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Poems ....Pierre de Ronsard from Sonnets pour Hélène French Renaissance Poet

Pierre de Ronsard

from Sonnets pour Hélène

L’autre jour que j’estois sur le haut d’un degré
Passant tu m’advisas, et, me tournant la veue,
Tu m’esblouis les yeux, tant j’avois l’ame esmeue
De me voir en sursaut de tes yeux rencontré.
Ton regard dans le coeur, dans le sang m’est rentré,
Comme un esclat de foudre alors qu’il fend la nue
J’eus de froid et de chaud la fievre continue
D’un si poignant regard mortellment outré.
Et si ta belle main passant ne m’eust fact signe,
Main blanche qui se vant d’estre celle d’un cygne,
Je fusse mort, Helene, aux rayons de tes yeux:
Mais ton signe retint l’ame presque ravie,
Ton oeil se contenta d’estre victorieux,
Ta main se re’jouit de me donner la vie.

English rendition by Humbert Wolfe (more poetic than precise):

Lately as dreaming on a stair I stood
you passed me by, and, by looking on my face,
blinded my eyes with the immediate grace
of unanticpated neighboourhood.
As lightning splits the clouds, my heart and blood
split with your beatuty, and began to race,
now ice, now fever, shattered in their place
by that unparelleled beatitutde.
And if you hand in passing had not beckoned—
your whiter hand than is the swan’s white daughter,
Helen, your eyes had wounded me to death.
But your hand saved me in the mortal second,
and your triumphant eyes the moment after
revived their captive with an alms of breath.

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Poems ....Pierre de Ronsard from Sonnets pour Hélène French Renaissance Poet by 


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