You are on page 1of 192

THE LIBRARY

OF
THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA
Rare Books Dept.

BEQUEST
OF
ANITA D. S. BLAKE

SOJfGS

&f

SONNZTS OF

TI8RR8 <D8 TtONSARD


gSNTLSMAN OF VS^
<DOMOIS SSL8CTSD &

BY
CURTIS HIDDEN TAG 8
WITH <LAN INTR OD UCTORT 8SSAT & ^TSS
BOSTON &r ^(SW YORK
<]S(GLISH 7ST(S8

& COMPAQ <JMCMIII

Copyright 1903 by Curtis Hidden Page

All rights reserved

TO
MASTER OF ALL WHO CHARM MEN'S EARS WITH RHYME,
RONSARD, I MARVEL STILL HOW WONDROUSLY
JOINING TRUE SENSE WITH LARGE FREE HARMONY
YOUR THOUGHT MADE WORDS ITS SLAVES, AND SOUND ITS
MIME.

BUT MORE THAN PERFECT SPEECH OR ART SUBLIME


I LOVE YOUR PASSION FOR OLD POESY,
YOUR MAD, YOUR HOLY HOPE, THAT YOU SHOULD BE
AN ORPHEUS, TO MEN BORN OUT OF DUE TIME.

AND WAVES AND WOODS AND COUNTRY-SIDE


NO MORE HAD SOULS, BLACK GLOOM ENWRAPPED ALL

SINCE SKIES

THINGS.

THE WORLD

IS

EMPTY, WITHOUT POESY.

YOU CAME, YOU SEIZED THE LYRE IN NOBLE PRIDE,


YOU GAVE NEW GLORY TO ITS SEVEN STRINGS,
AND TO THE GODS NEW IMMORTALITY.
SULLY PRUDHOMME

TOLEDO HAD A CUSTOM, LONG AGO,


THAT ERE HE CLAIMED A WORKMAN'S NAME AND RIGHT
EACH PRENTICE ARMORER FOR ONE LONG NIGHT
MUST WATCH AND TOIL IN FURNACE-SMOKE AND GLOW,
A MASTER-WORK IN STEEL TO FASHION SO,
SUPPLE AS REED, AND AS A FEATHER LIGHT.

THEN ON THE BLADE OF IT,


HE GRAVED

HIS MASTER'S

RONSARD, FOR THEE


LONG.

STILL

NAME,

HIS

WARM AND BRIGHT,


THANKS TO SHOW.

HAVE TOILED THE WHOLE NIGHT

MY HUMBLE PRENTICE HAND FOR THEE HAS SOUGHT


TO SHAPE THE SONNET, FLEXIBLE AND STRONG
EVEN AS A SWORD.

MY SOUNDING HAMMER WROUGHT

LONG THE TRUE METAL, SHINING FROM THE FLAME.


NOW ON THE BLADE I GRAVE THY GLORIOUS NAME.
FRANCOIS COPPEE

FlRST CELEBRANT OF NEW-FOUND POESY,


SINGER OF LIFE NEW-BORN IN EUROPE'S SPRING,

LOVER OF YOUTH AND LOVE, THY PASSIONING


RE-ECHOES IN MEN*S HEARTS ETERNALLY.

WEEPS THE SWIFT FATE OF EVERY BEAUTEOUS THING,


AND OH THE TEARS OF IT, THAT YOUTH MUST DIE.
!

WE TOO ARE YOUNG, RONSARD, AND PLEDGE THY NAME


TO-DAY, O POET OF ROSES, POET OF FLAME,
POET OF YOUTH ETERNAL, POET OF LOVE.

MY OWN SWIFT-DYING YOUTH TO THEE I GIVE,


TO MAKE MEN KNOW THY LIVING FAME, AND PROVE
THY FAITH

THAT YOUTH MAY

DIE,

BUT SONG MUST

LIVE.
C. H. P.

TISRRS
'Poet

of the '^Renaissance

the self-same year of this so

unhappy

defeat of our arms at Pavia," says

De

Thou

his

''

in the eighty-second

Universal History,

"

<

there

the world Pierre de Ronsard

God had

book of

came into
as

though

sought to compensate France

debasement of her fame which that battle wrought


(jacturam nominis Gallici eo praelio factam*), and for
the almost utter ruin of our fortunes which followed

for the

thereupon

(jet

interitum}, by
erable judge

we

secutum ex

illo

veluti nostrarum

the birth of so great a man.

' '

rerum

If the ven-

and grave historian could speak in this way,


at the attitude of Ronsard' s bio-

need not wonder

" Great as was the misforgrapner and disciple, Binet.


tune of this unhappy disaster," he says, "it may well
be doubted whether on that Fate-marked day there came
not to France a benefit and glory yet greater, by the
happy birth of her poet."

Ronsard was born, not, as Binet would have it, on the


at which King Francis I. was de-

very day of the battle


feated
it,

and captured by Charles V. , but within a year of


in the same year. The

and by the Old Style calendar,

1 1,
1524. He came
of France, going back at least
the reign of Philip of Valois ; and his mother's family

exact date

is

probably September

of one of the noble


to

families

was

by

allied,

various marriages, with the very greatest

of the nation, the Montpensiers, the Condes, and the


Guises themselves, branches of the royal blood. The

Chateau de
still

Poissonniere, Ronsard's birthplace,

la

the very centre of France and the

sance chateaux

not by

the smaller river

by
dome.
its

which

standing, in the heart of that Loire country

Le

home of the

is

is

Renais-

La Loire

Loir,

itself, however, but


which flows through Ven-

Like other chateaux of the region, this one has


chimney built of hewn stones, on which

great central

are carved the armorial bearings of the family


still

see there the flames

sard, for the

and roses

you may
Ron-

that represent

name, said ancient heraldry, is from Ronce,


and ardre, to burn. Though modern ety-

the briar-rose,

mology may disprove the derivation, it cannot take away


the significance. He was the poet of flame and the poet
of roses,

if ever

he was born
think

one was.

The flowers themselves, when

or so the old biography

would have us

be their poet. " The


birth," says Binet, "had like to have been
burial ; for, as he was carried to be baptized,

knew that he was come

day of his
that of his

to

field, dropped him


on
and
on flowers he fell,
But
tender
grass
unwittingly.

she that carried him, while crossing a

that received

him

the

more

softly."

Loys de Ronsard, the poet's father, was a man of


some importance, Knight of the Order of St. Michael,
and Maitre

d' Hotel to Francis I.

He was

chosen, after

two

sons to Spain

the battle of Pavia, to take the King's


as hostages,

and obtain

their father's release

and he

was employed on other missions of trust. He was something of a poet, too, at odd moments ; that is, he could
write

fair

verse in Marot's vein.

But he was a gentle-

man of

the old school, untouched

idea of the nobility of poetry

of

his take

such

sard

tells

(f

us

trifling seriously.

which

Pierre Lescot,"

by the Renaissance

and he would not

"

In the

let

Epistle to

a sort of autobiography,

is

a son

Ron-

Often myfather scolded me, and said :


Why waste thy days, poorfool, and tire

"hy

head,

Courting Apollo and the Muses nine !


What shalt thou gainfrom all thyfriends divine,

Save but a

That

lyre,

like to

a bow, a string, a song

smoke

is

quickly lost, along

The wind, and like the dust

in air

dispersed"

So the wise father admonishes, bidding him

" Leave this


Even

poor trade that ne* er advanced a man,

the most skilful

"...

nor ever even fed him, he adds


himself,

Hard)

who " had

witness your

never a red

"

Homer

(n'eut jamais un

"His Muse, whose

voice,

men say, was passing

sweet,

Could neverfeed him, and in hunger sore


He begged his wretched breadfrom door to door."

Be

a lawyer, advises the father

"

then you can

Talk allyou please, at some poor man* s expense

Or embrace

the

"

" moneyed skill " of Medicine, that


whom he gave all goods and

other daughter of Apollo to

honors, leaving her

Or

best of

quick to

all

sister

Poetry only a

be courtier and soldier

reward those

be anything save poet

who
!

serve

him

in

'

' '

musty

lyre.

for the king

is

war. In short,

But, says Ronsard

How hard it is to

change our nature

bent !

For threats or prayers or courteous argument


I could not banish versesfrom my head

My love ofsong grew more, the more he said. .


Scarce twelve years old, hid in the valleys deep,
Or farfrom men, on wooded hill-sides steep,
I wandered careless of all else but

verse,

And answering

Echo would my songs rehearse.


Fauns, Satyrs, Pans, Dryad and Oread,
About me danced, in clasped tunics clad,

And leaping &gipans with horned head,


And gentle troops offairiesfancy-bred.
It is a

ture

pretty picture of the poet-boy, for


alive

is

with comradeship

whom

all

and reminds us a

na-

little

of the boy Shelley.


No wonder he pined when he was shut up in a colAfter six months' trial,
lege, under a pedantic master.

"

which he
got no good," as he says, his father let
him come jiome ; and later took him to court and gave
him as page to the Dauphin of France. This plan
worked better, for Ronsard was a born courtier as well
in

as passionate nature-lover

soon

after,

of James of Scotland,
leine, the daughter

to

Scotland,

there,

and

France.
to travel

The Dauphin

and poet.

and Ronsard was then attached

who

to marry Madeand with him went

had come

of King Francis

spending nearly three years

six

Again

months

in

died

to the suite

England on

at

his

a page in the royal family,

with several diplomatic missions

the court

way back

to

he was sent
to

Holland,

Piedmont, to Germany, He was a


of
favorite
King Francis, and especially of his son Henry,
to Scotland again, to

xii

who was

to

' '

most
prowess, and
a match but with Ronsard on his

Thus

in fact, success at court

unfitted

be

dumb

for the life

fair to

was assured

Germany brought on

him

loved him

would never play

side.'*

the wishes of his father bade

caught in

who

be King Henry II., and

for his athletic

partial

be

when

a fever

deafness,

" who

of a courtier

fulfilled

rather than deaf," suggests Ronsard.

his career

gave up
excuse for not

happy,

it

be, to

may

have

and

should

So he

this

good

"

succeeding in life," and for listening


no more to the babble of court ambitions, but to the

"

inner voices."

Nature had taught him.


taught him.

him

Now,

The

life

of the world had

reversing the usual order, books

were

He

had acquired a taste for ancient


courts
of
France and of Scotland, where
at
the
learning
His trip to Germany
the Renaissance was in the air.

to teach

last.

had been made


noble humanist
his post

and

company of Lazare de Baif, that


who, when ambassador to Venice, left

in the

travelled over the

attend the courses of a


sard
sics,

So

was

full

Greek

mountains to Rome, to
professor there.

of the Renaissance enthusiasm

Ron-

for the clas-

knew as yet only the modern languages.


of
eighteen, who was already a travelled
boy
of the world, set himself to school again, and shut
but he

this

man

himself up in the College Coqueret to begin the work of


boys of ten or twelve. And there he worked for seven
years.
It

was no ordinary

college, this College

the heart of the old Latin Quarter.

And

Coqueret in

its

master was

in Latin and
no ordinary pedant, but a poet himself
Greek only, of course, but still no scorner of poetry in

the vulgar tongue.


it

was

called before

Here gathered
it knew itself

new

tion of stars shining in the

more pretentious name of

" the

the
for a

"Brigade,"

new

as

constella-

heavens, and took the

Pleiades.

' '

Beside Ron-

most important members of the group were

sard, the

their teacher or rather leader in learning

D'Aurat,

still their comrade ;


Jean Antoine
de Baif, the son of Lazare de Baif, who, though eight
years younger than Ronsard, could at first help him with

older, of course, but

his

Greek ; and Joachim du Bellay,

met on
of the

new

had come

whom

Ronsard had

they had talked together


dawn, had liked each other, and Du Bellay

a journey, at an inn

with Ronsard

to live

at

the college.

This

group of comrades was the very centre and hotbed


of the Renaissance in France. They set themselves with
little

passionate industry to acquiring the

D'Aurat leading them on.

When

it

new knowledge,
was time

to ap-

proach the difficulties of ^Eschylus, which hardly a man


in France had yet attacked, he called Ronsard one day

"

and read him "at

a breath

"to

as the old

give him,"
eager taste for this

" Prometheus Bound,"


" the more
biography
the

says,

new knowledge

had as yet not


' J
And Ronsard expassed the seas to come to France.
claimed, we can hear with what passionate enthusiasm,

"

My

master,

den these

my

riches

why
"

master,

from

me

that

have you so long hidGreek,

studied thus in our colleges to-day.

alas

" With

is

what

hardly
desire

and noble emulation," says Binet, "did they toil toRonsard, who had spent his youth in courts,
gether
!

being accustomed to watch late, studied until two or


three o'clock past midnight ; and then going to his bed,
woke Baif, who rose and took the candle, and did not let

the place

grow cold."

That

pictures the spirit of the

We

have
studying by relays, as it were.
another such picture in Ronsard's sonnet " To His
Valet," demanding three days of quiet to read the Iliad
Renaissance

As Sainte-Beuve says, most of the Renaissance

through.
is

in this sonnet

its

votion to the classics,

Olympian Gods,

its

devouring passion of study, its deits home-like


familiarity with the

love of revel, and

the last being strongest of


others.

study, passionate as
It

was

love of love

its

claim superseding all


all,
This sonnet shows, too, how their devotion to
it

its

was, did not shut out

in these years that

Ronsard,

"

"

life

and

love.

following the court

all noble gentlemen, some(for these students,


times returned to court) first saw his Cassandra. Nor

to Blois

Many were

did books shut out nature, or comradeship.


the excursions to

wood and

field,

and many the open-air

boon companions of the College Cothose years when they were turning by

revels, that these

queret had in
night and

by day,

' '

There

give us

are

Plei'ade

Horace recommends,

the leaves of

" Comrade
"The Praise of

Idlesse," the

"Wine

Song,"
Roses

as

" Summer's

ancient learning.

and Death," and


some conception of their comrade-spirit.

many songs like these, among the verses of the


but not in all their works, I think, is there a

single tavern-song, such as are so

common

at

most other

periods from Villon to Verlaine.

In the mean time there were serious


plans

made

plans to enrich their

own

and high
language with

talks,

a literature that should rival in splendor those

The

of old.

noblest thing about this group of scholars and

wor-

shippers of past beauty is their belief in their own language and their own new country, in which nothing had

yet been achieved.

"

A hundred and fifty years before the

Querelle des anciens et des modernes," more than


a hundred years before Racine, and
fifty years before

when modern

Shakspere

had not yet begun to be


tiful
necessarily found

its

except in Italy,
with the beau-

literatures,

mind

in love

ideal in the

completed and

When almost every


perfected literatures of the past.
scholar or man of letters who felt that he had
anything
of real importance to say, or anything worth preservation as literature to express, thought he must
put it in
Latin, and

ment of

when rhyme was

the vulgar,

it

considered a mere amuse-

took faith for these students to be-

own tongue, and


The men of the Pleiade

lieve that literature was possible in their

courage to attempt to create

had

it.

and courage, and that is their glory. They


launch their manifesto, proudly proclaiming
what can and shall be done, even before it is begun ; and
this faith

fear not to

they call it "The Defending and the Making


ous of the French Language."

Written by

Du Bellay,

expresses the ideas of the

this

"Defense

whole group,

Illustri-

et Illustration"

as

shaped chiefly

by Ronsard, who was now their recognized leader. In


fact, no better summary of its doctrines could be made
than

is

found in these few phrases of Ronsard' s in the


" Franciade : " "I counsel thee then to

Preface of the

learn diligently the

Greek and Latin languages, nay

also

and then, when thou knowest


;
these perfectly, come back like a good soldier to thine
own flag, and compose in thy mother-tongue, as did
the Italian and Spanish

Homer, Hesiod,

Aristotle, Theophrastus, Virgil, Livy,

Sallust, Lucretius,

and

a thousand others,

the same language as the

ploughmen and

who

all

spoke

servants of their

day. For it is the crime of lese-majesty, to abandon the


language of thine own country, which is alive and blossoming, and seek to dig up I know not what dead ashes

of the ancients.

...

I beseech those of you, to

Muses have granted

whom

you no more
Latinize and Grecanize (as some do, more for display
than duty) but take pity on your poor mother- tongue.
the

For

it is

their favor, that

a far greater thing to write in a language

and

that flourished! to-day

is

now

even

received of

peoples, towns, cities, and states, being alive and native


to them, and approved by kings, princes, senators, merchants, and traffickers over-seas, than to

compose

in a

language dead and mute, buried beneath the silence of


so long space
at

school

...

It

of years, which

is

learned no

more

save

whip and the reading of books.


like a good citizen of thine own

the master's

by
were

country, to

better,

toil at

a lexicon of the old

words of Arthur,

Lancelot, and Gawain, or a learned

Romaunt of the Rose.


fore

Roman

senators.

other springeth from

of Fate and the

it

alive,

commentary of the
For we speak no more be-

One

language dies and aneven as it pleases the decree

command of God, who

He is
that He

mortal things to be eternal as

will not suffer

and

to

whom

both give thee His


Grace, and the Desire to enrich the language of thine

humbly pray,

own

gentle reader,

country."

These

are the chief ideas

of the

"

Defense

"
;

it

bids

"bury himself" in the best authors,


" devour them, digest them,
chiefly the Greek, and
make them bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh."
the poet

first

to

Then, choosing
native speech, let

national subjects,

him produce
xvii

and using

his

as the ancients did,

own
and

as the Italians

upon

that

new

have done,

poetry to the glory of

"

Up, then, Frenchmen march boldly


haughty Roman city and with its spoil adorn

his nation.

Invade mendacious
your own temples and altars.
Greece
and sack the sacred treasures of the Del.

phic temple
false oracles,

Du

Fear no more the mute Apollo, nor his


" You can see
his blunted arrows

nor

Bellay stand, like the Herald-at-Arms in a Renais-

sance painting, and hear

him

call in

new army

trumpet-tone to

all,

Defending and
Glorious
of
and
France
the
French
Making
tongue.
The " Defense " appeared in i 549, and marks the

that they rally to this

beginning of modern French


out the program, there

came

the works of the school.

"Odes,"
in

1550

containing
his

all

for the

literature.

Then, carrying

quickly, one

Ronsard's

first

upon another,
four books of

the "Pindaric" odes, appeared

"Amours," and

fifth

book of odes

in

560 there were six other editions of the


"Amours, "each enlarged, and three of the Odes, beside
1552. Before

no
the

less

than twenty
book of the

first

poems

like the

new poems

or collections, including

"Hymns"

(extended mythological

"Homeric Hymns," and

also allegori-

and philosophical poems) in 1555, and the second


book in 1556. A collected edition of his works was
cal

published in 1560, and included for the first time the


" Poems," the sixth and seventh
first five books of the

of which appeared in 1569. In 1562 and 1563 came


" and the "Remonstrance au
the "Discours
Peuple de

France," in 1564 the "Epistles," in 1565 the "Ele" and the " Art of
gies
Poetry," and in 1 572 the first
four books of his epic, the

No

other poet

"

Franciade."

made any such broad attempt


xviii

as

is

mod-

represented in this mass of work, to reproduce in a

ern vulgar tongue

Ronsard

the forms of the classic literatures.

tried to create for France, in

the Eclogue, the


Pindaric

all

Ode

creontic, the

in

all its

French, the Elegy,

the Horatian

"Hymn,"

sweep and

Ode, the

great

fulness, the light

Ana-

Epigram, the Inscription, the Idyl, the


If he omitted one of the great

higher Satire, the Epic.


forms, the drama

and he did not omit

it

entirely, for

days of writing he made an adaptation of


the "Ploutos" of Aristophanes which was played at the

in his earliest

College Coqueret, and was the first French comedy


was because some of his disciples, notably Jodelle, were

it

working under him in that field, leaving him the higher


and harder forms (as they were then considered) of the
Perhaps, too, it was because
of the "Ploutos" he had recognized

Pindaric ode and the epic.


in that early attempt

that the

drama, being subject

to material conditions

from

which the other forms of poetry are free, could not yet
exist in France. It was a question not of writing dramas,
but of creating the theatre

more

to

do

this.

In

and

it

took nearly a century

the other forms of poetry, from

all

the lightest to the highest, his attempt

was notable

the few in which his achievement was

less so

the exception of the epic, forms in

and

were, with

which no modern

poet has achieved success.

On

this side, then,

side

new

he

And

is

the representative poet of

most important
not the digging up of a dead past, but the birth of
world and a new art from the buried old. The

the Renaissance.

this is really its

true significance of the Renaissance

ing of the word,

which

As Goethe symbolizes it

is

lies in

the true

mean-

not resurrection but re-birth.

in the child

of Faust and Helen,

the Renaissance had the mediaeval for


classical for its

mother, but

a resurrection of either,

new

and was a

birth, a

it

new

it

was not

was the
age, a

its

and the

father

a reproduction or

offspring of both,

new art

the begin-

ning of the modern, even more than the revival of the


ancient. Ronsard loved the mediaeval, while so many
smaller

men

of the Renaissance despised it ; he knew the


"Roman de la Rose" in both its parts,

old romances, the

and the
above

lyric poets

the

all

and Rome,

He knew

down

Marot ; but he worshipped

to

newly discovered

as

any true

man

treasures

of old Greece

of the Renaissance must.

not only the Latin writers but the Greek


he learned Greek before he did Latin ;

directly, in fact,

and he knew not only the easier Greek authors but the
more difficult, and attached himself by preference, at
during the earlier part of his work, to the three most
of all, ^Eschylus, Aristophanes, and in chief
Pindar, rivalling the most enthusiastic humanists in the

least

difficult

Thus he

passion of his scholarship.

represents the

Re-

double origin. He represents it, too, in


the freshness and richness of its young life in Europe's
naissance in

its

Spring-time

in

its

intensity

ization of life's bitter briefness

of

life,

in

and

its

tense real-

its

passionate worship
of Poetry and Beauty ; and in its strange sincere mingling
of Pagan thought and emotion and conduct with Christian belief.

But

modern tongue
have

all

it

is

by

the attempt to create in his

a complete

new

literature, that

the glories of the old literatures in

forms and aspects, that he represents

it

best,

should

all

and

their
is

its

poet.

He

was

so recognized at once. Coming at the very


of
the
Renaissance movement and in the central
height

was hailed by all Europe as its


its "Prince of Poets."
and
The slight op"Apollo"
which
the
court
of
older
the
schools could
position
poets
nation of Europe, he

make
and

was quickly swept away before him ;


one work succeeded another, the success was

to his success

as

transformed into a triumph.

He

was the

friend of six successive kings of France,

favorite

and

from Francis

I.,

Renaissance king, to Henry IV., whose birth and


marriage he celebrated, and whose accession he looked
the

first

and longed for, as the only hope of peace for


Queens and princesses the most powerful and

forward

to

France.
beautiful

tronesses

of their time vied with each other to be his pafrom Catherine of the Medici to Elizabeth of
:

England, who once sent him a great diamond in token


of her esteem ; from Marguerite of Savoy, the daughter
of King Francis (not that other Marguerite, King Fran-

who was

Marot's friend)

cis'

sister,

that

was sweet and pure and noble

the type of

in the

women

all

of the

sixteenth century, in short, of perfect goodness, united


in rare

was

his

combination with brilliance and beauty,

champion

lifelong friend
star

of

at court in the early


quarrels,

to

Mary, Queen of

his inspiration in

who

and

his

Scots, the bright

her brief reign as

Queen of

France, the subject of many of his most beautiful poems


and of one of his noblest sonnets, to whom in her captivity his

volumes were dedicated,

who

sent

him out of her

poverty rich gifts inscribed "To Ronsard, the Apollo


of the Muses' fountain," and who said of him on her

day of life (at least so our own poet Swinburne


makes her say, and there is no reason why we should
last

disbelieve

him)

xxi

" Ah how

sweet

Sang

the world about those stars that sang


Ronsard for the strong mid star of all,

all

With

His bay-bound head

Who

sang

my

birth

all

and

glorious with grey hairs,


3'

bridal.

The

Kings and Princes of the realm of poetry recognized

him

likewise as their chief, from his followers

Garnier, and the

lay, Jodelle,

Saint-Gelais
in

scholars lauded

Greek, and in the

lesser

rest, to

him

Marthe, called him

'

him the

submitting to

Delivered.
that

"in

he hardly

' '

like

and

own

languages, from his

One,

Saint-

the prodigy of nature and the

came and
first

sat at his feet to learn,

cantos of the "Jerusalem

And Montaigne

the parts of his


fell

Bel-

in Latin verse,

master D'Aurat to those of distant nations.

miracle of art." Tasso

Du

his rivals

one of his Essays,

said in

work

in

which he excelled,

short of the perfection of the ancients."

There was no higher

of the Renais-

praise that a poet

sance could receive.

Yet

all this

did not spoil him.

That he had always been.

It

He

even believed himself the chief of

and country
that he was the

all

in his race.

He

poets of his time

He

believed, too,

to give to his country

something that

as in truth
first

was proud indeed.

was born

he was.

could be called poetry by those who knew also the literatures of the past and of Italy ; he boasted that he first
' '
" and "
''
in France. He held
Pindarized
Petrarquized
himself aloof from the

"common crowd,"

like

and boasted the consecration of the Muse's


thought himself a poet, in short
in this

world there

is

and he thought

no higher thing than


xxii

Horace,

kiss.

to

He
that

be a true

But

poet.

just

because he

to be a true poet,

poets of the past,

times that

among

knew how high

a thing

the poets of

all

time he was one of the

and one most dependent upon others.

least,

is

it

and because he truly knew the great


he was humble too. He felt some-

He made

called himself but a half-poet.

his

He

even

Franciade

kneel before the ^Eneid and Iliad, and worship them


as

it

Then,

ought.

was another saving grace

too, there

proud and contradictory and charming personalThe favorite of courts was a recluse ; the singer

in his
ity.

of princes was a lover of nature (how different in


from all the courtier-poets of two following centuries

this
!)

and the owner of abbeys and chateaux (for material


success had come too) was a gardener
he must cultivate his roses, yes,

and

his cabbages,

with his

own

hands; and he must wander alone through his woods


and on his hill-sides, communing with a book created by
one "greater than he," or with Nature herself, "created by

One

greater still."

was always sure, in his pride


he had given to France a literature new and greater than she had had before
which
was true ; and that therefore his name and fame could

Only of one

or his humility

thing he

that

and no poet's hope of continuous immor-

never die

so' completely
disappointed. The story
of Ronsard's reputation is perhaps the most dramatic
contrast in all the history of literary fame and oblivion.

tality

was ever

There were many splendid


1623, and a poor one
years, silence

in

editions of his works,

1629;

not an edition

then, for

till

two hundred

not even a volume of

extracts.

Why

Because Malherbe had come, and im-

new ideals upon literature. There was to be no


more freedom, no more nature, no more freshness of
life, but only perfect regularity of form, and wonderful
posed

and picturing of human emotions such as they


might appear in the dress of court and town. Symmetry
was substituted for harmony in the structure of verse,
analysis

eloquence was substituted for lyrism in its substance. A


noble eloquence indeed it -was
not merely rhetorical,
as

it

often seems to the

narrow Anglo-Saxon

taste, in-

and
capable of appreciating French classic literature
it produced high and beautiful and
work.
truly poetic
But it struck dumb all singing ; and the silence lasted till
Chenier and Lamartine, Berenger, Musset, and Victor

Hugo. Malherbe one day took a copy of Ronsard, and


crossed out the lines which struck him as the worst. Another day he crossed out the few that were left. Balzac
the Balzac of the seventeenth century, Balzac the

not Balzac the great

little,

in

one of those carefully

polished "Letters'* that delighted the Hotel de Ram" Monsieur de


bouillet, wrote to Chapelain the prosy :

Malherbe, and Monsieur de Grasse, and yourself, must


little
poets, if Ronsard be a great one "... and

be very

knew

not

judge of

true he spoke
When Boileau, the final
such matters, came, the question of Ron-

how

all

was long since settled and forgotten. In


of
French poetry he condemned Ronsard
history
without a hearing, as one who "in French talked nosard'

place

his

Greek and Latin" (poor Ronsard the champion and almost the creator of the French poetic lanthing but

guage

),

and dismissed him contemptuously

poet fallen

from so high."

proud
even the name was almost forgotten.

From

as

"that

Boileau on,

Then

two

after

centuries

came

the rehabilitation

of Ronsard's fame, in that

or the resurrection

Renaissance of poetry which

made

new

glad the early years

of the nineteenth century. Sainte-Beuve published in


1827 his "Survey of French Poetry in the Sixteenth

Century," and supplemented it in the following year


with a volume of selections from Ronsard. The old edi-

were exhumed from the dust of libraries. Finally

tions

new complete edition was undertaken in


Blanchemain, and finished
almost

all

homage

to

already contributed his.


all

1867.

857

To

its

by Prosper
last volume

the younger poets of importance contributed

in verse their

tion of

in

Ronsard,

More

as

Sainte-Beuve had

recently a complete edi-

the poets of the Pleiade has been published,

under the editorship of Marty-Laveaux. There are also


books of selections. In short, the poetry and the

many

fame of Ronsard and the Pleiade are

Of course

not

all

now

alive again.

of Ronsard's work has been restored

" No man," said Voltaire, looking ruefully


" can take the long journey to posencumbered with all that baggage." No poet,

to real

life.

at his fifty

terity

volumes,

except the very greatest, can carry more than one substantial tome on that
long journey. In Ronsard's work
there

is

enough

that deserves to survive to

sized volume.

It

that

is

a failure

would

include, not

make one

any of

fair-

his epic

probably none of the eclogues

they

are of the artificial pastoral


type, full of contemporary
interest because

they usually present noble or famous

own day disguised as shepherds and


and
shepherdesses,
possessing touches, but too rare, of
genuine nature-poetry ; possibly none of the Pindaric
personages of his

odes, though

it is

hard to give

this verdict

we

should

surely include, for instance, if

it

were only one tenth

its

on the Progress of Poetry which


day, and which deserves, for the

length, that noble ode

was

famous in

so

its

scholar's reading, to

be placed beside or even above

but it is " too heavy


Gray's ode on the same subject
for
and
none
of
the "Discours,"
;
baggage"
posterity
alas
great as are their interest and their power, noble
!

and their appeal for peace and unity


they were creatures of the time and died with it, but
they set the standard of satire and of national poetry in
as are their patriotism

France; but some of the

and

them he

in

and of love

"On

elegies, yes, for

they are briefer,

and sincere poet of Nature


some few pf the "Hymns," like that
a true

is

Death," which Chastelard, Brantome

carried to the scaffold for breviary, taking

tells us,

Ronsard

as

" Poems; "

a very few of the longer


; and
but most of all, his lyrics and sonnets and

lighter odes

not the greatest of his work, but the

only father-confessor

his

most

beautiful,

and the most portable on that "long

journey."

The

sonnets stand halfway between Petrarch and

Shakspere, and are almost as anticipatory of the later poet


as they are reminiscent of the earlier. Ronsard is one of

few masters of the sonnet.

It is probably safe to say


with more variety of effect than any other
poet, and yet without seeming to force its character. He

the

that

he uses

makes

it

it

descriptive, epigrammatic,

elegiac, idyllic, dramatic

epic, philosophic,

he even makes

it

purely lyr-

ical.

Brunetiere, a critic not given to superlatives nor

wont

to praise, says

nets than those of

but can

it

" I know of no more beautiful sonThe statement surprises,

Ronsard."

be refuted ?

Grander there

are, in

Milton and

Wordsworth; nobler, perhaps, from Dante to Petrarch;


more wonderful in perfection of form and in power of

among Heredia's; but

condensation or suggestiveness,

more

beautiful,

no

though

the best of Ronsard's


in his brief

life,

we may perhaps

put with
Keats, once

some few of Keats'.

made

a translation

and

it

was from

sonnet of Ronsard's.

Then

there are the lyrics

the cutting pathos of the

and

life,

or the light

Greek

lyrics that

have almost

regrets for fleeting

youth
of Herrick, or even

sincerity

snatches of that peculiar grace and haunting naturalness

of exquisite melody which give to our early Elizabethans


the sweetest note in all the gamut of song. Ronsard's
mastery of form, in an almost unformed language, is
He was the first creator of more than a

marvellous.

hundred

the most prolific in-

different lyric stanzas

ventor of rhythms, perhaps, in the history of poetry.

He

ranges from the great ten-line stanza, a favorite of Vic"


tor Hugo's, to the so-called " Hawthorn-tree
metre,

which,

difficult as it

apparently

is

with

its

quick-return-

ing rhymes that dart in and out like squirrels at play and
respond to each other like answering bird-notes, never

"

even in a long poem like the "Spring Love-Song


seems for a moment, as Ronsard uses it, to interrupt or
or turn aside the

hamper

The

movement of

the thought.

three great lyric themes, nature, and love, and

death, are never long absent from his work, and usually

they are interwoven with each other in it. He is more


a poet of nature than any other French poet save Lamartine.

Unlike Lamartine, he seeks

refuge from

life,

Wordsworth, he

but a living
is

not so

much

in nature not a

comradeship.

Unlike

the observer and inter-

preter of nature as

him, even

alive to

as

All nature

passionate lover.

its

was

it

to the Greeks,

and

as

it

is

has

been to no other modern except, at moments, to Shelley. His nature-mythology is less of the mind, like that of

most moderns, or even of the imagination, like Shelley's,


than of the heart. His love-poetry in particular is per-

meated with nearness

Of love

human

simplest

and the

and her

Love

which he

" Love's

all its

spirit.

phases, from the

passion to the philosophic love of Dante

Platonists, the shaping

and of man's

"

to nature

Ronsard has sung in

power of the

universe

soul, the

that

moves the sun and the other

stars,"

celebrates, without quite believing in

"

Quickening

pression of love, with

and other sonnets.

" burnings "

all its

ings," sometimes seem insincere,

it is

to

it,

in

If his ex-

and

" freez-

be remembered

he was speaking the dialect of his time, a dialect


that to us seems artificial, and to a certain extent, but
that

than

far less

we

that

think,

was

so.

and

Every age

that has a

we

can hardly assert


have a nobler one than that of the Renaissance.

character has

we

its

dialect

Often, too, Ronsard speaks the universal language, which


But even the touches of artifiis absolute simplicity.

grow to seem sincere, and only add to the charm


of these old-world loves of the golden Renaissance :
the love of Cassandra, his boyhood's adoration, whom

ciality

he

saw

first

Nymph

in the glorious beauty

of the

of her girlhood

as the

meadow of Blois,

Walking among the flowers, herself a flower,


a

little

lady of the court, but simply clad, and wanderCassandre Salwith wind-blown golden hair

ing free

viati du Pre she was, and in her veins ran blood that was
born of Beatrice's and of Laura's nation, and was to be

transmitted through succeeding generations

till it

flow-

ered again in the greatest passion-poet of France, Alfred


de Musset ; and the love of Marie, the simple country

of Anjou, the passion of his ardent youth ; and last of


Helen, the Lady Helen of Surgeres, whom the Queen-

girl

mother bade him celebrate, and whom he grew to love


with the complete love of the mature man and poet, and
with something of the bitter intensity of premature old
a love that with the advancing years grew into
age

" Dear

friendship.

dead

women,"

they live

still

in his

verse.

As

the years,

whose

he would so

flight

stayed, passed by, his characteristic

Rose-buds

"

There came

little

by

little

theme of

fain

"

have

Gather

disappeared from his work.

acceptance of life, and


completion of life, that are classic in their
simplicity and strength. This theme too, which found

of death

in its stead a
quiet

as the

"

"

Life- Philosophy
expression in many poems like
and " Transit Mundus," became characteristic of Ron-

its

sard
is

and

his treatment

the rarer in

modern

of it

Finally, the noblest of


itself.

Poetry
the most.

the others.

This

It is

is

is

all

his

is

to

him with each one of

Love

true consecration in song.

itself is to

ing poetry

that

it

it

him always the home of the


him the impulse to sing, and

Muses.

death brings with

valuable as

poems are those on


which he cared

finds

its

more

the theme for

intertwined for

Nature

the

literature.

The

thought of

always the thought of fame in liv-

is its

one sure immortality.

justification, its consolation, the

All else

may

die

kings,

em-

pires,

and the unsung fame of noble deeds


in one of his Pindaric odes

Ronsard

but, says

True poetryforever

/arts,

Obdurate 'gainst the years.

The men

of the Pleiade introduced into France a

" Surely

conception of poetry.

too easy, and worthy of

all

't

would be

new

a thing but

contempt, to win eternal

fame, "says DuBellay in the "Defense," "if mere natural facility, granted even to the unlearned, might suffice

work worthy of immortality. Nay


he
fly abroad upon the lips of men, must long
fast in his chamber ; he that would live in the

to create a
that

would

abide shut

memory of posterity,
labor

and

must, as though dead unto himself,


sweat and tremble ; and even as our court

oft

poets do drink, eat, and sleep at their ease, so

much must

he endure hunger and thirst and long watchings." Still


" Above all things,"
nobler are the words of Ronsard
:

he says in

Muses
tion.

"

his

Art of Poetry,"

in reverence, yea truly in

Thou

shalt

"

thou shalt have the

most especial venera-

never make them serve low ends, but

them dear and holy, as being the daughters of


that is to say of God, who through them by His

shalt hold

Jupiter,

sacred grace

first

made known

excellence of His majesty.


will dwell in no heart save
ous, thou must be

generous,

true

first

in

into thy thoughts that

Above

all

let all

beautiful."

Almost

all

is

to ignorant peoples the


.

And

since the

Muses

be true, holy, and virtugood, then open-hearted and


it

spirit,

letting

no thing enter

not super-human and divine.

thine imaginings be high, noble, and

poets have worshipped Poetry and the

Muses with

and fervent self-devotion. There

living faith

have been exceptions, like Lamartine and Byron, even


among the great ; and they have been the lesser poets for
it.

But hardly one has worshipped and believed with

the fervor of Ronsard.

It

is

a consecration to live in his

atmosphere of high devotion to poetry


serve him, and try to spread a

he cared so much
age

is

a duty.

leaf of the rose


shall

and

For

this

may

be ever green.

little

to give

was

him honor

fall,

it

is

a joy to

which

in each

new

though the
the leaf of the laurel

his faith

fade and

the fame for

that

TH8
YOUTH, LOVE, AND POESIE
True Gift

Page

Love's Conquering

One

only

Aim and Thought

Lovers Charming

and a Plea

Lovers Perfect Power

Picture

Even

unto Death

Lowe's Wounding

10

Love's Submission

Cassandra's Prophecy

i*

Love"* s Attributes

-13

14

Proper Roundelay

Love-Joy, Love-Sorrow

16

Love's Comparings

17

The Ways of Love

18

Madrigal

To /^ 5^j

20

f(

Love me, love me

a2

not''''

xxxiii

The Mourning Do<ve

23

Love's Quickening

24

Low's Healing
Love

the Teacher

25

and

Inspirer

26

In Absence

27

Lovers Solicitude

28

Absence in Spring

29

The Thought of Death

30

Remembered
The

Scenes

31

Muses'" Comforting

The Poefs

32

Gift

33

LIFE, JOT,

AND SONG

To His Valet
Summer' s Revel
To

the

37
.

38

Hawthorn-tree

40

Nenv April

42

The Courtier's Return

44

arise!**

45

Spring Love-Song

46

Gather Rose-Buds

"Marie,

Carpe Diem

52

Lovers Lesson

54

To M* %/ryf
*/

55

Death

59
xxxiv

Nature's Drinking-Song

61

Comrade Song

62

The Praise of Roses

64

THE ROSE OF LOVE


" Sweet-heart,

come

Rose"

see if the

Life's Roses

69

70

Lovers Token

71

Messenger Nightingale

72

Helen" s Beauty

74

Kisses

#7^
11

and Death

75

Flowers

If this be

76

Love"

77

Love's Accounting

78

Lovers Recording

79

Love* s Flower

80

/fcr Immortality

81

,
'

SCWG,

^tfZ)

DEATH

Twixt Love and Death

To Mary Stuart, Queen of France


Regret, for

7fo
/or

Mary

Stuarfs Departure

z;* Subject

Mary

85

86

Counsel for Kings

Stuart, in Captivity

87
88
89

92

In

To

Dear Vendbme
the

93

Woodsman of Gastine

97

The Power of Song

100

The

IOI

Poet's Titles

Laurets Worth

102

Life-Philosophy

I0 4

The Happy Life

106

Farewell

108

to

Lo<ve

On Death
Transit

109

Mundus

112

Permanet Gloria
Ronsard"*

10

Tomb

xxxvi

TOUTH, LOVS, ^AND TO SSI8

TR US giFT
yt
^^

a young maiden, in the morning air


Of Spring-time, when the year with youth

is

thrilled,

the garden freshly


goes seeding through
and lilies to adorn her hair,

tilled

T^oses

But finding

not by any roses rare

new-made garden filled,


Takes simple ivy, and with fingers skilled
Tresses a wreath to crown and make her fair,
^(or other flowers the

So

who

^or

any flowers whose worth

in

my orchard find no

roses

is

worthy you,
Tinks, lavender, pansies, nor marigold

Bring you
In hope

this bit
its

of verse, love-twined and true,


worth may hold

simpleness more

Than heaped-up flowers


poses.

no thoughtful care dis-

LOVPS
TF '/ please you see how Love's might overcame,
A How He attacked and how He
conquered me,
How my heart burns andfreezesfor His glee,
How He doth make His Honor of my Shame
;

If* t please you

What

see

brings

my youth running

it

nought but pain

Then come and read, and know

to

claim

and contumely,
the agony

Of which my Goddess and my God make game.


Then you

shall

know that Love

is

reasonless,

sweet deceit, a dear imprisonment,


empty hope that feeds us with the wind.

Then you

shall

know how great man' sfoolishness

<LSfnd his delusion are,

To

choose

when

he

*s

content

a childfor lord; for guide, the

blind.

ONS ONL T <^A1M ^AND


"IT THEN Nature formed Cassandra, who

should

move

The hardest hearts with love's soft passioning*,


She made her of a thousand beauteous things
That

she

had hoarded like a treasure-trove

For centuries. <^And Love


<iSfll

He was

Ofgentle,
Of her fair eyes,
to

too

interwove

dearly nesting neath

make honey-sweet

His wings

the stings

that even the Gods must love.

nd when from Heaven she was newly come


<^Andfirst I saw her, my poor heart, struck dumb,

Was

lost

in love

So poured her

charm

and love, her

into

That now I have


e

]S(oj aim or

my

minister,

very veins

no pleasure but

my pains,

knowledge but the thought of her.

LOVS'S
"JV/T

CHARMINg

AID offifteen, in childlike


beauty dight,
Fair head with crinkled
ringlets goldentressed,

T^ose-petalled forehead, cheeks like amethyst,


Laughter that lifts the soul to Heaven's delight

nd neck

snow, and throat than milk more

like

white,

^/fnd heart full-blossomed neath a budding


breast

Beauty divine in human form expressed,

nd virtue worthy of that

beauty bright

n eye whose light can change the


night
dx^T gentle

Tet holds

Withal a

hand that

my

life

voice that

smooths

caught in

's

its

ever fain

Still stopped by smiles, or

away my

to

day,

care,

fingers' snare

to sing,

sweet sighs languish-

ing

These are the

spells

that charmed my wits away.

TICTUR S
bead a

QOMETIMES, your

little

downward

bent,

I see you play at gossip with your thought,


Sitting apart, alone, as though you sought

To shun

Then

the

oft

world and

live in banishment.

I would approach,

To greet you

but

my

in dear intent

voice, straightway dis-

traught

With panic fear, behind my lips is caught,


<^/fnd silence leaves me standing shamed and shent.
<JA4ine eyes do fear to meet the beams of thine,
soul doth tremble neath those rays divine,
(or tongue nor voice

Only my

sighs, only

do their

my

can

to its

function move.

tear-stained face

in their place,
office, speaking
bear sufficing witness of my love.

LOFS'S TET^FECT

OUN of my earthly worship, I declare

She equals him in Heaven ! He with his eye


makes warm, makes light the

<*J\4akes glad,

spacious sky

She gladdens earth with beauty yet more rare.

and art,

The

and air,
and the Gods on high

earth, water, fire,

stars, the Graces,

Combine in rivalry

to

beautify

<z^My Lady, and to make her wondrous fair.

Thrice happy were

Walled

I,

had not

Fate's disdain

with adamantine magnet-stone


So chaste a heart behind so fair a face !
in

happiest,

had I not filled every vein

With fire and ice

because

love beats, burns,

my

heart

and freezes

is

gone

in its place.

EVEN

UO <DEATH

o think one thought a hundred hundred ways,


^N^eath two loved eyes to lay your heart quite
bare,

To drink

the bitter liquor of despair

nd eat forever
In spirit

To

and flesh

ashes of

to

lost

days

know youth's bloom

decays,

of pain, yet swear no pain is there,


The more you sue, to move the less your fair,
die

Tet make her wish, the law your

life obeys

<^Anger that passes, faith that cannot move ;


Far dearer than yourself your foe to love ;

To build a thousand vain imaginings,


To

long

to

plead, yet fear

to

voice

a breath,

In ruin of all hope to hope all things


love even
These are the signs of love

to

death.

LO7FS WOUND IN ff
s

the young stag,

when

O'er Winter

biting cold at last prevails,

lusty

Spring supreme

honeyed leafage seeks new trails


leaves his dear retreat at dawn's
first gleam

"To crop the

secure, afar (as he

From bay of hounds,

may deem)

or hunters' echoing hails,

on the mountain-slopes,
by the waters

now

in the vales,

of a secret stream,

He wantons freely, at

his

own sweet

will,

Knowing no fear of net or bow, until,


Tierced with one dart, he lies dead in his pride
Even
In

so

my

I wandered, with no thought of woe y


life's

April

when

one quick-drawn

'Plant ed a thousand arrows in

10

my

side.

bow

LOVPS SUBMISSION

WHAT

though

it

please you light

my heart with

fire

(Heart that

is

yours, your subject, your domain),

With fire of Furies, not with Love's sweet pain,


"To waste me body and bone till
!
life expire
The
Is

ill

that others deem

sweet

to

me

For I love not my


Save as

to love it

too

I will
life,

cruel-dire

not once complain,

nor hold

it

fain

pleases your desire.

But yet, if Heaven hath made me, Lady mine,


To be your victim, may it not suffice
To lay my loyal service at your shrine ?
'

Twere better you should have my service


Than horror of a human sacrifice
Stricken

and

meet

bleeding at your beauty's feet.

'S

TROPHSCT

j's
frost shall touch thy temples in the morn,
Sre evening comes thy day shall ended be,
Cheated of hope thy thoughts shall die with thee,
<

2^ear ways shall lead thee

"

Thy

songs, that

move me

Ofyouth's fresh bloom

to

thy farthest bourn.

not, shall

wither, shorn

and when for

love

of me

Thy death has proved my fated mastery,


^Posterity shall

"

laugh thy sighs

to scorn.

Thy fame shall be a by-word in the land,


Thy work prove built on quickly-shifting sand,
Thy pictures vainly painted in the skies"

Nymph I dote upon ;


When Heaven for witness to her malison

So prophesied the

With

lightning from the right struck blind mine


eyes.

LOSS'S
rules the fields

of grain,
Gods
the wood;
Cjoat-foot
Phoebus gives the laurel-vine^
'Pallas the olives good^

Chloris guards the tender grass in

bud ;

To Cybef s

reign
Belongs the fair lone pine.

sweet fruits that orchards bear

Own

'Pomona

power y

sweet sounds that stir the grove


the Zephyrs'

'Nymphs

rule the waves,

But

tears

dower ;

and Flora

and care

consecrate to Love.

every flower

TROTER
OEE thou, my joy, my care,
^ How many a wondrous thing
In

me

Through

thou art perfecting


beauties beyond co?npare

So utterly thine'eyes,

Thy laughter and thy grace,


Thy brow, thy hair, thy face
Fashioned in angel's guise,

^Do burn me, since the day

When first I knew

thereof,

Longing with passion of love


To win them in love's sweet way,

That but for


<a_2[4y life

Long

the saving tears


is

bedewed withal,

since beyond recall

'Twere wasted by

heat that sears.

<^Andyet thy beauteous

eyes,

Thy laughter and thy grace,


Thy brow,

thy hair, thy face

Fashioned in angel's guise,


14

So freeze me, since the day

When first I knew

thereof,

Longing with passion of love


To win them in love's sweet way,

That but for


(J^/y soul
'

the saving heat


is

enflamed withal,

Long since beyond recall


were wasted through eyes that greet.

See then,

my joy, my

care,

How many a wondrous


In

me

thing

thou art perfecting

Through beauty beyond compare.

LOVS-JOY, LOVE-SORROW

THOUSAND

**" / take

in

lilies i

a thousand pinks,

my arms and clasp them round

Close as the loving vine-branch links

The bough

in its clinging tendrils

wound.

For joy has taken abode with me,


<iSfnd care no longer turns pale

I love
'

all life
is

and if these

my face,

things be,

the gift, fair dream, of thy heaven-sent

grace.

I could climb the sky thy flight to follow


But alas ! my joy lives but a breath,

For the fleeting dream is a vision hollow,


Like clouds in the wind it vanisheth.

16

LOSS'S COMTARINgS
/CARNATIONS and

^* When set
by

lilies

are hue/ess

the face of my fair,

nd fine-woven gold

is

but worthless

If weighed with the wealth of her hair ;

Through arches of coral passes

Her

laughter that banisheth care,

^/fnd flowers spring fresh mongst


Wherever her feet may fare.

the grasses

TH8 WATS OF LO78


T

OVE'S infidel

*rf

Whom

You know

too

That I

I adore,
well

love you

more

By a hundred score
Than mine eyes or
So you 'd die before
Ton 'd be called

heart

" sweet-heart !

But if I could seem


To set no store

By your esteem,
Then you'd love me more
By a hundred score

Than your eyes or heart,


<t/fnd almost implore
To
" Tis
'

the

be called" sweet-heart !

way of love

That who

loves the best

The least can he move


His Lady's breast"
,

would I could

The proverb's
hate

test

truth

in jest

Till you loved in sooth


18

"

^T^AKE my
Take
So yours

heart, Lady, take

it,

for

it is,

that

(^Another shared

So, yours,

ifyours

Then yours,
^/fnd

it is

its

it

yours,
't

my

my

heart

sweet,

were not meet

slightest part.

pine and die,

all yours, shall be the blame,

there below, your soul in

shame

Shall rue such bitter cruelty.

IVere you

a savage Scythian's child,


Yet love, that turns the tigers mild,
Would melt you at my sighing.

But you, more

cruel-fierce

Have set your will my

than they,

heart

live but through

to slay,

my

dying.

TO THE BEES
H

whither, honey-bees,
whither fly you,

Oh

Seeking o'er blosmy leas

Food

to

supply you ?

If you would feast on flowers divine,


<

7^of longer range without design

But
Come

hither hie you.

seek

Cassandra

Warm with

my

lips

kisses

Tour honey-comb that drips


Less sweet than this is.

Here

roses

blow,

and

blood-red bowers

Of Hyacinth's and Aj'ax* flowers


Breathe perfumed blisses.
Sweet marjoram

all

Winter through,

<ix4W arum fragrant,

Wait

not Spring's leave to bloom

That March and May grant,

But match the laurel, ever young,


While anise blossoms ever among
The woodbine vagrant.

anew

But

sheathe your stings, in care

Her
She

too

cherish.
lips to

can sting, beware

ere there flourish

ousand flowers, leave some for mine

To bear

the

manna and the wine

lie that nourish.

LOVS MS, LOVS


*T*HE

know of my
The more you fly me,
better you

MS NOT"

true love's throe,

zJMy cruel one ;


The more I woo you, the more pursue you,
The more you defy me,
The less are won.
Then

shall

I leave you ? Though

would

not grieve

you,

<^Alas ! believe

Pm
Yet

me

not so brave !

PR bless the hour of Death' s full power


Ifyou

'//

receive

To

die

me

your slave.

THS <JMOURNINg
"

\7[/ HAT

art *hou saying, doing, pensive dove,

" "
Ah, friend,
Upon that withered tree ?
I moan"
"Why meanest thou ?" " Because my mate is
gone,

<Dearer than life"


f\

grove r
44

"

Why

left

she this fair

j)

^/f fowler, through the cruel craft he wove,


Limed her and slew, since when I mourn alone
<^And chide harsh Death that

took

my

cherished

one

Tet would not slay

me with

her,

my

true love"

"
thou fain to die andjoin thy mate ?
" T>o I not
languish in this darksome wood
Forever by regret of her pursued ?

"

O gentle birdlings, happy is yourfate !


1S(ature herself in love hath nurtured you
To die or live unchanging lovers true"

LOVES
TT* RE Love from barren Chaos drew the

^-^

Piercing

its

womb

skies,

that hid the light of day,

Beneath primeval earth's and water's sway


The shapeless Heavens lay whelmed, in dark disguise.

Sven

so

sluggish soul, too dull to rise,

my

Within

this body's gross

Without

and heavy

clay

orform or
feature shapeless lay

Until Love's arrow pierced

Love brought me

life

<iJMadepure my

it

from your

and power and

eyes.

truth

and light,

inmost heart through his con-

trol,

<t^And shaped my being

He warms my
Snatches

to

a perfect whole.

veins, he lights

me upward,

till

my

in

thought, his flight

Heaven's height

Ifind the ordered pathway of my

soul.

LOSS'S HEALINg
whom I have said,

]V/T

Y chosen one
u YOU and

That

long love-yearning hath engendered.

/ look

you

to

"
you only ever please my heart
deep in your eyes, and heal the smart

<J\4y hunger grows the more through being fed.


But Love, who wasteth not his perfect art

On

the unworthy,

Brings not the

<i^And healeth from

Love

is

not

Less bitter

Twice happy

with each deeper dart

pain I thought, but joy

my

heart all pain away.

pain but gain.


't is

instead,

than sweet,

Though
less ill

bitter-sweet,

than good.

then, yea, thrice, though

Love me

slay,

If but below I may Tibullus meet


<*sfnd wander there beside him in Love's wood.

LOV8 THE TEACHER AND


T
*

DRAGGED my

with sullen sighs


life along
In heaviness of body and of soul,

Knowing

not yet the

Muse's high

control

onor that she brings her votaries,

Until the hour I loved you.

Then your

eyes

Became my guide to lead to virtue's goal,


Where I might win that knowledge fair and
whole

Which

by true loving

makes men nobly wise.

O love, my all, if aught ofgood I do,


If worthily ofyour dear eyes I write,
You are the cause, yours is the potency.
comes ever but from you,
erfect grace

If I work aright,
*T is you that do it, you that work in me.

You are my

spirit !

IN
"IT TIDE-STRETCHING

plains,

and mountain-peaks

far-seen,
Sky, air,

and winds

Of springs,

and little

and winding banks

ripply

waves

the slow stream

laves,

Tallforests dark, and low-cut coppice green,


Groves, vine-clad hills, and blosmy vales between,
Buds, flowers, dew-laden grass, deep mossy
caves

<^Allyou that beard my songs' low sweet sad


staves

Waters of Loir, woods of my loved Gas tine,

wrung me with such pains


" Farewell" to
her, alas !

Since grief of parting

I could not

say

Whose I am, near


I beg ofyou,
Woods,

sky, air,

or far, where'er

I dwell,

winds, mountains, plains,

coppice, river-banks, caves, springs,

flowers, grass,
Hills, valleys, groves, say for me,

well."

" Fare

thee

LOFS'S SOLICITUDE

XT THERE art thou at this moment, love ?

w hat

doing,

What

saying, thinking ?

<Dost thou think of

me ?
Hast
Though

thou no care for


care for thee

in,

my hard agony,

still

houndeth me, renewing

and all my heart with

love subduing ?

^Absent, I hear thee speak, and speak

Thy form

so

present in

to thee.

my mind I see,

can harbor there of other wooing.

I hold thine

eyes, thy beauty,

Sngraven on

Where

e'er

heart

my
I saw

and thy grace

and every place

thee dance, laugh, speak, or

move.

I hold thee mine, though I am not mine own


I live and breathe in thee, in thee alone,
Light of mine

eyes, blood

of my veins, my

love.

IN SPRINff
"1T7HAT

boots it

me

to see this

That laughs along

verdure fair

the fields

to

hear the

call

Ofbirdlings,

and the purling waterfall,

<^And Spring-time winds that woo

the

murmurous

air,

When

she that

woundeth me, yet hath no care

Of how my pains increase, comes


<^And hides the brightness of her
Twin

stars, that fed

my

not at all
eyes

withal,

heart with heavenly fare.

I hadfar rather keep old Winter's cold ;


For Winter doth less aptly aid Love's charms

Than

Spring-time months, that are Love's Summoners

Tet make

me

hate myself,

who

cannot hold

In thisfair month of April in my arms


Her who doth hold my life and death in hers.

THE THOUGHT OF ^DSATH


OINCE when

her faithful eyes, to which I yield


Utter allegiance, no more bring me light,
'Darkness is day to me, and day is night

Such power upon me doth her absence wield.

zJWy bed is grown a fierce-fought

battle-field.

Toothing can please me, all things work me spite.


One thought that puts all other thoughts to flight
Clutches

my

heart

and tears

its

wounds unhealed.

Beside the Loir, where countless flowers spring,


Sated with sorrows, longings, bootless cries,

I should have

set

an end to

all

my pain,

Save that some God doth ever turn mine

Toward that far


Whose thought

eyes

country of her sojourning,

brings comfort

to

my

heart again.

T(EMEMBERED
*T*HIS

is

the

wood my

Made joyous
Spring

SCET^ES

holy angel-child

with her

song, that day in

'These are the flowers her touch

While here

she

was gladdening

dreamed apart, and dreaming

smiled ;

This

is

the

little

woodland meadow wild

Whose green young

life

seemed neath her feet

to

spring
<^/fs step by step she

wandered, pillaging
Flowers sweet as she was, fresh and undefiled.
is the
spot where first I saw her smile
With eyes that rapt my soul away the while ;
Here I have seen her weep, there heard her sing,

This

*Twas

here

I saw her dance,

there

sit

aloof.

Of such vague thoughts, with shuttle wandering,


Love weaves my web of life, both warp and woof.

THE

COMPOSING

<JMUS8S'

I scarce could live, but for the Muse,


<fJMy faithful mate who follows here and

TVyTESEEMS
***-

there

O'er hi Us, fie Ids, woods

and charms away my

care

With

beauteous gifts,

and

all

my woe

subdues.

If I am sad, I know no other ruse


To conquer grief, but call my comrade rare,

aJMy Clio ; straight she comes, and greets me fair


nd graciously, nor ever makes excuse.

Would the nine Sisters might each season please


To make my house with their fair gifts replete,
Which rust can never spoil, nor frost, nor fire !
Thyme

blossoms not so sweetfor honey-bees

<^As their fair gifts upon my mouth are sweet,


On which high minds may feed and never tire.

THS

<POET'S giFT

to

may

tell

century
century
THAT
The perfect love Tfonsard once bore

How

he

was

<^And thought

That age

to

you,

reason-reft for love ofyou

it

freedom

in your chains to

dwell ;

on age posterity full well

know my

veins were filled with beauty of

you

nd that my
I bring for gift

Long will it

eXfW/0*

to

heart's one

you

wish was

only you,

this immortelle.

live in freshness

of its prime.

shall live, through me, long after

death
So can the well-skilled lover conquer Time,

Who

loving you all virtue follow eth.


Like Laura, you shall live the cynosure

Of earth, so long as pens and books endure.

33

LIF8, JOT,

SOJ{G

TO HIS VALSr
T WANT three days to read the Iliad through !
Cory don, close fast my chamber door.
If anything should bother me before
So,

I've done, I swear you

'//

have somewhat

to

rue

not the servant, nor your mate, nor you

Shall come

to

make

the bed or clean the floor.

I must have three good quiet days


or four.
Then I '// make merry for a week or two.
!

if any one should come from HER,

but
t

him

quickly !

Be

no loiterer,

But come and make me brave for


But

no one

else !

his receiving.

not friends or nearest kin !

Though an Olympian God should seek me, leaving


His Heaven, shut fast the door / Don't let him
in!

37

SUMMER'S
H

my mind is weary !
I
Long have conned the dreary
Tomes of Aratus.

Surely

but

'/ is

Ho !

to

Shall

we

What

What
When

time

now !
away now !
to-day now ?

to

the fields
not live

play

though dullfools berate us

is

the use of learning,

it

but brings

Problems

When,

new yearning

to tease us

or at eve or morning,

Soon, but without a

'Pleadings

and pity

warning,
scorning,

Orcus the dark shall seize

us.

Corydon, lead the way, and


Find where good wine 's to pay, and
Cool

Then

me a flagon

in vine-trellis ed bowers,

Bedded on thick-strewn flowers,

Hours upon

idle

hours

Sweetly shall haste or lag on.

Buy me

no meat, but mellow

<iSfpricots, melons yellow,

Cream, and strawberries.


These have the sweetest savor

Saten in forest cave, or


Lying by brooks that rave or
Streamlet that singing tarries.

in

my youth's fresh

buoyance

Laughter shall wait onjoyance,

Wine shallflow fast now ;


when my life grows colder,
Sickness, by age made bolder,
Lest,

Say, as he taps

"

my

shoulder

you 've

Come, friend

39

drunk your

last

TO THE HAWTHOT(N-TREE
/y,

whose burgeoning

Blossoms spring
Where these banks wind beauteously,

'Down

along thine arms there clings,

Waves, and swings,


Trailing wild-vine drapery.

ants
%iyal camps of scurrying

Have
Fortified,

their haunts

at thy roots' head.

In thy hollow-eaten

bole's

Countless holes

Tiny

bees find

board and bed.

Nightingale the chorister


^Dwelleth here
in flush ofyouth he made
Love, and still each year again

Where

Shall obtain
Solace in thy leafy shade.

40

In thy top be bath his nest


Built ) and dressed

Woven of wool, with


Whence

his

young

sJMust

silks

so soon

made gay

as hatched,

be snatched,

For my hands a gentle prey.

Live, then, dainty hawthorn fair,

Live forever,

Live secure from every foe

<tJ7l4ay nor axe nor lightning


Wind, nor storm,

8'er avail

to

lay thee low.

4-'

harm

OD guard you, and greet you


t^fesseitgers of Spring

well,

^Nightingale and cuckoo,


Turtle-dove and hoopoe,

Swallow swift, and all wild birds


That with a hundred varied words
<r

%ouse

and make

to

ring

Svery greening glade andfell.

and greet you fain,

(jod guard you,

'Dainty flowerets,
'Daisies,

too

lilies, roses,

and the posies

Poppies

Sprung where ancient heroes fell,


Hyacinth and asphodel

and thyme and rue


welcome back again !

<zJ7l4int

(jod guard you,

and greet you

Butterflies

and

true,

bees,

In your motley dresses

Wooing

the sweet grasses,

Flitting free on rainbow-wing,

Coaxing, kissing, cozening


Flowers of all degrees,
c

j%ea or yellow,

white or
42

blue.

<LX^ thousand thousand times

Thy return again,


Sweet and beauteous season
In sooth I love with reason

I greet

Better far thy sunny gleams

<^And

thy gently prattling streams

Than Winter's wind and rain


That shut me close in my retreat.

43

THE COURTIER'S
OOD morn, my heart, good morn, my life's one end,
mine eyes, my joy, my
(jfood morn, light of
sorrow,
(food morn,

I bring you greeting,

my pretty

sweeting,

airest fair,

<^l4y fresh-blown flower sweet,

zJWy

Spring-time sweet,

my love
my sweetest friend,

my

nestling,

my sweet

dove,

my sparrow,
good-morrow

and may I sooner die


my faithlessness renew, love,
Leaving my lover's pleasure
For sake offame and treasure
To follow court and king.

(food-morrow,

Than

turtle-dove,
rebel sweet,

e'er

love

again

*Nay, perish riches, honor, loyalty !


I will not leave my love for anything,

Or part

again from you, love,

<^(4y goddess sweet,

44

my

true-love.

TVT ARIE, arise, my indolent sweet


Long

since the skylark

saint !

sang his morning

stave,
since the nightingale, love's gentle slave,

Long

Carolled upon the thorn his love-complaint.

ise !

With

come

see the tender

grass besprent

dew-pearls, and your

rose

with blossoms

brave.

Come see

the dainty pinks to

which you gave

Last eve their water with a care

so

quaint.

Last eve you swore and pledged your shining eyes


Sooner than I this morning you would rise,

But dawn's

soft beauty-sleep,

with sweet

dis-

guising,

Still gently seals those eyes

^/fnd now again

that

and now

now I kiss

this breast,

and

this,

<^A hundred times,

to

teach you early rising

45

LOVS-SONg

\\ THEN the beauteous Spring I

see-)

Glad and free,


zJMaking young the sea and earth,
Then the light of day above

<^And our

love

Seem but newly brought

When

to birth.

the sky of deeper blue

Lights

anew

Lands more beautiful and green,


Love, with witching

Wars

looks

for darts,

on hearts,

Winning them for

his demesne.

Scattering his arrows dire

Tipped with fire,

He doth

bring beneath his sway

tJMen and birds and beasts for


<*x^W the waves
To his power obeisance pay.
.

46

slaves

Love's triumphing,
, for
In the Spring
Thrills my heart at every Ireath

By new beauties everywhere


Which her care
From my Lady borroweth :

When I see

the

woodland bowers

Bright with flowers,


<^4nd the banks with flowers bedight,
Then methinks I see the grace

Of herface
Fair with blended red and white
When I see
Close

Where

elm-branches bound

around

the loving ivies

wind,

Then Ifeel encompassing


zsfrms that

cling

Fast about my neck entwined ;

When I hear

thee in the vale,

Nightingale,
Uttering thy sweetest voice,

Then methinks her voice I hear,


Low and clear,
<^7l4aking all

my

soul rejoice

47

When

the soft

wind comes anon

<*Jfyfurmuring on

Through the many-branched grove,


Then I hear the murmured word

That I heard
Once alone

beside

When I see

my

love

a new-blown flower's

Sarliest hours

By the morning sun caressed,


Then its beauty I compare
To the rare
Budding beauty of her

When

breast

the sun in Orient skies

(fins

to rise,

Flauntingfree his yellow hair,


Then methinks my sweet I see
Fronting me,
Binding up her tresses fair ;

When

I see the meadows studded

With new-budded
Flowers that overflow the earth,

Then my

senses

half believe

receive

They
Honeyedfragrance from her breath.
48

So

it

proveth, bowsoe'er

I compare
Spring-time with

Spring gives
Life

Come

to

life

chosen one.

my

to

every flower

and power

me from her

Would '/ were

alone.

mine, where streamlets flow

Whispering low,
To unbind that wealth of hair,
Then to wind as many a curl
<^As there purl
Tfunning rippling wavelets there.

Would 't were mine

Of
So

this

seize

to

to be

the

god

wood,

and hold my

love,

Kissing her as oft again


cj^/^V there ben
(j-reening

my

leaves in all the grove.

sweet,

my martyrdom,

Hither come,

how they fare.


me are fain

See the flowers

They

to

pity

Of my pain
Thou

alone hast not a care.

49

See the gentle mating dove

^And his love,

How
How

they love as

How

they kiss

they

win

the joy

we

seek,

Nature bade

Unafraid,

with wings and beak,

While we, following

Have

yoy, through fear

<^Ah

honor's shade,

betrayed

and coward shame.

the birds are


happier far

Than we

are,

Loving without

let

Time

to destroy

is

hasting

<^All our joy,

Snatching

it

Sweetheart,

or blame.

with harpy claws.


let

us live

and love

Like the dove,


Heeding not men's rigorous laws.
Kiss me, ere the moment

On my

slips^

lips,

O my love, and yet again


Kiss me, ere our youth's brief day
Fleet

away,

<*J7l4aking all our passion vain.

50

T(OSE-BUDS
"ITTHILE

Oh

this

green month

! come,

Waste
Sly age, ere

my pretty

is

fleeting,

sweeting,

not in vain thy ring-time !

we

've

an inkling

Thereof, our hair is sprinkling


He passeth even as Spring-time.

Then, while our life is crying


For love, and Time is flying,
Come,

love,

come reap desire.

'Pass love from vein to vein !

Swift comes old Death

^411 joys

expire.

and then

CJRPE THEM
HERE

is

a time for all things , sweet !

When we

at church are kneeling

We 'II worship

truly.

But when in secret lovers meet,


Their wanton blisses stealing,

We 'II match

Why,
To

then, oh
kiss thy

Thy

them

duly.

deny

my

why
hairs

lips'

dear

will

soft beauty,

roses ?'

When I would touch

thy breast,

why

still

^Dostfeign the nun's cold duty

In

For

cloister-closes

whom

dost save thine eyes in sooth,

Thy brow,
Thy

lips

thy bosom's sweetness,

twin-mated?

T)ost think to kiss

When

King

Pluto's

mouth

Charon's hatefulfleetness

Oars

thee ill-fated?

Thine aspect shall

Thy

be

gaunt and dread,

when Death

lips,

has ta'en thee,

<iSfll sicklied over.

Were I to

meet thee mongst the dead

I 'd pass

by,

and disdain

Thee, once

my

thee,

lover !

Thy skull shall know nor hair nor skin,


Thy jowl the worms shall fatten,
Srstwhile

Thou

'It

so

winning ;
have no other teeth within

Thy jaws,

but such as batten

In death's-heads grinning.

Sweet, while

we

^/fnd every

Thou

'It

live, oh ! seize to-day,

respite using,

Spare not thy


Soon, soon,

Death

kisses !

comes,

and then for

rue thy cold refusing

<^And mourn

lost blisses.

53

aye

LOVS'S
HE moon

each month

Brighter

But

LESSOR

to rise

once life's light

Then
Long

With

Then

is

is

blenched

quenched^

shall our eyes

sleep be taking,

no awaking.

kiss

me^ while

<tSfbove the

<^A thousand

we

live

ground !

kisses

give

Love knows no bound.

To His

divinity

Belongs infinity.

54

TO THE SKYLARK
OKYLARK, how I envy you

Tour gentle pleasures ever new,

Warbling at

the break of day

Of love, sweet love, sweet love alway,


<*^/fnd

shaking free your beating wings

Of dew

that

each feather clings

to

re Apollo risen hath

Tou

its bath,
lift your body from
Parting up with little leaps
To dry it where the cloud-flock sleeps,

Fluttering free each tiny

<^And u
Sweet,

tirra-lirra

so

"

wing

carolling

sweet, that every swain,

Knowing Spring has come again,


Thinketh on his love anew
^/fnd longs

to

be

a bird

like you.

Then, when you have scaled the sky,


Tou drop
as swift, as suddenly,

^fs

maid lets fall

the spool a

When, caught

at eve in slumber's thrall,

distaffforgot, she nods

Her

cheek

and bosom
55

so

much

almost touch

Or as by day when she doth spin


(!>"^W he that seeks her love to win
Cometh near her unbeknown
(^Abashed she

casts her glances

down,

<^4nd quick the slender thin-wound spool


From her hand afar doth roll.
.

So you drop,

my

lark,

my

lover,

dainty minion, darling rover,


Lark I love more tenderly

Than

all the other birds that fly,

<*JMore than even the nightingale

Whose

notes through copse

and grove prevail.

Innocent of every harm,

You never rob the

toilsome farm

Like those birds that steal the wheat

<^4nd spoil the harvest

thieves that eat

growing grain in stalk and leaf


Or shell it from the standing sheaf.
(preening furrows

are your haunts,

Where the little worms and ants,


Or the flies and grubs, you seek,
To fill your children's straining beak,
While

they wait,

with wings ungrown,

Clothed in clinging golden down.

Wrongly have the poets told


That you, the larks, in days of old

^ared yourfather

^And cut
Wherein

to

betray

his royal locks

away

his fated power lay.

Out ! alas ! not you alone


The wrongs ofpoets' tongues have known.

Hear

the nightingale complain

<^Andfrom her bower their

tales arraign.

Swallows sing the self-same plea

The while
]S(one the

"

they chirp

less,

then,

cossi, cossi."

I entreat,

"
Tour " tirra-lirra

still

repeat

sJWake them burst with very spite,


These poets, for the lies they write I
<

]S{one the less, for what they


Live ye joyously a /way /

say,

Seek at each return of Spring

Tour long-accustomed pleasuring,


l^eyer may the pilfering raid

Of quaintly

dainty shepherd-maid

Toward your furrows turn


To

her quest

spy your new-born cheeping nest

<*Sfnd steal

it

The while you

in her

gown away
Heaven your

sing in

57

lay.

Live, then, birdlings, live fore'Vr,

^And lift aloft

through highest air

Warbled song and soaring wing


To herald each return of Spring.

N tender grass, neath a

Who

laurel-tree,

and drink with me ?


Boy- Cupid shall come, and girding up
His light-blown robe with a hempen string

Or flax

listetb to lie

to his

naked

loins, shall

The wine, and bear my

The

life

of man

From day

is

bring

cup.

a fleeting breath,

evanisheth
day
Like breaking waves that roll to the shore,
death's hour comes on
and our tomb shall keep
to

it

'frothing of us, save a nameless heap


no more.
Of little bones

I care

not for custom, that bids

With

spices

perfume

and balm my new-made tomb


(x-^W pour sweet odors, and incense
But while I 'm living, it is my will
To bathe

in fragrance,

shed.

and drink my fill,

crown with flowers my head.

59

'//

name myselffor my

heir,

I vow,

spend the heritage here and now

Who

lives

for others

seeks foolish cares.

the pelican, pouring


free

His

bloodfor his children.

Who saves

<*JMad is he

his goods
for his heirs !

^T^HE

earth drinks rain through every pore,

Through every

root the tree,

The sea drinks rivers evermore,


The sun drinks up the sea,

The moon

drinks up the sun his light,

<^All things in nature drink.


Since drinking is the common right

Come

let

us drink, drink, drink !

61

CO MR ADS

\\T E hold not in our power


The coming morrows' time ;
Life has no certain dower.
Kings' favors

we desire,

<iSfnd waiting them, expire


Sre hope has passed its prime.

The man whom Death has taen


Bats not, and drinks no more,
Though barns be full ofgrain
<^And vaults have wine in store

On

Earth, that he has bought.


not even his thought.

They reach

Then what
(jfo,

shall care bestead ?

Cory don, prep are

^/f couch with roses spread ;


To banish cark and care
I

ll lie

outstretchedfor hours
s

and heaped-up flowers.

<^And bring D' Aurat

to

me

<^/Ind all that company

The Muses

love so well,

Forgetting not Jodelle.

From eve to morn we 'IIfeast


With fivescore cups at least !

'Pour wine,

and pour again !

In this great goblet golden

'II

drink

to

Estienne

Who savedfrom
The

Lethe's treasures

sweet, sweet Teian measures

Of that lost singer olden,

<*sfnacreon the wine-king,

To whom the drinker's pleasure


and Bacchus' treasure
His flasks, and Love, and Venus,

Is due,

<L/fnd tipsy old Silenus


In vine-clad bowers drinking

THE PRAISE OF
we

roses into

wine

T^OSES

In this good wine these roses

Tour, and quaff the drink divine


Till sorrow's hold uncloses

From our

hearts, both

mine and

thine.

Kings and clowns from diverse ways


^/ft Charon's boat are meeting*
Ifone escape their fated days.
<*Sfh ! friend, while time

Let us sing the

is

fleeting

rose's praise.

looses are the chief of all

The flowers in garden closes,


Flowers ofjoy, and therewithal
1

ana so the
"
I call.
violets

Of love
" Venus'

'fyses

are Love's

own

roses

bouquet

^Andjoyance of the Graces.


'Dawn doth give them pearls alway
Whose white their red enlaces
^Dipped in dew at break of day.
64

the Gods' delight,


Ttyes are
<tSfnd maidens' best adorning,

^\4aidens deck their bosoms white

With

old

crimson roses, scorning

and gems, though

What

is

ne'er so bright.

fair without the

rose

born of roses.
Venus' skin is all one rose,

Beauty

is

^Aurora's touch

is roses,

suns have brows of rose.

Be my brows with

roses

crowned

In place of laurel's glory.


Call the twice-born God renowned,

Our father hale and hoary


Spread him roses all around;

Bacchus

loves the beauty sweet

Of crimson-petalled roses.
c

%oses Jill his vine-retreat

Where

care-free he reposes

^Drinking mid the Summer's heat.

THS

T(OSS

OF LOVS

"

SWEET-HEART, COME SEE

THE

1(gSE"
come

OWEET-HEART,
Which
Its

damask gown

Has

if the rose

see

at morning began

not lost,

now

to unclose

the sun

to

the day

is

done,

The folds of its damasked gown


<^And its colors so like your own.
see, in

bow

Sweet-heart,
tafias, with

brief a space,

strewed the place,

it

its beauties'

O step-dame Nature !

fall !
if

Of life you will grant such


Is

from morning

to

all

aflower

evening hour

Then hear me and heed, sweet-heart


Swiftly the years depart !
Harvest, oh ! harvest your hour

While

life

is

For age with

a-bloom with youth !


bitter

Willfade your

ruth

beauty's flower.

IF

LIFS'S T(OS8S
are very

old, by the hearth's glare,

candle-time, spinning

and winding

thread,

You

'II

sing

my

Ronsard made

Then

and say, astonished :


for me, when I was fair.

lines,

<r

these

not a servant even,

with

toil

and care

^Almost out-worn, hearing what you have


Shallfail to start awake and lift her head

<^And bless your name with


nes shall

Take

its

lie

deathless praisefor e'er.

in earth,

long rest

said,

and my poor ghost

where Love's dark myrtles

thrive.

You, crouching by the fire,

old,

shrunken, grey,

Shall rue your proud disdain and my love lost. .


hear me, love !
Wait not to-morrow
,
live,

nd pluck

life's roses,

oh ! to-day, to-day.

LOVS'S

TOK8N

this ivy wound


, my conqueror ,
the ivy that a /way
In wreaths I give
Holds trees and walls close twined in spray on

spray,

Tendril on tendril, wrapt, embraced, and bound.


It is your right to be

with ivy crowned !

Would it were mine

to wind me, night and day,


T^ound you, my column, in the ivy's way,
lie along your breast in love's
deep swound.
.

will the time not come, will

When, just

as

dawn awakes

it

the

not be

world to

life,

<

R(eath branches of a bower thick shade

Under

soft skies,

I shall at

encloses,

at prattling birds' first glee,

last be conqueror in love's


strife,

clasp at will your ivory

and roses ?

<JMESSENgER
I^IGHTINGALE,

nightingale,

^uest of my bower,
'Pouring o'er hill

and dale

<

I^otes of such

<

]S(one

power

can forget thy tale

Of sorrow's dower,

Fly

to

my

cruel one,

Tell her in truth

That for

no orison

Time will have ruth


Quicker than dreams are done
'Passes our youth.

Tell her the fairest rose


Winter's endeavor

Withered, shall May unclose


Fairer than ever.
Life's Spring-time, once

Comes again never.

it

goes,

Once age has come, the grace


Crowning her brow
Fades

like

Cut

a garden-space

by the plough,

Furrowing deep her face


Lily-white now.

Once age has

Wrought
Vainly she

stealthily

out his crime,

'//

weep for the

Flight of swift time,


Wishing she 'd shared with

Sweets of her prime.

Nightingale, bid her come

Where

love reposes,

Lying on sweet winsome


Beds of rich

Changing her

posies,
colors

Lilies to roses.

73

from

me

HELENS BEAUTY
HAT

Lady, chiefest slave of Love her

By Jove

the

Swan

begot,

lord,

and sister born

To

the great Twins, whose beauty's rising morn


T^oused up all Europe gainst the Asian horde,

One day

unto her mirror spoke this word,


Seeing her face of all its graces shorn :

" With how


great madness were my husbands
torn

To

with royal sword !

seek such rotting flesh

! Gods, too
jealous of our little day !
Fair women's youth flies once for all away,

Yet serpents cast their age each Spring, for


years."

So Helen spoke,

The

and wept

story is for you.

When

lost

beauty's dower.

Tluck your youth' s flower

April 's gone, October bringeth tears.

74

KISSES <^AND

DEATH

Ti>f Y

mistress, kiss me, clasp me, bold

Thy

breath on

my

breath,

me

warm me

close f
till

live!

^/f thousand kisses


Love

loves the

Kiss me,

take,

a thousand give

nor limit knows.


infinite,

and kiss me yet again

Life goes,

Stealing, fair mouth, thy beauty fugitive,

<iSfnd leaving

Lips

lips

no longer sensitive,

wan and hueless,


while

we

nothing like

live, kiss

me with

sSfnd kissing, stammer words


These clasped close-clinging

to those.

lips

of rose,

that half unclose

lips,

words broken

andfew.
e in

my arms, Death shall our shades unite.


to
and I will live anew.
life,

Or wake

Life's day

so

brief, alas !

75

excels the night.

WITH FLOW 8^
T

SEND

to you

a nosegay that but now

I chose among the full-blown blossoms gay.


Had one not gathered them at eve to-day

The morrow morn hadfound them fallen


Let

this

ensample speak

That even your


Sre
<^/fnd

to

you,

low.

and show

beauties, in their flower-array,

time must fade and fall away


flowers in one swift moment go.

little

like the

Time passes
<^4nd soon

my love, ah ! swift
Time passes not, but we

swift,

Yet no

shall

lie

it

flies

we pass,

outstretched beneath a stone.

Death replies
<^/fndfor this love we talk of
Forever not one word of it, alas !
.

Then

love me, while thou 'rtfair, ere youth is

gone

76

"IFTHIS BE LOF8"
TF

this be love,

To

my Lady

day and night

think) muse, dream, of naught but

how

to

please,

To

do naught else but seek to serve your ease,

<^And worship you, who work me most


If this be love

in long

despite

and lonely flight

To follow ever joy that ever flees


<^Andfind a

desert,

<L/^ place of silence

If this

Than

be love
in myself';

watered with pain's

and of lost

delight

lees,

to live
far more in you
and when I seek to woo,

^A"bashed, to find no word to urge my suit,


Torn with unequal strife at every breath,
In feeling strong, in speech irresolute :
If these be love, then madly love Iyou
Love you and know the fated end is death,
heart speaks plainly, though

mute.

77

my

tongue

is

LOSS'S
OUNBURNT Summer less devours,
Less chill

The bowers

is

Winter's

in Spring

^/futumn's grapes are

There are

La
You

less

less,

fish in all the sea,

Beauce hath fewer harvestings,

'// see less

in

The

bitterness,

have fewer flowers,

night

sands in Brittany,

Auvergne

less

flaming

less

springs,

torches wears,

The woods, less leaves to watch them through,


Than bears my heart ofpains and cares,
Love, for love ofyou.

LOSS'S
/~IOME,

^^

boy,

With

and where the grass is thickest pied,


hand cut the green season's bloom,

robber

Then flinging open armfuls strew the room


With flowers that April bears in her young pride.
Then

set my lyre, song's handmaid, by my side


For if I may, I'll charm away the gloom
That like a poison worketh to consume
ife,

through power of beauty undefied.

Then bring me ink and countless papers white


White paper shall bear witness to my woe,
Whereon

the record of this love

White paper,
Is

shall bid the ages

How for love's sake

write.

when diamond stone


know
I suffer and make moan.

that endures

worn away,

'II

79

LOVB'S
*T*AKE
**

thou this rose, sweet even as thou art,

Thou

rose

of roses rarest,

loveliest,

Thou flower offreshest flowers, whose fragrance


blest

Snwraps me, ravished from myself apart.


Take thou

this rose,

and with

it

take

zJMy

So constant that

its

heart,

faith stands manifest,

Though wounded sore with many a

The

my

heart that hath no wings, unto thy breast,

rose

and I are

cruel dart.

diverse in one thing

Sach mornings rose at eve lies perishing,


While countless mornings see my love new-born

But never night shall see its life decay.


^/fh ! would that love, new-blossomed in
.

Sven

morn,
as a flower had lasted but a day.

go

the

HSR IMMORALITY
Lady, had I but the Heaven-sent grace
Of rhythmic speech to match my great intent,
This verse of mine should grow more eloquent
his who charmed the ancient rocks of Thrace.

Than

Higher than Horace's or Pindar's place


I *d hang a wreath for thee, so excellent,

^/f book so wrought of noble sentiment,


That T)u Eellay would straightway yield

the race !

Laura's song-ennobled name,

With glory

by the listening ages crowned,

Lives in the Tuscan verse

Than

thine,

less

world-renowned

whose praise, for pledge of Francis

fame,
Should conquer empires, peoples, kings, and Time,
outsoar

Death

itself on

wings of rhyme.

LIFS,

0<2\G,

^4ND <DEATH

'TWIXT LOVS tsfND T>EATH


T

SANG

these songs, by Helen's love

That fated month that oped my


^reat

as his sceptre

CHARLES from

was,

the debt

it

made

blind,

Prince's grave !

could not save

we owe

to

human

kind.

side. Lord of heart and mind,


Love ruled me from the other side, and drave
Such torment through my veins, no thought I gave

'Death stood on one

Sven

to

in

my King

in

my own pain

confined.

heart two different griefs make one :


Lady's coldness, and the shortened years

my

Of him

I worshippedfor

his noble
fame.

She living and he dead bid tears

to

run

He asketh weeping, she must have my

tears.

For Love and Death are one thing and the same.

COUT^SEL FOR
TJ E,
-*-*

like

a noble prince, in love with


fame

Live glorious days, and win a

^Achieving deeds that


Like

those

name

h'istory shall tell,

of Charles the Great, and Charles

Let not the

nobles

wrong

Let not the populace

the

Third Estate ;

displease the great.

revenues with canny sense

The Prince who cannot govern his expense,


(x-^W rule his wife, his children, his estate,
Will surely fail to govern well the state.
.

But

deathless

more miserly offriends than gold ;


without
Kings
friends were wretchedfrom of old.
be

appear n pompous vesturng

Virtue alone can fitly clothe a king.

Let

all thy body shine

with virtues bright,

thy raiment with rich pearls bedight.

Sire, since no

For any wrong, with

man

born

strict

Chastise thyself, in fear

may punish

kings

examinings

lest

finally

than thou, should punish


(pod's justice, higher
thee.

86

TO <JMARY STUART,
FT(ANCS
(1560)

NGLAND and

Scotland and the land of France,

Those girt with ocean, this with mountains


blue,

When you were

born, as ancient gossips do,

Stood round your cradle royal disputants.

France, Scotland, England, each made haste


vance

Her

claim,

to

ad-

demanding you as her just due,

The while you favored France, methinks,for you

Were fain

to choose

her townsfor crown

To Jove's

Your fair head's beauty.

They take appeal

and he

to

to

enhance

throne serene

each

allots

This just decree, granting each one's demand :

That you should

be three

months Fair England's

ghieen,

Then for

three following months be Sjueen of

Scots,

then be

fueen six months of the French

land.
87

REGRET, FOR <J^JRT STUJRT'S

VETJRTURE
TF

spangled fields should

lose

their every
flower,

Iheir leaves ;

If heaven should lose the

The

sea its

1^4'palace proud,

its

dower,

the glory of its king,

Its pearl,

These would be

stars that are

waves,

a ring,

like to

France, that now has

lost

Tour beauty bright,

Her flower, her precious pearl, her glory and


Her star, her light.
Scotland,

I would that thou


Couldst

like

Delosfree

wander far

<

]^or e'er behold thy bright

^ise

boast,

like

a star

^ueenfrom

the sea

Till wearied with pursuit, she seek again

Her own
Then should my

Touraine.

lips overflow

with

songs,

my

tongue

Thrill with her praise,

swan my sweetest
To end my days.

Till like the

notes

were sung

THE SAME SUBJECT


(1564)
"

IT

THEN

The

that your sail bent

to

the ocean-swell

^fndfrom our weeping eyes bore you away,


sail bore far from France that
self-same
day

The Muses, who were wont with

us

to

While happy Fortune stayed you

dwell

in our

land

the French sceptre lay within your

hand.

The Muses weeping

What should the

left

our countryside.

nine fair comrades sing of more,

Since you, their beauteous subject

On

and their guide,

unreturning ways have left our shore,


gave them power to speak

Since you, that


sing,

Tour

With

words and left them sorrowing.

Cut

short their

lips,

where Nature

Ofpinks

and

set

a garden-growth

that sweet Persuasion water eth

nectar

; and your mouth


of rubies, pearls, and gentle breath

and with honey

all

Tour starry eyes, two fires that Love controls,


That make the darkest night like day to shine,

<^And pierce men's

hearts with flame,

and teach

men's souls

To know

The

the virtue

of.

their light divine

alabaster of your brow, the gold

Of curls whose slightest ringlet might have bound


d>/^ Scythian's heart,

Let fall

his

and made a warrior

sword in

The white of ivory

battle to the

bold

ground

that rounds your breast,

Tour hand, so long and slender, and so pure


Tour perfect body, Nature' s finished best

<Sfnd Heaven' s

ideal in

earth-drawn portrai-

ture

ese, alas !

are gone.

What wonder

(Since all the grace that lavish

Heaven

then

could

pour
once for all
T(eyealing beauty

to men,
France
can sing no
left fair France} if
more ?

Have

How should sweet songs to


When for your

loss

lips

ofpoets come,

the Muses' selves are

dumb ?
9o

is

Lilies

beautiful

and roses

is

transient too

live brief days

andfew.

ven

so your
beauty, brilliant as the sun,
In one brief day for France has risen and set

was as quickly gone,


longing and regret.

Bright as the lightning,

nd left

us only

't

FOR tJMARY STUART, IN CAPTIVITY


(1584)

>T< HOUGH

by

wide

seas

and Time we sundered

are,

Sweet

)ueen, the light-flash of that beauteous

sun,

Your

eyes,

whose

like the

whole world holdeth

none,

from my heart can wander


Thou

long or far.

other queen, that under prison bar

so rare a queen, bid wrath


begone
<tSfnd change thy rede. From dawn to evening

Holdest

star

The sun

sees not so base

an

action done !

shame your birth, sluggards at arms !


Your forbears Roland, Renault, Lancelot,
Fought with glad hearts for noble ladies charms,

'Peoples, you

Warded, and saved them.

While you, FRENCH-

MEN, dare
1S(ot

don your armor

To free from

nay, have touched

slavery a queen

so

fair

it

not

IN
(To Quillaume

des <^/futels,

des Autels,

Ture
Transforms

The

French

whose true,

utterance
to

gold anew

speech of France,

List while I celebrate

<^\4y dear Vendome.

O land thricefortunate,
The Muses' home,
For thee ungrudging Heaven

Has

emptiedfree

The horn ofplenty, and given


<tx^7/ grace to thee.

Two

ridges, circling, long,

With summits

bold

Shut out the South-winds strong,


The North-winds cold ;

On

one,

The

my loved

Gastine,

sacred wood,

Lifts high

its

head ofgreen,

Holy, and proud;


93

'Poet)

ng the

other's side

Spring countless vines,

That almost match

Of Anjou wines

the pride
;

In winding meadow-ways
The Loir soft-flowing

With

its

own wavelets plays,

N(or hastes

its

going.

Though none from

By
Come

distant lands,

hope cajoled,
seeking mongst thy sands

The

toilsome gold,

Though gems of Orient price


Hide not in thee

To tempt man's avarice


cross the sea,

ic,

Can

nor boastful

Ind

thee outvie,

Honored, by Gods more kind,


With gifts more high.
94

For

'Justice, fledfrom

earth

<x4W dispossessed,
Left thee,

mark

to

Her footprints

thy worth,

blest

<^And while no more we


The golden age,

see

Virtue has chosen thee

For hermitage.

The nymphs, that tune


To notes of streams

Have made
To

list

their voice

of thee their

choice

high themes,

Singing with happy grace


<^/fnd sweet accords

Praise

to

the

Heaven-born

Our Bourbon

lords.

The Muses, whom I woo,


Worship, andfear,
The golden Graces too,
Inhabit here.
95

race,

Though ever back andforth


<zJMy steps may roam,
This little plot of earth
<Sflone

is

home.

Hence may my fated end,

When

time

is

s_7l4e into exile

full,

send

Terdurable.

(x^W here you V/ come to weep


From lands afar,
While dust and darkness keep
Tour friend,

of.

TO THE

WOODSMA^OF gASTINE

woodsman, stay thy hand awhile, and

STAY, hark

It is not trees

that thou art laying low !

Dost thou not

From Nymphs

see the dripping life-bloodflow


that lived beneath the rigid bark ?

Unholy murderer of our Goddesses,


Iffor some petty theft a varlet hangs,

What
What

deaths hast thou deserved,

what

bitter

pangs,
brandings, burnings, tortures, dire distress

lofty

wood, grove-dwelling

shall stag
^JS^ojnore

Feed

in thy

birds' retreat,

and doe, with

light-foot tread,

shadow,for thy leafy head

<

7V0 more shall break the sun's

midsummer

heat.

The

loving shepherd on his four-holedflute


Tiping the praises of his fair Janette,

His mastiff near,


<

7^more

his crook beside

him

set,

shall sing of love, but all be mute.

Silence shallfall

where Echo

spoke ofyore,

<iSfnd where soft-waving lay uncertain shade,


Coulter

and plough

shall pass

ndfrighted Pans and

with cutting blade

Satyrs come no more.

97

Farewell, tbou ancient forest, Zephyr's

toy !

Where first I taught my seven-tongued lyre to

Where frst I heard Apollo's arrows


<iSfgainst

my

joy

heart, and' strike

it

ring
through with

Where frst I worshippedfair

Calliope

<^/fnd loved her noble company of nine

Who showered their roses on


Where with

this

brow of mine

her milk Euterpe nurtured me.

Farewell, ye ancient oaks, ye sacred heads,

With images andflower-gifts worshipped erst,


But now

the scorn ofpassers-by athirst,

Who, parched with

heat the gleaming ether sheds,

<^/Ind robbed ofyour cool verdure at their need,


<t_sfccuse

your murderers, and speak them

scathe.

Farewell, ye oaks, the valiant patriot's wreath,

Te

trees

of Jove himself, Dodona's

"T was you, great oaks,

seed.

that gave their earliest

food

To men, ungrateful and degenerate

race,

Forgetful ofyour favors, recreant, base,


(^/fnd quick to shed their foster-fathers' blood !

Wretched is he who

The world !

sets his trust

how

upon

truly speaks philosophy.

Saying that each thing in the end must die,


its
form and take another on.

<JMust change

Fair Tempos vale shall be in

hills uptossed,

<^And Athos* peak become a level plain ;


Old Neptune' s fields shall some day wave with
grain,
er abides forever, form

99

is lost.

rue VOWST^OF soNg


uplifted high,

Or

Or stone

living bronze,

carved skilfully,

Fame's clarions
<

]\feyer

to

men can give

Their deathless meed


Like song that makes

Sack

to live

noble deed*

Ifpoets had not come


To grace their name,
Virtue herself were dumb
<*^4nd tongue/ess Fame,
<iSfnd dead the memory
Of Hector's worth.

But winged with


Throughout

song theyjly

the earth.

THS TOST'S TITL8S


T T OLY

Euterpe teaches me to
The common crowd;

hate

Her sacred laurel-branch marks my

estate,

<^And makes me proud.


She deigns

to

tune her fluting pipes for

me

Within her wood,


<sSfnd brings them

me whene'er my

heart

may

be

In singing mood.

From her own spring she chrismed me, with her lip
She named my name,
<x4W made me share old Rome's high mastership
<^And Athens' fame.

101

LAURELS
(^Dialogue of

^onsard and

^onsard
TV /T Y

too

of'you hath been my bale,


w ho defy Time' s power, you

great love

Muses

say!

For now mine

eyes are dull,

head at

my face

thirty years

is

is

bald

pale,

and grey.

The <JMuses

The wandering seaman weareth bronzed looks


For beauty

To make

smooth, soft skin doth not avail

the soldierfair

'Doth bend

is

who

o'er

our booh

ugly save his face be pale.

But what rewardfor so long following


With laurelled brow your dances night and day
Can e'er make good the loss of my life's Spring

When youth

like scattered dust is

blown away ?

The
Living you shall enjoy a glorious fame,
ter death your memory shall bloom
upon age shall keep alive your name,

'Thought but your flesh shall perish in the tomb.

O gracious recompense ! What vantage hath


Homer, who
Without

lies,

mere nothing, undergound,

head or limbs or breath,


Though on the earth his name be still renowned !
or feet or

The *JMuses
You are

But

What

deceived.

Within

the tomb ?

though the body rot


cannot know or care.

//

on the soul of man such change comes not.

Immortal, freed offlesh^

Then

it is

well ! I'll

toil

it lives

fore* er.

with joyousface

Sven though I die o* er-vanquished


to the end no
Of study
future race
lay on

me

the blame

The
'Tis wisely

spoken.

Toward God is
Shall

still

in the strife

of wasted life.

<*JMuses

They whose fantasy

true

and reverent,

as of old,

create some noble poesy,


their fame the Fates shall

103

have no

hold.

LIFE-THIL OSOPHT
to

wait whatever Chance may give

CALMLYBy Fate's decree


<sflone brings happiness,
Fearless

The

things of this world,


<Jfylove neath

But Time

is

swift,

and makes man

live

andfree.
owning Time's
His sway ;

and swift

control,

the seasons roll

Briefly away.

Once knowledge dwelt

beside the Nile, then passed

To Greece alone ;
Then Rome had joy of it, that now

at last

Taris doth own.

Cities

and kingdoms perish and make room

That

live

For others new,


awhile in glory of their bloom,

Then perish
So

Be

arm

too.

thyself in firm Philosophy


Gainst Fate's control',

nobly brave,

and with her precepts high

soul.
(fird up thy

104

Then whatsoever change may meet


Fear not at

Though

the abyss should rise

<^And

thine eyes

all,

and be

the skies fall.

105

the skies

rue HAPPY

LIFS

TT7E 'LL purge, my friend, the humors that still


devour

Our life

the love of money, the love ofpower.

In wisdom

let

us strive to fashion

Souls that are free

of the heats ofpassion.

We '// drive out care, be deaf to ambition's call,


<>'4W learn

to live

If once the soul

content with our

little all.

win calm offeeling,

Surely the body will need no healing.

But

souls oppressed with hunger of worldly gain


Will grow obscure and darken the reason's reign.

ex^ little smoke when

care doth slacken

Quickly sufficeth the house to blacken.

(jreat

riches

<^Slre hoards

What

won, and riches

to

win

end shall serve such

toilsome questing,

Leaving us never the time for

From

Of

out

once more,

of care on care in a heaped-up store

my fancy's

this enticing

tablets

world with

resting ?

I V/ raze
its

all trace

shameless face,

To joy of song a free heart bringing


Oft as the Muses may ask my singing.
106

Be

this the only object

l^ojnore

to

desire.

worldly gain shall

vainly be

This

of my

is

my

heart aspire

with hope tormented.

my kingdom

107

to live contented.

FAREWELL TO LOVS
NCE

7S(ow youth burns


longer

Soon

my

veins

was

blood

with

desire no

the life that ran in

<

my

stronger ;

my grizzled head must

be disapproving

Bondage of loving.
Young, I served King Love, and my April squandered
<Lx4V his valiant trooper,

and bore

Which

to

at Menus' shrine

Forced

Now
"

to

his standard,

her care I tender,

surrender.

no more shall words of delight the sheerest,

Sweet,

my

Thrill me.

soul, thou life of my life, my dearest,"


They whose hearts have new blood to

heat them,

Hearing, repeat them.

I will find,
Seeking^

to

kindle

Truth

my

in Physic

life,

Taths of worlds and stars


(jfoing,

So,

Farewell,

my

new physic,

and Metaphysic,
in their orbits learning,

returning.

sonnets

Farewell, sweet-singing

Odes, Farewell the dance and the lyre's soft ringing,


thou must seek afar now,
Long Farewell, O love
f

Losing Ronsard now.


108

TV/T EANS death


^

<*Sfs most

much ?

so

great an ill
Birth was not

Is it so

men think ?

pain-bestead,

(jx^W we
Let be

u But thou

"

What

leaves our bodies hueless, cold,

u Thou shalt not


Toward meat
its

spirit needs

The fateful

too.

Once broken, there

Lengthens

eat."

I shall have no

The

or drink.
life

and dread,

Spinner's thread

no longing, wish, nor will.

's

desire

body by such fare

and our dependency

them

not.

" But

joy, shall fail thee."

Of
He that

then ?

chill

Ends feeling

The

pain when we are dead.


must fulfil.

birth began, death

shalt cease to be !

The
That

shallfeel no

What

love, the fire

^And I shall not

escapes desire, at last

109

is

free.

care.

<J7I4UNDUS

\ NOTHER Winter comes.


** know.
For

six

The

last comes soon,

and fifty years have blanched my head with


snow.

The time

here

is

(jv/^W take

my

long !

to say,

Farewell,

to love

and song,

leave of life's best days, for oh


.

Yet I have lived. So much stands safe beyond

I grudge not
c

Nor

life

how

its joys.

e'er refrained

recall.

I have tasted one and all,

my hand from pleasures within

reach,

Save but as Reason

The part

assigned

set

due measure unto each.

me I have played on

this

life's

stage

In costume fitted

to

the times

and to my

age.

morning dawn, and evening come

I 've

seen the

I 've

seen the storm, the lightning-flash, the hail, the

again.

rain.

Teoples I've seen, and kings

For twenty years

now past
I've seen each day
last.

rise

upon France as though her

Wars I have

seen,

and strife of words, and terms of

truce

First

made and then unmade again, then made

by

ruse

To break and make again

I've seen that neath

the moon
(x^T//

was

but change

and chance, and danced to

Fortune's tune.

Though man seek Prudence


him naught ;

out for guide,

it boots

Fate ineluctable doth hold him chained and caught,

Bound hand and foot, in prison

and all he may

propose

Fortune and Fate, wisely mayhap, themselves dispose.

Full-feasted of the world, even as a wedding-guest


the banquet-hall, I go to my long rest ;
(joesfrom
s^As from a king 's great feast, I go not with ill

grace

Though

after
place.

me

one come,

and take

the

abandoned

gLORU
I

HAVE wrought my work

more durable than

steel;

<^/fndnot swift-hasting Time, nor winds, nor ram,

Devouring waves, lightning, nor thunder-peal,


f

l^or rage ofstorms, shall lay

In that last day

it

low again.

and hour, when Death

shall come

<^And set hard sleep like stone upon my heart,


c
beneath the tomb.
]S(ot all Ronsard shall pass
There shall remain of him the
Forever andforever, I shall

better part.

live,

Shallfly the wide world o'er, deathless

<^And haunt

the fields to

which my

andfree,

laurels give

Immortalfame, by changeless Fate's decree ;

For that Ijoined two harpers of old time

To

the soft ringing

of my ivory lyre
them Vendomese by my new rhyme.
carry to Heaven's choir
Up, then, my Muse !

^And made

The glory I have gained, announce the claim


That offull right I make in song's demesne
Then

consecrate thy son to lasting fame

ind his brows with laurel ever green.

TOMB
CAVES, and you, O springs
The lofty mountain flings

^Downward along his sides


With leaps and glides,

O woods, and sun-shot gleams


Of wandering meadow -sirearns,
<^/fnd banks with flowers gay,
List what I say

When
^I4y

Fate and Heaven decree


hour

is

come

Snatchedfrom

Of common

to be

the light

away

day,

Let none bring granite

stones

To build above my bones


^/f tomb of noble height
In Time's despite
<

R{ot marble, but a tree

Set to cast over

me

Shadows of billowy sheen,


Forever green,

"3

<^Andfrom my earth
<L/4

let

spring

garlanding
The grave, and round
ivy,

it

wind

Twisted and twined.

There shepherds with

Coming each year

to

their sheep

keep

<z^l4y festival, shall

Their

" Fair

To

isle,

be his

rites,

great

To

thy grace,

all the universe

Repeats

He

resting-place,

While

"

is

pay

and say

his verse.

taught the Muses' pride


love our country-side,

<Sfnd dance our flowers among,


To songs he sung.

"

He struck
Fore'er

Our

to

his lyre on high

glorify

mountains, crofts,

^And blosmy fields.


114

and wealds,

u Let
gentle manna fall
,

Aw pall,
and still

above

that soft

Spring nights

u <^And let

distil.

us keep his

^And glorying

in his

name,

fame

Sach year bring him again


Traise, as

Thus

to

Pan"

shall the shepherd-troop

andfrom many a cup


Tour wine and milk for food

Speak,

<^/Ind young lambs' blood

me, who shall then


Be dwelling far from men,
Where happy spirits blest

Take

their long rest,

Where Zephyr breathes his love


O* er field and myrtle-grove
<z^fnd meadows at all hours
<

2^ew-decked with flowers,

"5

Where

care comes not , nor hate,

j^or envy spurs the great

To spreadfell sorrow's dower


For

lust

ofpower

In brotherly good-will
<iSflljoin,

andfollow

still

The

crafts they used


On earth above.

God !

to

to love

think, mine ear

lyre shall hear,

appho's, over all

musical !

See

how

the happy throngs

Tress near

to

hear their songs

Till souls in woe rejoice

Listing their voice,

Till Sisyphus forget

His rock-worn

toil

and sweat,

Till Tantalus obtain

Surcease ofpain.

116

The sweet-toned lyre

Can

alone

comfort hearts that

<iSfnd charm away

Of whoso hears.

moan

all cares

THE TEXTS AND THE TRANSLATION.


Ronsard

The

texts

of

and no one of them has predomMarty-Laveaux (" CEuvres de Ron-

differ greatly,

inant authority.

sard," Edition de

la

Pleiade,

so far as possible the edition of

887-1 893 ) has followed


584, which has the final

sanction of Ronsard himself ; but an almost unanimous

judgment has pronounced


poorest text.

"Two or

says the old biography


flicted

this to be, in

many

cases, the

three years before his death,"

by

with the gout, and

Colletet,

much

"being old and

af-

subject to the attacks of

now almost abandoned by that


which
had
long kept him such good and
poetic fury
faithful company, he made a new edition of his works
melancholy, and being

cutting out

tions,

and

many

beauteous and sprightly inven-

changing whole passages, and in place of noble

spirited lines, substituting others that

the force nor the fantasy of the

account of

of

his

own

this

that even

works, yet

it

first.

had neither

For he took no

though he were the father

belongeth not to peevish and

surly old age to judge the strokes of valiant

"He

youth."
changed and corrected much, and often for the

worse," says Sainte-Beuve


more critical authority.
Blanchemain

("

less

picturesquely but with

(Euvres de Ronsard," Bibliotheque


119

Elzevirienne,

extreme.

has followed as far as posthis is going to the other

1857-1867)

But

sible the earliest texts.

perfectly obvious that

It is

many of Ronsard's

were improvements, and deBlanchemain has given many of them in

earlier revisions, at least,

serve to stand.
his notes,

and

in the

books of Selections

still

other vari-

"If ever," says Gandar, "a critical


edition of Ronsard's Works were attempted, the variants
would take up fully as much space as the text.
Marty
ants often appear.

' '

Laveaux, who had edited critically the works of the other


poets of the Pleiade, gave up the attempt when he came
to

" We wish that we

Ronsard.

poet too," he says, "as

might have given for this


have done for most of those

we

of the Pleiade, the successive changes of reading that he


in his works.
But they are so numerous that it

made

was impossible

to think

Any single text,

of doing so."

therefore,

ledge of Ronsard, nor

is it

is

to

not sufficient for a

know-

be trusted in judging of

the faithfulness of the translations.

If the reader, for in-

stance, following Blanchemain' s or

Becq de Fouquiere's

"

by
thy lips twinmated" (CARPE DIEM, p. 52), let him not accuse me
of having intruded a fancy of my own, perhaps for the
sake of the rhyme, until he has examined the other texts ;
text, finds ta bouche belle translated

for in

Marty-Laveaux and Sainte-Beuve he will read ta


This instance is typical of a great many.

levre jumelle.

Some of

the

Notes ; but
volume.

more important ones are indicated in the


them all would require another small

to give

The

translations are in general faithful to

what-

ever text of the passage in question seemed to me poetifor there is no other standard ofjudging.

cally the best

In some cases

have taken the liberty of condensation ;

never, I think, of expansion.

INTRODUCTION.

Page ix

Noble family

branches of the royal blood.


See the notes to Ronsard's twentieth Elegy, To REMY BELLEAU, in Blanchemain, iv. 298 ; and Rochambeau, " La Famille de

Ronsart," 1868.
Tasso
This was in 1571, when
Page xxii
Tasso was twenty-three years old. See Tasso' s " Cataneo ovvero degli Idoli," and A. Dupre's "Relations
:

du Tasse

et

de Ronsard," Vendome, 1874.

It has genPage xxii Cassandre Salviati du Pre.


erally been thought that the name Cassandra was a crea:

of the poet's classical fancy, in spite of express


statements to the contrary by Binet and Muret, and an

tion

important passage of the younger poet D'Aubigne, who


loved Cassandra's niece.
Her identity has been dis-

covered only within a year, and the strikingly romantic


facts stated in the text have been established
beyond
question,

Chartes.

by the researches of a student at the ficole des


See M. Gaston Deschamps' lectures on "La

Poesie franchise de

Cours

et

la

Renaissance," in the

Conferences,"

May

"Revue

des

15 and 22, 1902, with

references there.

See Pierre de NolPage xxix: Helen of Surgeres.


"Le dernier Amour de Ronsard," Paris, 1882.

hac,

Page 4

LOVE'S CONQUERING.
121

The

texts

of this

Sonnet, the first of the


Amours," differ greatly. I
have used those of Marty-Laveaux and Sainte-Beuve.
Compare the beginning of Petrarch's Sonnet 190
:

Chi vuol veder t quantunque puonatura


and of Seraphine's Strambotto

Chi vuol veder gran

:.

cose altiere e

quoted and imitated by Watson


of his " Hecatompathia.

nuove

in the zist

" Sonnet"

' '

A transPage 5 ONE ONLY AIM AND THOUGHT.


of this sonnet, with the last two lines omitted, was
:

lation

made by
"Life,

Keats, and published for the


Letters,

and

Literary

first

time in his

Remains," by Lord

Hough ton. See Forman's edition of Keats, ii. 317.


The texts again diifer very considerably. I have used
of Marty-Laveaux.
Page 6: LOVE'S CHARMING.
trarch, Sonnet 159
that

Imitated from Pe-

Grazie, ch? a pochi

Page 7

'I tie I largo destina

PICTURE AND A PLEA.

This

Renaissance painting, simple and exquisite.


has the pictorial faculty often.

is

little

Ronsard

In a single stanza of the

ODE TO MICHEL

DE L' HOSPITAL he sketches a magnificent Titianesque image of Jove hurling the thunder,

Half bending down

And lifting high


With

his breast,
his

arm

the last part of the sonnet, compare the 85th of

Shakspere's Sonnets, and the 8th of Spenser's

Amo-

retti:

You

stop

Page 10

toung, and teach

my

LOVE'S WOUNDING.

made

sonnet-ideas that

hart to speake.

my

This

one of the

is

the tour of Europe in the sixteenth

more versions in every language.


another in French, by Baif, in his "Francine,"

century, and had one or

There

is

Book IL The

seems

earliest

Si come suol, poiche

'

to

be that by Bembo:

v erno aspro

e rio

and paraphrased, in three different forms, by Drummond of Hawthornden (Works,


Ward's edition, ii. 123-125). Some of Drummond 's

which has been

translated

phrases were apparently taken from Ronsard,

whom

does not mention, rather than from Bembo.


stance, in the next to the last line,

For

Drummond

has

he
in-

"In

my young Spring," and there is nothing in Bembo suggesting this, while Ronsard has Sur /' Av ril de mon age.
It

is

interesting to notice, in the

Hawthornden Man-

published in Archaeologica Scotica, iv. 74,


Drummond' s list of " Bookes red anno 1609, be me,"

uscripts,

which includes
furieux, in

"La

Frenche

Amours de Ronsard
de Ronsard

Franciade de Ronsard

Hymnes de Ronsard

Elegies et Ecglogues de

the following year

Drummond

"et en Fra^ais ;" and


There
respond

is

to

Roland

Azolains de Bembe, in Frenche

nothing in

in

read

1612,

Ronsard."

Bembo

Les Odes

In

in Italian

in Italian alone.

any of the other versions to cor-

Ronsard' s third line:


123

Pour mieux brouter


or to his Libre, folatre

lafeuille emmiell'ee,
etc.

Beauties like these, of

and phrasing, and the way in which the whole


breathes the fragrance of spring-time and of dawn,
make Ronsard's sonnet seem the best of all the versions
feeling

of

this

conventional idea.

La Fontaine's

flavor as

It

the same exquisite

lias

on the

lines

" Petit

Lapin :"

Iletait a liefair e a /' Aurore sa cour

Parmi le thym et

la rosee.

This sonnet has been translated by Gary


(the transof Dante) in his " Early French Poets," page

lator
1

He

02.

quotes

Bembo's

version, but does not speak

of Drummond's.

From the text


Page 12: CASSANDRA'S PROPHECY.
of Blanchemain. This prophecy
written certainly as
early as Ronsard's twenty-seventh year,

some years

was

earlier

and probably

fulfilled in

every point, except


the conventional one of his dying for Cassandra's love.
He grew gray at thirty, he died " ere evening," at sixty,

suddenly "withered, shorn of youth's fresh


"laughed his sighs to scorn," and

his songs

bloom,"

made

posterity

"fame

his

ness of it

With
Page

by-word

in the

The

land."

almost poignantly pathetic.


thunder from the right
.
.

exact-

is

Like clouds in the wind

Omen of evil.
it

vanisheth.

Compare Browning's "The Glove" (" Peter Ronsard


loquitur")

Sire, I replied, joys

prove cloudlets

124

This charming lyric is


Page 20 To THE BEES.
one of those rejected by Ronsard in his over-critical old
age, and excluded from the final edition of his works.
:

The same

is

true of

MESSENGER NIGHTINGALE, THE

POWER OF SONG, and LAUREL'S WORTH, and of the sonABSENCE IN SPRING, THE MUSES' COMFORTING, To
His VALET, KISSES AND DEATH, WITH FLOWERS, etc.
Compare, in
Page 22: LOVE ME, LOVE ME NOT.
Thomas Lodge's story of "Rosalynde," Montanus* sonets

called

"Sonnet:"
Beyond compare my

pain,

Yet glad am I,
If gentle Phoebe daine

To see her Montan die.


Bullen says in his "Lyrics from Elizabethan Romances,"
page xi: "Lodge's lyric measures have frequently a
flavor of Ronsard," and cites as an example, in "Rosa-

lynde," the

lyric beginning

"Phoebe sat"

I have found as
Page 24: LOVE'S QUICKENING.
different
versions
of
this
many
important sonnet as I have

seen texts.

but for the


ants, I

For the most part I follow Sainte-Beuve's,


and some other less important vari-

last line,

have taken Blanchemain's.

This sonnet has been translated by Gary ("Early


French Poets," page 101) and by Cosmo Monkhouse

(Waddington's "Sonnets of Europe," page 123).


Page 25: ... You to whom I have said,

" You and

you only ever please my heart.


125

' '

Compare Ovid:
Elige, cui dicas, tu mihi sola places

and Petrarch:
Col dolee honor y che

d* amar quella
haipreso,

A CU* IO DISSI, TU SOLA A ME PIACI.


(Note of Muret, 1553.)

A qui j'ai dit


The

also Victor

Compare

Toujours,

et qui

m'a

Hugo

dit: Partout.

See Marty-La40. This sonnet is


not in any of the books of Selections from Ronsard.
texts again differ considerably.

veaux,

i.

32, and Blanchemain,

Page 26

i.

LOVE THE TEACHER AND

INSPIRER.

This

sonnet, perhaps the most beautiful in all Ronsard' s work,


has not only not been included in any book of Selections,
but has not been quoted or mentioned by any critic, so
can find. It is the i ooth sonnet of the first book

far as I

of the

"Amours."

veaux,

i.

Blanchemain,

i.

57; Marty-La-

48.

Other instances of sonnets

translated here

included in no book of Selections, so

far as I

which

are

can find, are

THE POET'S GIFT (page 33), ABSENCE IN SPRING (29),


THE MUSES' COMFORTING (32), KISSES AND DEATH
(75), IF THIS BE LOVE (77), LOVE'S FLOWER (80),
STUART, QUEEN OF FRANCE (87), and ON
all of them among the most beautiful
DEATH (109)

To MARY

the same is true of the poems IN DEAR VENDOME (93), FAREWELL TO LOVE (108), and the splendid DIALOGUE OF RONSARD AND THE MUSES (102).

sonnets

126

This gives some suggestion of the


of Ronsard

riches

still

undiscovered

know of no

other sonnet,

Page 27

IN ABSENCE.

and so compact as this one.


love seem crowded into it. Yet it

All

language, so full

in

any
Nature and

"of one

all

one simple phrase

breath,"

another of Ronsard' s,

TRUE

GIFT,

like

for instance.

is all

many

He

is

indeed master of the sonnet-form.

On

the forest of Gastine, the river Loir, and

all

of

Ronsard' s home-country, see a charming article by


Monsieur Jusserand
now Ambassador from France to
the United States

"Nineteenth Century,"

in the

588-612: "Ronsard and his Vendomois."


The direct appeal, by name, to Gastine and Loir

xli.

was cut out

in the final edition

by Ronsard, and

the

vague

Et

vousy rochers, les hotes de

This

substituted.

is

mes vers

a fair example of many unfortunate

changes.

Page 29: ABSENCE IN SPRING.


spere, Sonnet 98.
Page 30

Blanchemain,

Compare Shak-

THE THOUGHT
i.

86.

OF DEATH.
Text of
Compare Shakspere, Sonnets

27 and 44.
Page
ser,

REMEMBERED SCENES.

Amoretti, no. 78, and

den, Poems, the First Part,


sonnet

is said
(Publications
Association of America, xi.

Compare Spenof HawthornSonnet 46. Drummond's


of the Modern Language

Drummond

127

425)

to

have been taken

from Petrarch's Sonnet 72 {Avventuroso piu


reno^) f but
/'

V0

it is

closer to the

d' altro ter-

76th of Petrarch (^Senuccio,

che sappi in qua I maniera), especially in the tercloser to Ronsard's than to either of Petrarch's.

and

cets,

See the note on page 10.


best of

The
most

them

Ronsard's sonnet seems the

and unity.
I have used, for the
of Blanchemain (i. 92) This sonnet has

all,

in simplicity

texts differ considerably.

part, that

been translated, apparently from a

different text,

by Lord

" Sonnets of
Lytton (Waddington's
Europe," page
and
Miss
Katharine
Hillard (Warner's Liby
120),
brary of the World's Best Literature) ; both of them
curious error of taking angelette for a
misled, perhaps, by the capitalization

make the very


proper name
!

of some old edition.

The

Mr. Henry Harland's


Page 3 2

My

Qui

"The Lady

Paramount."

faithful mate who follows here and

Taking the reading

there.

With

sonnet plays a leading role in

story,

defa, qui de la t fidele y m'accompagne.

the lines

Would the nine Sisters might each season please


To make my house with theirfair gifts replete

Thyme
As

blossoms not so sweetfor honey-bees

theirfair gifts upon

my mouth

compare Theocritus, Idyl IX.,

TTTl

lines

are sweet

31-35

/MV TeTTl-yi <lXoS, (MVpfJiaKL Sfi fJLVppa^,


iprjKcs 8' tpr)w, ffjiv Se re MoTcra /cat w8a.
ras fioi Tras CM; TrXeios 8o/x,os. ovrc yap VTTVOS

OVT* lap

ea7r/as yAvKwrepov, OVTC fieXtWats


rovcrov ffuv Motcrat <i'Aat

Cicala

("
and

is

dear to cicala,

Of this may

song.

all

my

but to

house be

me

the

full, for

Muse

neither

nor Spring that comes unlooked-for, is more sweet


nor flowers are more sweet to honey-bees
so dear

sleep,

to

me

are the

Muses.")

THE POET'S GIFT.


With this sonnet
HER
The idea of
81.
IMMORTALITY, page
compare
Page 33

these

two sonnets

Compare
69.

The

often occurs elsewhere in Ronsard.

Spenser's Amoretti, 75, 82, and especially


same idea is constantly recurring in Shakspere's

sonnets, from the iyth on.

Page

38

Aratus was a Greek poet of the

Aratus.

who wrote inverse a treatise on


called the " Phenomena.
It was translated

third century B.

c.,

' '

astronomy,

into Latin verse

by Cicero. After Ronsard' s study of it,

his friend

Remy

translated

it

Aratus'

Belleau, another poet of the Pleiade,

into French.

name,

if

known now,

other reasons than his


for Theocritus sang

" dreary"

is

known

of Aratus' love in

The

texts vary, especially in the

his seventh Idyl,

and Saint Paul quoted him to the Athenians:


tain also of your own poets have said ..."
at the

for quite

poem on astronomy

"As

cer-

second stanza, and

end.

"A

masPage 40: To THE HAWTHORN-TREE.


of grace and freshness."
(Sainte-Beuve.)

terpiece

129

Translated by Gary

("Early French Poets," page

114).

Rival camps ofscurrying ants


from the reading

Deux camps de

drillantsfour mis.

Nightingale the chorister

from

Le chantre

rossignolet.

In thy top t

etc.

from

Sur ta cime

ilfait son nid

Eien garni

De laine et define soie.


Page 45

MARIE,

the Spanish and


leau,

" These

ARISE.

fairer in their simplicity

than

all

some of the

mignardises are

the subtle inventions of

Italians."

(Note of Bel-

1560.)

Page 52 Dost think to kiss King Pluto* s mouth" etc.


This is imitated by Watson in his " Hecatompa:

thia," the

last

part of

"Sonnet" 27. Watson has also


83d "Son-

imitated Ronsard, avowedly, in his 54th and

nets," and unavowedly in his 92d, which

is

taken from

LOVE'S ATTRIBUTES, page 13. Both Ronsard and Watson may have taken some suggestions from Phaedrus
(iii.

drus

17), but in very important variations from Phaeto follow Ronsard.

Watson seems

Page 54: LOVE'S LESSON.


130

Compare

Catullus:

Soles occidere et redire possunt

Nobis cum semel

occidit brevis lux,

Nox est perpetua una dormienda.


Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,

etc.

Imitated
NATURE'S DRINKING-SONG.
Page 6 1
" Poetae
1
no.
from
the
Anacreontea,
9 (Bergk,
directly
:

Graeci," fourth edition, iii. 310).


Page 62: The coming morrows' time (Le temps
Compare Horace
futur du lendemairi}
lyrici

Quid
Page 63 :.

sit

futurum

eras, fuge quaerere.

Estienne,

Who savedfrom

Lethe* s treasures

etc.

The

Anacreontea were discovered and published from


the manuscript by Ronsard's friend, the famous printer

and humanist Henry Estienne, in 1554.

They were

soon translated, entire, by Remy Belleau. See RonSard's ode to him, beginning: Tu es un trop sec biberon

Imitated, in
Page 64 THE PRAISE OF ROSES.
part, from the Anacreontea, no. 5 (Bergk, iii. 322).
Page 69 SWEET-HEART, COME SEE IF THE ROSE.
:

This

is

Ronsard's best-known

lyric.

It

has been trans-

by Mr. Andrew Lang ("Ballads and Lyrics


of Old France"), by Miss Hillard (Library of the
World' s Best Literature) , and, anonymously, in ' ' Poems
You Ought to Know," published by the Chicago Tri-

lated

bune.

Page 70: LIFE'S ROSES.

This

is

Ronsard's best-

known sonnet. The text can be found in any anthology,


and fortunately there are only two slight variants
one
of them, however, important: in the second line, the best
is

reading

("winding thread") and

certainly d'evidant

not devisant ("gossiping").


It has been translated by Mr. Lang (in "Grass of

Parnassus"), by Miss Hillard, and by Mr. C. Kegan


Paul ( Waddington's "Sonnets of Europe"), and para-

phrased by Thackeray.

The translation by Mr. Lang is

perhaps the best existing version in English of anything


by Ronsard. But he does not render either d'evidant or
devisant and unfortunately omits altogether the en vous
',

emerveillant, at the end of the third line

of ever-new wonder

at the

that touch

beauty of the old songs, and

of ever-new amazement that they were written for that


who so strangely was and is not she.

maiden

"He signified! the


Page 74: That Lady
Helen of the Greeks, who ravished even those that by
hearsay had conceived but an imagination and fantasy of
.

(Note of Nicholas

her beauty."

Page 76:

WITH

FLOWERS.

Richelet. )
the

Compare

Greek

Anthology: "I send thee, Rhodoclea, this crown that


with my own hands I have woven thee, of beauteous
flowers

warm

there

is

a lily, a rosebud, a

wet anemone, a

narcissus/ and the darkly bright violet.

Wear

thou

crown, and cease to be too proud. For thou dost


bloom and die
thou, and the crown."
(Quoted
this

by Sainte-Beuve,

"

Causeries du Lundi," Oct.

1855.)
132

13,

Time passes swift, my

love,

ah

not Time, alas! but

Yet no

swift

we

it flies !

we pass.

See Mr. Austin Dobson's variations on the theme of these

two

lines, in

"The

"

Paradox of Time

(Old- World

Idyls, page

175).
LOVE'S RECORDING.
Page 79
beginning, in Blanchemain's text:
:

This

is

the sonnet

Fauche,gar$on, d'une mainpilleresse,

Le bel esmail de

la verte saison,

Puts apleinpoing en-jonche la maison


1
Desfleurs qu Avril enfante en sajeunesse.
It

"

has been translated by Lord Lytton (Waddington,

Sonnets of Europe," page 121 ) from a very different

text.

Blanchemain, i. 54:
Page 80: LOVE'S FLOWER.
This is another of the many beautiPrens cette rose
.

ful

sonnets included in no book of Selections.

See note

on page 26.
Blanchemain,
Page 8 5 'Twixr LOVE AND DEATH.
366. This is the last of Ronsard's love-sonnets.
:

i.

Charles IX. died on

may

have been

worse than he was

whole

May

as a king

1
574. However weak he
and he is doubtless painted

30,

he was a generous and on the


arts, and a close friend,

patron of the
almost comrade, of Ronsard,
intelligent

and seems

to

who saw

have had a sincere love

his best side,

for

exchanged verses on several occasions.

him.

The

They
follow-

ing are the best

king

known among

those attributed to the

CHARLES
To

be a poet

is

IX. TO

RONSARD

a higher thing,

Whatever men say, than even

to,

be a king!

We both
But

alike bear crowns whose


glory lives,
kings receive them, and the poet gives.

Thy mind, onjire with Heaven's especial Grace,


Shines of itself, I by my height ofplace.
If toward the Gods our rank I seek to try,
Thou art theirfavorite, and their image

I.

Thy Muse with sweet accords men* s passion binds


Though I their bodies, thou dost sway their minds ;

Thy mastership is such, it makes thee rule


Where proudest tyrants ne'er have he Id contra I.
I can give men their death by my decree ;
But thou canst give them immortality.
Unfortunately some doubt must be felt about the authenof these lines.
The style of a later age seems to

ticity

show through, even in the translation.


Blanchemain, vii.
Page 86: COUNSEL FOR KINGS.
37-38, passim. This advice, somewhat in the Polonius
vein, was addressed to Charles IX. It at least shows
Ronsard's independent attitude toward the court.
Page 87 To MARY STUART, QUEEN OF FRANCE.
:

Blanchemain,

v.

304.

England's Queen.
the Guises induced

After the death of Mary Tudor,

Mary
J

Stuart, then

34

Dauphine of

France, to assume the sovereignty of England. Accordwhich did not recognize the

ing to the point of view

marriage of Henry VIII. with Anne Boleyn, Mary


Stuart was the legitimate heir to the throne of England,

through her grandmother Margaret, the daughter of

Henry VII.
She was Queen of France from June,

559, to De-

cember, 1560.

Page 88
ments from

This

REGRET.

a long

art

poem on
vi.

consists

of two

the fortunes of

frag-

Stu-

Mary

24, 26.

;
Blanchemain,
This is the beginTHE SAME SUBJECT.
Page 89
ning of a much longer poem ; Blanchemain, vi. 10.
:

" There

little

verses

than in

all

is

more

and earnest

true

feeling in

some

by Ronsard on the unhappy Queen of Scots,


the elegant, fanciful, but extravagant flattery

No wonder, for she possessed


charm which Elizabeth, with all her

of Elizabeth' s poets."
the beauty and the

power, lacked. The men of the Renaissance saw Beauty


born anew, and worshipped Her, like their masters the
Ronsard goes even further than Homer, and
Greeks.

makes the old men on the Trojan wall say of Helen

Not a II our ills are worth one look of hers!

Mary

Stuart

was the Helen of the Renaissance.

We

need have no sympathy with those over-zealous advocates who would whitewash away all the crimson color
of her
still

life.

She sinned

more sinned

greatly,

against.

no doubt.

But she was

Ronsard knew her

'35

in the

sweet purity and wonderful precocious charm of her


girlhood as Queen of France, and remained loyal to her
as the splenthrough long misfortune and captivity
did arraignment and appeal of the next sonnet, written

only the year before his death, will show.


This
Page 1 04 : LIFE-PHILOSOPHY.

poem

has

been translated by Miss Hillard, who compares it with


* '
Chaucer* s < < Ballad of Good Counsel.
Compare also
Horace* s

Ode

Justum

iii.

et

of Book

iii.

tenacem propositi virum

especially the lines

Si fractus illabatur orbis

Impavidum
Page

08

ferient ruinae.

Though Ron-

FAREWELL TO LOVE.

" Sapphics,"

sard calls these verses

the Sapphic stanza

properly speaking cannot exist in French. What Ronsard uses is probably the nearest possible equivalent for
it

a stanza consisting of three eleven-syllable lines

followed by one fiveas


and
in
the
translation, except
rhyming
syllable line,
that in this poem, and in all his " Sapphics," Ronsard

with caesura

after the fifth syllable,

confines himself to masculine rhymes.

Page 112: PERMANET GLORIA.

Ode xxx. of Book


Exegi

iii.

monumentum

and the whole ode.

Compare Horace,

aere perennius,

Compare
136

also

Ovid:

Jamque opus

quod nee Jo vis

exegi,

Nee poterit ferrum, nee edax

ira,

nee ignes

abolere vetustas.

Two harpers of old time.


Pindar and Horace.
RONSARD'S TOMB.
Blanchemain, ii.
Page 113
249 ; and most books of Selections. Some stanzas of
:

this

poem have been translated by Mr. Lang, in


a la Mode." There is also a translation of

" Rhymes
the whole

poem, by J.

P.

M.,

in

Blackwood's Maga-

zine, cxxxvi. 716.


By the beauty of its Nature- worship,

quiet acceptance of

its

joy in Song,

and of death, the simplicity


of its expression, and the purity of its form, this poem
is one of the few modern
examples of perfect classic
its

life

art.

137

FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE COPIES


OF THIS BOOK WERE PRINTED AT THE

RIVERSIDE PRESS CAMBRIDGE


IN

THE MONTH OF MAY


MDCCCCIII