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Trois poèmes de Ronsard et un de Clément Marot

Rivier (1945)

Bel aubépin...

Bel aubépin, verdissant,
Fleurissant
Le long de ce beau rivage,
Tu es vêtu jusqu'au bas
Des long bras
D'une lambruche sauvage.

Deux camps drillants de fourmis
Se sont mis
En garnison sous ta souche;
Et dans ton tronc mimangé,
Arrangé,
Les avettes ont leur couche.

Le gentil rossignolet
Novelet,
Avecque sa bien aimée,
Pour ses amours alléger
Vient loger
Tous les ans dans ta ramée.

Sur ta cime il fait son nid
Bien garni
De laine et de fine soie,
Où ses petits écloront,
Qui seront
De mes mains la douce proie.

Or vis, gentil aubépin,
Vis sans fin,
Vis sans que jamais tonnerre,
Ou la cognée, ou les vents,
Ou les temps
Te puissent ruer par terre.

Rossignol, mon mignon...

Rossignol, mon mignon, qui par cette saulaie
Vas seul de branche en branche à jamais voletant,
Et chantes à l'envie de moi qui vais chantant
Celle qu'il faut toujours que dans la bouche j'aie.
Nous soupirons tous deux; ta douce voix s'essaie
De sonner les amours d'une qui t'aime tant,
Et moi triste, je vais la beauté regrettant
Qui m'a fait dans le cœur une si aigre plaie.
Toutefois, rossignol, nous différons d'un point,
C'est que tu es aimé, et je ne le suis point,
Bien que tous deux ayons les musiques pareilles:
Car tu fléchis ta mie au doux bruit de tes sons,
Mais la mienne, qui prend à dépit mes chansons,
Pour ne les écouter, se bouche les oreilles.

Le tombeau de Ronsard

Ronsard repose ici, qui, hardi des l'enfance,
Détourna d'Helicon les muses en la France,1
Suivant le son du luth et les traits d'Apollon.
Mais peu valut sa muse encontre l'aiguillon
De la mort, qui cruelle en ce tombeau l'enserre:
Son âme soit à Dieu, son corps soit à la terre.

Pierre de Ronsard

Dedans Paris, ville jolie...

Dedans Paris, ville jolie
Un jour, passant mélancolie,
Je pris alliance nouvelle
A la plus gaie demoiselle
Qui soit d'ici en Italie.

D'honnêteté elle fut saisie,
Et crois _ selon ma fantaisie _
Qu'il n'en est guère de plus belle
Dedans Paris.

Je ne vous la nommerai mie,
Sinon que c'est ma grande amie,
Car l'alliance se fit telle,
Par un doux baiser que j'eus d'elle
Sans penser aucune infamie
Dedans Paris.


Clément Marot

1Helicon, home of the muses and one of the two summits of Parnassus, the mountain near Delphi which was consecrated to Apollo, god of poetry, music, archery, prophesy and healing art.

Three poems by Ronsard and one by Clément Marot

 

Noble hawthorn...

Noble hawthorn, becoming green,
flowering,
along this beautiful bank,
you are clothed to the ground
with the long arms
of a wild vine.

Two camps of parading ants
have established
their garrison in your stump,
and in your half-eaten trunk,
neatly arranged,
the bees have their home.

The kind little nightingale,
newly arrived,
with his sweetheart,
to ease his loves,
comes to stay
in your branches each year.

Up high he makes his nest
carefully decorated
with wool and fine silk,
where his young will hatch
who will be
the gentle prey of my hands.

Now live, kind hawthorn,
live for ever,
live so that neither thunder
nor axe, nor the winds,
nor the weather,
could ever knock you to the ground

Nightingale, my sweet one...

Nightingale, my sweet one, who in this willow wood,
go alone from branch to branch ever fluttering,
and sings, making me envious who goes singing
of her I must ever have in my mouth.
We both sigh; Your gentle voice tests itself
in proclaiming the love of one who loves you so,
and I sad, I go regretting the beauty
who has caused such a bitter wound in my heart.
However, nightingale, in one respect we differ,
it is that you are loved, and I am not,
even though we both have the same music:
for you bend your love with your gentle voice,
whereas mine, who is angered by my songs,
plugs her ears so as not to listen to them.

Ronsard's tomb

Ronsard rests here, who, bold since childhood,
diverted the muses from Helicon to France
following the sound of the lute and Apollo's arrows.
But his muse was of little value against the sting
of death which so cruelly binds him in this tomb.
May his soul belong to God, his body to the earth.


In Paris, beautiful town...

In Paris, beautiful town
one day, passing sadly through,
I struck up a new allegiance
with the most lively girl
to be found between here and Italy.

She was seized with honesty
and I believe according to my whim,
that there are hardly any more beautiful
in Paris.

I shall not tell you her name, my friend,
rather, that she is my dearest
since the bond was made such
by a gentle kiss that I had from her
without thinking any ill
in Paris.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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