Sonnet VIII ‘I Live, I Die’

The original French version:

Je vis, je meurs; je me brûle et me noie,
J’ai chaud extrême en endurant froidure ;
La vie m’est trop molle et trop dure ;
J’ai grands ennuis entremêlés de joie.

Tout à coup je ris et je larmoie,
Et en plaisir maint grief tourment j’endure ;
Mon bien s’en va, et à jamais il dure ;
Tout en un coup je sèche et je verdoie.

Ainsi Amour inconstamment me mène ;
Et quand je pense avoir plus de douleur,
Sans y penser je me trouve hors de peine.

Puis, quand je crois ma joie être certaine,
Et être au haut de mon désiré heur,
Il me remet en mon premier malheur.

And in English, as translated by me:

I live, I die; I scorch myself and drown,
I touch the flames, whilst enduring ice;
Life is both limp and too unyielding;
The greatest tedium is entangled with joy.

Of a sudden, I laugh, then I whimper,
Great pleasure layered with my grief;
All that is good, leaves. He never endures.
The dry-ness of my heart is soon washed away.

Thus, inconstant Love rules me;
When, anticipating sadness, I do not think,
to find myself at ease.

And believing happiness to be my certain lot,
To have arrived at the summit of my joy,
He sends me sinking, down to the first fire.

Copyright M Hancox 7-9-2010
This entry was posted in feminism, feminist, French poetry, Louise Labe, Love poetry, Poetry, Sonnet, Translation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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