Sonnet II

Sonnet II

Ô beaux yeux bruns, ô regards détournés,
Ô chauds soupirs, ô larmes épandues,
Ô noires nuits vainement attendues,
Ô jours luisants vainement retournée!

Ô tristes plaints, ô désirs obstiné,
Ô temps perdu, ô peines dépendues,
Ô milles morts en mille rets tendues,
Ô pires maux contre moi destiné!

Ô ris, ô front, cheveux bras mains et doigts!
Ô luth plaintif, viole, archet et voix!
Tant de flambeaux pour ardre une femelle!

De toi me plains, que tant de feux portant,
En tant d’endroits d’iceux mon cœur tâtant,
N’en ai sur toi volé quelque étincelle.

In my version :

O beautiful brown eyes, O stolen glances,
O warm sighs, O blossoming tears,
O dark nights, vainly waiting,
O shimmering days, in vain re-lived!

O sad complaints, O obstinate desires,
O hours lost, O sorrows dependable,
O thousand deaths in a thousand snares,
O terrible evils ranged against me.

O laugh, O brow, hair, arms, hands and fingers!
O plaintive lute, violin, bow and voice!
So many flames, fanning the ardour of this woman!

Of you I moan, where your flames lick,
Many places, not least my heart it feels,
As if I have stolen your spark of fire.

I struggled with the final tercet of this one. The meaning of the French is multi-layered and ambiguous. However with all the talk of physical attractions in the first tercet & sparks and fires in the final one, I hope to be excused ‘lick’ in my version. I think it is a pretty sexy poem. After all she is being tomented by her desire for someone.

This entry was posted in French poetry, Louise Labe, Love poetry, Poetry, Sonnet, Translation. Bookmark the permalink.

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