perceive an imperfect version here on earth. In line 4, Ronsard appears to be using ‘demon’ in contrast to ‘angel’, which is why – although Ronsard often uses the term to represent the more neutral Greek ‘daimon’ or spirit – I’ve translated it as ‘demon’ this time. The only difference in Blanchemain’s version is the gender of ‘modelle’ in line 7 – masculine rather than feminine. Though the word’s gender fluctuated, it’s far from obvious to me why Ronsard thought he needed to change it!