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Avant qu'Amour du Chaos ocieux
Ouvrit le sein qui couvoit la lumiere,
Sans art, sans forme etoient brouillez les cieux.
Dedans mon corps, lorde et grosse matiere,
Quand l'arc d'Amour le perca par tes yeux.
Pure par lui mon essence s'est faite,
Il m'en donna la vie et le pouvoir.
Et m'emportant de son vol, fit mouvoir
Avecques lui mes pensées et mon ame.
That in the bosom of old Chaos lay,
Were in blank ruin sunk and formless night :
Did in a dull and senseless body stray,
Till from thine eyes Love's arrow pierc'd my sight.
My being to a new perfection came:
His influence my blood and spirits warm’d;
Following in thought and soul his sacred flame,
Love was my being, and my essence Love. The fifty-ninth is an imitation of Bembo. There is more elasticity and freedom in the copy than in the original. Comme un chevreuil, quand le printemps Si come suol, poi che'l verno aspro e rio, detruit
Parte e da loco alle stagion migliori, Du froid hyver la poignante gelée,
Uscir col giorno la cervetta fuori Pour mieux brouter la fueille emmiellée, Del suo dolce boschetto almo natio :
Hors de son bois avec l'aube s'enfuit : Ed or su per un colle, or lungo un rio
Or sur un mont, or dans une valée, Gir secura pascendo erbetta e fiori
Libre s'egaye où son pied le conduit: Ne teme di saetta o d'altro inganno,
Cosi senza temer futuro affanno
Le jour qu'un oeil sur l'Avril de mon age occhi
As when fresh spring apparels wood and plain,
Forth from his native lair, a tender fawn
Gin the grey east with flecker'd crimson stain;
Wherever through his roving fancy drawn,
Till to his liver a fleet arrow sped
Has pierced, and panting on the earth he lies:
Of harm unfearing, where my fancy led,
Ere the dart reach'd me from her radiant eyes. The hundred and sixty-second, to Baïf, proves his high esteem for that writer, whom we have seen so much disparaged.
Pendant, Baïf, que tu frapes au but
De la vertu, qui n'a point de seconde,
Que l'Ascrean entre les Muses but;
Charge de vins son epaule feconde,
Du Loir qui traine en la mer son tribut.
Ores me plait le secret d'un rivage,
Faire qu'Amour m'accompagnant ne vienne
Parler a moi, et moi toujours a lui. The conclusion of this is from Petrarch:
Ma pur si aspre vie e si selvagge
Cercar non sò, ch'Amor non venga sempre
Ragionando con meco, ed io con lui ; where the variety in the metre gives the Italian poet a striking advantage over Ronsard.
Baïf, who, second in our age to none,
Dost with free step to Virtue's summit mount,
Of Ascra, where the Muses met their son ;
Rich Sabut lifts his grape-empurpled mount,
Loire's wand'ring waves as ocean-ward they run.
Now linger in some nook the stream beside,
Now seek a wild wood, now a cavern dim.
Love still attends, and ever at my side
Conversing with me walks, and I with him. There is more nature and passion which contains, besides other short in the two hundred and fourteenth poems, eighty sonnets, is devoted to sonnet, which begins
the praises of his Marie, the last Quand je te voy, discourant à par toy,
thirteen being written after her
death. It is confessedly in a more than I have observed in any of the familiar style than the First Book ; others.
yet is filled with images drawn from The Second Book of his Amours, the heathen mythology.
J'aime la fleur de Mars, j'aime la belle rose,
L'une qui est sacrée a Venus la deesse,
Pour qui troublé d'esprit en paix je ne repose.
De la pluye de May, et vers le ciel se dresse :
L'autre qui pour son fils mille versets compose.
Ma jeune liberté, quand pris elle rendit
Mon coeur, que doucement un bel oeil emprisonne.
Dont ma belle Maistresse, en pliant un rameau
Le Second Livre des Amours. Son. 28.
The lovely rose that is to Venus dear,
Three birds I love ; one, moist with May-dew, goes
To dry his feathers in the sun-shine clear;
And for his child the other wails his woes :
For a proud trophy on the darksome bough,
Ne'er since releas'd, my youthful liberty:
of whose fair leaves my mistress, when I sung,
Bound with her locks a garland for my brow. In one of his odes (Book v. 0. xi.) Whether she was so or not, does he again expresses his preference for not, I think, appear; but it was full these two flowers, the rose, and the time, for he was about fifty years violet, which he calls the flower of old. There is, however, another March, and supposes to bear the short book, entitled Amours Diverses; name of his Marie. That the lark and besides this, a large gleaning of was his favourite bird, appears from sonnets and odes, many of them on a passage in his Gayetez:
the same subject, which he did not Alouette,
think worth gathering ; but which Ma doucelette mignolette,
his editors were careful enough to Qui plus qu'un rossignol me plais
pick up and store along with the Qui chante en un bocage epais.
rest. Amongst these are some which
for more reasons than one I cannot After a few sonnets and madrigals recommend to the notice of my on another lady, whom he calls reader. We will pass them, and go Astree, and of whom we are not on to his odes. told whether she was of the Queen These may be divided into two Mother's choosing or his own, we classes; some, in which he has imiproceed to his two books of sonnets tated the ancients; and others, that on Helene. These are a hundred
are the offspring of his own feelings and forty-two in number. He be- and fancy. In the former, unhapgins with swearing to her by her pily the larger number, Anacreon, brothers Castor and Pollux; by the Pindar, Callimachus, Horace, are vine that enlaced the elm; by the all laid under contribution by turns, meadows and woods, then sprouting and that with no sparing hand. It into verdure (it was the first day of was in his ability to transfuse the May); by the young Spring, eldest spirit of the old Theban into Gallic son of Nature; by the crystal that song, or as he called it, to Pindarise, rolled along the streams ; and by the that he most prided himself, and it nightingale, the miracle of birds,– was here that he most egregiously that she should be his last venture. failed.
Si dès mon enfance Ce premier jour de May, Helene je vous jure
Le premier en France Par Castor, par Pollux, vos deux freres
De telle entreprise jumeaux, Par la vigne enlassée à l'entour des or.
Je me voy prisé. meaux, Par les prez, par les bois herissez de ver
Nothing can well be more unlike dure, Par le nouveau printemps fils aisné de na
the poet, whom he boasts to have in
troduced into his own language, ture,
As for Par le crystal qui roule au giron des than this tripping measure. ruisseaux,
the music of Pindar, indeed, that Et par le rossignol miracle des oiseaux, was out of the question. _It was not Que seule vous serez ma derniere avan in the power of the French, nor
Son. 1. perhaps of any other language, to
At the beginning of the next century, there was a translation of all Pindar into French, partly in prose and partly in verse. It is not mentioned by Heyne when he is recounting the versions that have been made of that writer; nor have I seen any notice of it elsewhere. I will add the title of the book, and a specimen of it, taken from the beginning, which will be enough to satisfy any reader's curiosity :--Le Pindare Thebain.
return even a faint echo of it. But yap oletupuoü q$óvos, which Ronsard those who are acquainted with that has left indeed no longer one of the poet, know that another of his dis- dark sayings of the wise, but has tinctions consists, not only in the har- made almost ludicrous by the light diness of his metaphors, but in the in which he has placed it :no less light than firm touch with which he handles them. One in
C'est grand mal d'etre miserable,
Mais c'est grand bien d'etre envié. stance will be enough to show how
L. i. 0. x. Strophe 22. ill Ronsard has represented this characteristic of his model. Pindar,
Sometimes on Pindar's stock he speaking of a man who had not, engrafts a conceit, than which no through neglect or forgetfulness, his fruit can be more alien to the parent task to do when it ought to have tree. Thus, of a passage in the been already done, says, that “he Second Pythian, v. 125 to 130, in did not come, bringing with him Ex- which the Theban appears to inticuse, the daughter of Afterthought;" mate, as he does elsewhere more or literally, “ of the late-minded plainly, that he expects a reward for
Ronsard avails himself to "Ος ου ταν 'Επιμαθέος
patron, that he shall see how "Aγων όψινόου θυγατέρα Πρό
liberally his praises will sound, if “a
present gilds the chord,"
Trafiquant mes vers à la mode
Que le marchand baille son bien, spoil this in his application of it to Troque pour troq': toy qui es riche, the Constable Montmorency !
Toy Roy des biens, ne soit point chiche
De changer ton present au mien.
Ne te lasse point de donner,
Et tu verras comme j'accorde
L'honneur que je promets sonner,
Quand un present dore ma corde.
L. i. 0, i. Antis. 8. L. i. 0. i. Strophe 6. This is truly anti-pindaric. Another of Pindar's excellences are Of that other class of odes, which those yupat, sentences, or maxims, appear more like the overflowings of the effect of which results not more his own mind, and which have a from their appositeness than their better chance of pleasing the English compression. One of these is, that reader at least, I would point out “ Envy is better than pity,” kpécown the following :-in the first book, the
Traduction meslce de vers et de prose. Par le Sieur Lagausie. 1626. 8vo. Paris. Chez
Paroit par leurs effects contraires,
Tous ceux de ses trois freres.
Des thresors d'un superbe avare
L'esclat des autres le plus rare,
Dans les tenebres de la nuict,
De soin de descrire un coinbat
Il faut parler de l'Olympique.
Esclaire la vaste estendue
De l'air sans avoir son pareil.
seventeenth ; in the second, the ele Dieu vous gard, belles paquerettes, venth, to his preceptor Jean Dorat, Belles roses, belles fleurettes, and the eighteenth to his lacquey;
Et vous boutons jadis cognus in the third, the eighth to the Foun Du sang d'Ajax et de Narcisse : tain Bellerie, the twenty-first to
Et vous thym, anis, et melisse, Gaspar D'Auvergne, and the two
Vous soyez les bien revenus. following it; in the fourth book, ode Dieu vous gard, troupe diaprée the fourth, on the choice of his burial De papillons, qui par la prée place, together with the eighteenth Les douces herbes suçotez ; and nineteenth, which I subjoin with Et vous nouvel essain d'abeilles, a translation ; and in the fifth and Qui les fleurs jaunes et vermeilles last book, odes eleven and seven
De votre bouche baisotez: teen.
Cent mille fois je resaluë Dieu vous gard, messagers fidelles
Votre belle et douce venuë :
O que j'aime ceste saison,
Et ce doux caquet de rivages
Au prix des vents et des orages Qui de cent sortes de ramages
Qui m'enfermoient en la maison.
L. iv. 0. xviii.
Houps, cuckoos, nightingales,
Through the green woods and dales.
And ye, whom erst the gore
I welcome ye once more.
Of each sweet herblet sip;
To kiss them with your lip.
This season how I love!
Forbade my steps to rove.
L. iv, 0. xix.
Pour ses amours alleger
Tous les ans en ta ramée.
Sur ta cimc il fait son ny
De mousse et de fine soye,
Ou ses petits esclurront
De mes mains la douce proye.
Or vy; gentil aubespin,
Vy sans fin,
Vy sans que jamais tonnere,
Ou la coignée, ou les vents,
Ou les temps
Te puissent ruer par terre.