John Payne.

Flowers of France: the renaissance period, from Ronsard to Saint-Amant, representative poems of the sixteenth century; online

. (page 9 of 9)
Online LibraryJohn PayneFlowers of France: the renaissance period, from Ronsard to Saint-Amant, representative poems of the sixteenth century; → online text (page 9 of 9)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


THEOPHILE DE VIAU.



SOLITUDE.

In this dim, solitary glade,
The stag, that bells the brooklet's trill,
Bowing his head above the rill.
Delights to view his proper shade.

The naiad of the water-springs,
Opening each night, at evening-red.
Her crystal-gated dwelling-stead,
A serenade for listeners sings.

The nymphs, that in these tree-shades run.
Spurred by the ardour of the chase,
Still seek some secret trysting-place.
The satyrs' ambushes to shun.

At foot of yonder oak-tree hoar,
Wellnigh as ancient as the sun,
Love, Sleep and Bacchus, Zeus's son,
Silenus buried heretofore.

A cool and darkling silence sleeps
Within these ancient elm-trees' shade;
And through the branches thick-inlaid
The breeze with amorous softness sweeps.



J30 THEOPHILE DE VIAU.

The soul with more contentment greets
The pleasance of this dulcet site,
Where Philomel by day and night
Her piteous threnody repeats.



The howlet and the nightjar eke
Here nest and here the were-wolves bide;
Nor justice criminals, that hide
Here from its wrath, doth ever seek.

Venus hath altars in these woods;
And here to study Love is fain;
No foot of mortal man profane
Troubleth these sacred solitudes.

This forest holy is, ywis:
'Twas not for it without annoy
That here of yore the shepherd-boy
Love hid, whom Dian taught to kiss.

For very innocence. Love might
His nets spread, childwise, in this green;
And Dian, as the forest queen,
An equal license had of right.

Dan Cupid, with his dulcet fire
Cleaving the darkness of this dale,
Did for Apollo's eyes unveil
The loveling of his heart's desire.

To the dim shelter of this glade
It was that Hyacinth did flee
Since when the sun hath vowed to be
The enemy of every shade :



THEOPHILE DE VIAU. 231

And jealous Boreas, hard by,
Goaded to rage by amorous pain,
The death was of that youthful swain,
For whom he evermore must sigh.



Dear, sacred wood, my confidant,
I swear, by yonder sun above.
That never will I cherish love
Whereof thou shalt be ignorant.

Mine angel in these woods shall go;
And the sun, looking on my sweet.
The sharpness of his ancient heat
Again shall, of remembrance, know.

Prithee, Corinna mine, draw near;
Let's couch upon this carpet green
And enter, for a better screen.
The hollow of this grotto here.

Come, open, pray, thine eyes of light ;
A thousand Loves lodge therewithin
And with their arrows minikin
O'errunning are thy pupils bright.

Love from thy lovely looks respires,
And thy slave waxen, bounden he
In his own bonds himself must see.
Condemned to burn in his own fires.

Immortal, sure, that beauty is
Whereat the very Gods are caught.
Nay, by thine eyes, I never thought
That thou wast half so fair as this.



232 THEOPHILE DE VIAU.

Who in a picture, trait by trait,
Thy lovesome looks would represent,
A fairer face must needs invent
Than ever Nature could create.



The Fates for ages at the stuff
Whereof thine eyes were fashioned wrought;
And better yet to do in aught
Methinks Time hath not years enough.

How full of grace thy face doth show,
How fair with lovely red and white!
Clearer it is than the sun's light
And smoother than new-fallen snow.

God ! How thy tresses pleasure me !
They frolic on thy forehead white;
And seeing them so fair and bright,
I'm jealous of their kissing thee.

Sweet mouth of ambergris and rose,
For me thou speakest still amiss.
Except thou tell me, in a kiss,
That Love's the fairest flower that blows.

Enkindled by thy lovesome sight
And by thy voice's dulcet air,
I see the woods and streams aflare
With love of thee, as is my spright.

If thou thy rosy fingers wet
In yonder fountain's crystal tide.
The God, therein that doth abide,
Is taken fast in passion's net.



THEOPHILE DE VIAU. 233

Present thy naked face to it:
Thine eyes will with the water smile
And in its mirror write the while
That Venus hither came to sit.



Therein she will be drawn so feat
That all the Fauns will fall a-fire
And of thine eyes, for love-desire,
Will never know the counterfeit.



List to the God, that beckons thee
Within his element to pass:
Hark how he sighs and says, "Alas !
Alas!" for his lost liberty.

Him of this fancy undeceive
And turn thee from this mirror fair;
So wilt thou drive him to despair
And me of jealousy relieve.

Seest thou yon wilding myrtle-stem.
Yon trunks and rocks? Methinks, indeed,
They take of us o'er-careful heed;
My love doth jealous grow of them.

Up, dear one ! Let me cull in sheaves,
From morn to night, thy kisses sweet.
See, how, to make our love a seat,
Yon myrtle-bush hath shed its leaves.

Lo, where the linnet and the thrush,
Upon the rose-tree boughs hard by.
Their tuneful little throttles ])ly !
Jlark, how they carol in the hush!



2 34 THEOPHILE DE VIAU.



II.



Come, come, my Dryad, come !
Their serenades of Spring
The amorous warblers sing;
The murmurous waters hum.

Lend me thy bosom's charms,
To drink its balmy scents;
So shall my blissful sense
Faint in thine ivory arms.

Deep in thy tresses' maze
I'll plunge these hands of mine
And to thy charms divine
Do worship with my gaze.

Love guards us. Have no fear,
Mine angel! Art not mine?
Thou blushest 'neath my gaze:
I see thou lov'st me dear.

Heav'ns, how thy timorous guise
Doth greaten my desire !
Roland not more on fire
Was for Armida's eyes.

Nay, let me thee embrace:
None seeth us but Love.
The eyes of day above
Find herewithin no place.

The winds, that cannot be
Silent, yet cannot hear:
That which we may do here
To them's a mystery.



SAINT-AMANT.



SAINT-AMANT.



SOLITUDE.

How dear to me is solitude!
These places, sacred to the night,
Far from the loud world, what delight
They are to my disquietude!
God! How mine eyes it doth assuage
To see these woods, which at Time's birth
Were present and of every age
Have still been holden worship-worth,
Yet green with clustering leaves and fair.
As in the world's first days they were!

A frolic breeze about them steals
And with bland breath caresses them :
Nought but their heaven-scaling stem
The greatness of their age reveals.
Pan and his demi-Gods of yore
Sought shelter here, when thundering Jove
The heavens with the deluge clove,
Destruction on the earth to pour;
And from these leafy turrets high,
The waters scarce did they espy.

How featly on yon flowered thorn,
Wherewith in love the Springtide seems,
In harmony with these my dreams,
The languorous nightingale doth mourn!
Ah, how my soul delights to view



238 SAINT-AMANT.

Yon mountain's overhanging steeps,
Which with such might the luckless woo,
Inviting them to desperate leaps,
When cruel Fortune harroweth
Their saddened souls to seek for death!

How sweet to me the turbulence
Of yonder wandering torrents loud,
That from their source in cliff and cloud
Hurl down into these wilding glens,
Then, gliding through the shrub-set nooks,
Like serpents crawling o'er the grass.
Transmute themselves to babbling brooks.
Where, on her throne of crystal glass.
The naiad reigns with lilied head.
As 'twere upon her natal bed!

How sweet this marsh's peace I feel.
All fringed with sallows, alder-trees.
Osiers and lotes, that grow at ease
Nor ever felt the woodman's steel !
The wood-nymphs, seeking for the cool,
Come hither, alder-pipes to lop
And gather lilies from the pool,
Wherein the frogs one seeth hop,
That in the water haste to hide.
When any cometh on their side.

There waterfowl a thousand dwell
In quiet and repose nor fear
The wily fowler, fierce and fell,
With all his gins and mortal gear :
The heron, glad in that sweet day.
For his amusement preens his plumes.
This doth the fire of love allay ;
All take, with innocent content,
Their pleasance in that element.



SAINT-AMANT. 239

Nor summer heat nor winter cold
Have seen bark on this water fare
Nor cart nor waggon track this wold,
Since first the one and th 'other were.
No thirsty wayfarer hath e'er
Hand in this crystal dipped for cup
Nor ever roedeer in despair
Its hunted life here rendered up;
Nor traitorous angle ever drew
The fishes from its ripples blue.

How goodly to my sight appears
Yon ruined castle, fallen to waste.
By Time's unsparing tooth defaced
And crumbled by the wanton years!
The sorcerers here their sabbat make;
The crew of goblins mischievous
Here harbour, who, for malice' sake,
Our senses cheat and harry us;
And here, in many a nook and cell,
The howlet and the viper dwell.

The night-jar, with its funeral song.
The mortal augury of doom.
Makes music for the goblin throng.
In yonder halls of endless gloom.
Where from a beam of cursed yew
Dangles the grisly skeleton
Of some sad swain, himself that slew
For love of a fair cruel one,
Who of her rigour did not deign
One look of pity to his pain.

But Heaven, impartial judge and stern,
That doth th'eternal laws maintain,
Against her, for her dour disdain,
A fearsome sentence did decern.



240 SAINT-AMANT.

For ever round these rotting bones
Her sorry shade disconsolate,
Still wandering, with sighs and groans
Bewaileth that her wretched fate,
Having, to add to her affright.
Her crime still present to her sight.

There, on some marble slab one sees
Devices of the days gone by;
Here age hath blotted out well nigh
The letters graven on the trees.
The ceilings of the highest place,
Corroded by the tooth of Time,
Are fallen into the vaulted base,
Where snail and paddock them beslime.
Through the cleft hearth-stones ivies grow,
Beneath the shade great walnuts throw.

Thereunder, in a certain spot,
A vault, so dim with darkness dumb
That, even if Phoebus there should come,
Methinketh he would see no jot;
And heavy-headed Slumber there.
In Nonchalance's arms fast held,
Still sleepeth, far from every care.
By charms of silence grim enspelled:
Mid sheaves of poppies, sluggard-wise,
Supine upon his back he lies.

Within the hollow gelid grot.
Where even Love might be a-cold.
Fond Echo calleth, as of old,
Upon her lover unforgot.
Thither come I, withouten bruit.
And with the heavenly harmony
Of this my dulcet, well-skilled lute.
Her mournful mood caress, whilst she



SAINT-AMANT. 241

Doth in that voice with mine concur
Which for a body serveth her.



The ruins whiles abandoning,
I scale the summit of yon cliff,
Which soareth up, the place as if
It sought wherefrom the mistwreaths spring.
Thence I descend the sloping side
Unto the beach below the steep
And look with pleasure on the tide,
That hath the shingle nigh as deep
Sapped as Palaemon's royal throne
Of sponges made and coral stone.

How sweet a thing it is to stray
Upon the margent of the sea,
Whenas in calm and peace is she,
After some storm hath passed away,
Whenas the bearded Tritons ride
High on the swelling billows' course
And with their conches' clamours hoarse
The echoes startle far and wide.
Whose sound obedient silence binds
Upon the most impetuous winds!

Ruffling the sand, bytimes, the main
Murmurs and surges angrily
And o'er the pebbles rolls, which she
Brings up and carries off again.
Now on her marges doth she spread.
Memorials of Neptune's ire,
Drowned seamen, yea, and monsters dead
And vessels, crushed by wreckage dire:
Now pearls and amber up doth bring
And many another precious thing.

x6



242 SAINT-AMANT.

Whiles, clear and smooth as aught may be,
A floating mirror seems the tide,
Through which bytimes may be espied
New heav'ns emerging from the sea.
The sun therein so full is seen,
Viewing his own bright visnomy.
That one is whiles in doubt if he
It is or his reflected sheen;
And first it seemeth to our eyes
That he hath fallen from the skies.



SONNETS.

I. SPRING NEAR PARIS.

Zephyr to be in love with Flora hath good cause:
The goodliest thing she is that could enchant his sight:
With her renewing sheen, one sees all cares take flight,
As liberties, before her eyes I love, and laws.
Who would not joy, when Dawn the veil of Night withdraws
And songbirds thrill the woods with sonorous delight?
Thereunto, with the flowers, I feel my heart grow light
And my lute answers them, after the winter's pause.
The sward at heaven smiles a smile of mild desire
And from this winding bank I see the sun's soft fire
Caress the waters' course and bosom ripple-curled:
Night kisses Morn and Eve the Day that laughs above;
All is with love afire; one thinketh that the world
Is in the Spring reborn, only to die of love.

2. SUMMER AT ROME.

What strange new heat is this, by which we roasted are?
Have we transported been unto the tropic zone?
Or hath some scatterbrain anew the bridle thrown
Upon the horses' necks that draw Dan Phoebus' car?



SAINT-AMANT. 243

The earth, that cracks and yawns with many a gaping scar,

Beneath the torrid rays doth pant and sweat and groan

And all the Roman plain a waste of sand is grown,

That drained of moisture is by yonder flaming star.

The unrelenting rays, that shower from the sky,

Enforce the Tiber's self like Heracles to die,

Its dried-up rushes' shade and withered reeds below.

Its quality divine its doom may not arrest;

Yea, and the natal vase, wherefrom its waters flow,

Must be the funeral urn, wherein its ashes rest.

3. AUTUMN IN THE CANARIES.

Here be the only hills, here be the only vales
Where Bacchus, at his full, and fair Pomona reign;
The glory and delight of this divine domain
Have never known the stress of Winter's wanton gales.
Grapes, melons, peaches, figs, a crown that never fails
Here fashion for that God who is to toping fain;
And yonder noble palms, to victory germane.
Bend under fruits whose sweet o'er honey's self prevails.
The sugar-dropping canes, here not in marshes set,
But on the rocky slopes, in bosky clusters jet
Their tops' ambrosial gold toward the fostering sky;
The orange buds and blooms and fruits in one day's sun
And here, the whole year round, our ravished eyes espy
The Summer and the Spring with Autumn all in one.

4. WINTER IN THE ALPS.

Yon particles of fire that glitter on the snow,
Yon glimmering sparks of gold, of crystal and of blue.
Wherewith the sunlight dyes, in many an Orient hue,
The Winter's tresses white, wind-fluttered to and fro,
Yon ermine, that the hills to Heaven's bounties owe.
Yon smooth pellucid floor of very argent new
And this clear air and pure, unto my sense and view



244 SAINT-AMANT.

So sweet are that mine eyes thereat for rapture glow.
This season pleaseth me; I love its wholesome cold;
Its robes of candour pure and innocence enfold
And cover, in some sort, the crimes of this our earth.
Wherefore with favouring eyes Jove looketh on this land:
His anger spareth it, nor ever thunder-birth,
To desolate its days, departed from his hand.

5. THE SMOKER.

Upon a faggot set, with pipe in hand and pot,
Loins 'gainst a chimney-back disconsolately leant,
Soul in revolt and eyes to earth in sadness bent,
I chew the cruel cud of my inhuman lot.
Hope, till to-morrow's sun that, will I, will I not,
Still puts me off, essays to temper my lament
And promising me still my fortune's betterment,
O'er th'emperor of Rome would raise me up, poor sot.
But scarcely is the weed to ashes burned away
Than needs forthright I must my high estate down-lay
And all my old annoys pass over in my mind.
Nay, when all's weighed, in fine, I find but little scope
Of difference between tobaccoing and hope;
The one is only smoke; the other is but wind.

6. THE SLUGGARD.

All overcome with sloth and spleen, in this my lair
I dream upon my bed, where swaddled up I lie,
Like to a boneless hare, that coucheth in a pie,
Or to Don Quixote in his madness and despair.
There, heedless of the wars of Italy nor care
Of the Count Palatine or his realm having, I
A goodly hymn devote to that sweet sloth, whereby
My soul in languor sooth is buried as it were.
This pleasance, nay, I find so charming and so sweet,
Methinks all goods will fall before my sleeping feet;



SAINT-AMANT. 245

By token that e'en now my belly wax I see

And labour eke I hate, my Baldwin, on such wise

That, with one arm the sheets without and half-shut eyes,

I scarce can me constrain to pen these rhymes to thee.



SONNETS ON THE MURDER OF
CHARLES THE FIRST, KING OF ENGLAND.

I.

What is this frightful news thou bringest me to-day?
Can this, indeed, be true thou tell'st me, stranger Fame?
A king so good, so mild, so just in thought and aim,
To see his every hope in vapour pass away !
A king to be condemned by those who should obey.
His majesty to see enchained and put to shame
By miscreants infamous, by dastards without name.
Who nought but rancour armed for tribunal array !
A king unto the block thus from the throne to pass!
So grim a road to fare, so stern a leap, alas !
'Tis of the strokes of Fate that overpass my wit.
My sad confounded soul is sunken in amaze
And all the reason thou canst render me for it
Is that one cannot sound th'abysses of God's ways.

2. (epitaph).

See, princes, how august a victim here doth lie !
The affront enormous mark offered to royalty !
In this unhallowed tomb great Charles beheaded see
By one whose hands all right of royal rule deny !
All the world's crimes, in one assembled, might not vie.
For very wickedness, with this impiety;
And all the terms of blood, crime, horror, infamy,
Are phrases over-mild and kind to name it by.



246 SAINT-AMANT,

Up, peoples, show your wrath ! Combine, ye potentates !
Fall on this wicked land, fall with your whole estates!
Make peace on every hand, upon it to make war!
Show quarter unto none; there is none innocent,
There is no heart that's just in all the English shore;
For those the crime commit who thereunto consent.

3. (another epitaph.)

Here lies the mangled corpse of an unhappy king.
True martyr of the throne, born in a raging time,
Who of his prison made an honourable thing
And with his noble blood the scaffold made sublime.
This execrable deed, this grim, mysterious crime,
Fairfax *, a monster dire and dour, to pass did bring.
Who would have said that such a head, in any clime.
Should suffer aye from such a body sundering?
Natheless, this hangman thief, to do his bloody mind,
Veiling from vision what he had of humankind,
This mighty king, with awe encompassed, massacred,
And this flagitious deed more solemnly to seal,
That head, three golden crowns which wore, that mighty head.
Crowned with an infamous, a base and murderous steel.



'1



■ 5/V, though Cromwell would seem to be meant. It is possible,
however, that contemporary rumour may have identified Fairfax
with the masked assassin who carried out the judicial murder
of Charles I. This, however, appears very improbable, as Fairfax
notoriously repented, when too late, of his treasonable course,
horrified at its natural consequences, and offered some opposition
to the supreme crime in question, although without effect, except
to draw upon himself the jealousy and suspicion of the Arch-
Regicide and to bring about his own speedy retirement from public
life. His tardy repentance was further evidenced by the part he
took in the restoration of Charles II.



ALPHABETICAL AND CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF
POETS REPRESENTED IN THIS VOLUME.



1. Baif, Jean Antoine de

2. Bellay, Joachim du

3. Belleau, Remy

4. Bertaut, Jean, ^veque de Seez

5. Desportes, Philippe, Abb6 de Bonport .

6. Dolet, Etienne

7. Durant, Gilles, Seigneur de la Bergerie.

8. Jamyn, Amadis

9. Jodelle, Etienne, Seigneur du Eymodin .

10. Magny, Olivier de

11. Passerat, Jean

12. Romieu, Marie de

13. Ronsard, Pierre de

14. Saint- Amant,Marc-Antoine Gerard,Sieurde

15. Tahureau, Jacques, Sieur de la Chevallcrie

16. Taille, Jean de la, Seigneur de Bondaroy

17. Tours, Guy de

18. Tyard, Pontus de. Seigneur de Bissy,

Eveque et Comte de Chalons-sur-Saone

19. Vauquelin de la Fresnaye, Jean, Sieur

des Yveteaux

20. Viau, Theophile de



born


died


1532


1589


1524


1560


1528


1577


1552


161I


1545


1606


1509


1546


1550


1615


1530


1585


1532


1573


1528


1560


1534


1602


1550


1600?


1524


1585


1594


1661


1527


1555


1540


1608


1560


1612


I5II


1603


1536


1606


1590


1626



p-
"3

43

63
208
125
193
193

95
125

81

133
199

17
237

59
152
219



147
229



Mr. PAYNE'S WORKS.

ORIGINAL POEMS.

1. The Masque of Shadows and other Poems 1870.

2. Intaglios: Sonnets 1 871.

3. Songs of Life and Death 1872.

4. Lautrec: a Poem 1878.

5. New Poems 1880.

(N.B. The above are out of print; but their contents
are included in N". 6).

6. Collected Poems. 2 Vols 1902.

7. Vigil and Vision. New Sonnets IQOS-

8. Songs of Consolation *904-

9. Hamid the Luckless and other Tales in Verse . . . 1904.

10. Poems of Youth. (1862 — 1867). In the Press.

11. Days and Nights. A Song-Sequence. In the Press.

12. Songs of the Morrow. In the Press.

TRANSLATIONS.

1. The Poems of Frangois Villon 1878.

2. The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night.

Nine Vols 1882 — 4.

3. Tales from the Arabic. Three Vols 1884.

4. Alaeddin and Zein ul Asnam 1885.

5. The Decameron of Boccaccio. Three Vols 1886.

6. The Novels of Matteo Bandello. Six Vols 1890.

7. The Quatrains of Omar Khayyam 1898.

8. The Poems of Hafiz. Three Vols 1901.

9. Flowers of France. The Romantic Period. Two Vols . 1906.

10. Flowers of France: The Renaissance Period: One Vol. 1907.

11. Flowers of France: The Beginnings: XII th to XVth

Centuries. Chatelain de Coucy to Mellin de St. Gelais.
(In preparation.)

12. Flowers of France: The Dark Ages: XVIIth and XVIlIth

Centuries: Malherbe to Andre Chenier. (In preparation.)

13. Flowers of France: The Decadence: XlXth and XXth

Centuries : Coppee to Rivoire. Completing the Work.
(In preparation).

Prospectuses and particulars of the Villon Society's issues
can be obtained of the Hon. Secretary, Alfred Forman, Esq.,
49 Comeragh Road, West Kensington, W., to whom all commu-
nications should be addressed.



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY

Los Angeles
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below.



APR 18 1953



II






0: w^s



m^



21966



(V



r



REC'D LD-LRO
^ DFX 1 3 1S71

OEcisian

r. ' .-

Form L9-100m-9,'52(A3105)444

M/IP 3 0198?



THE LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORZ«A
LOS AIS'GELES



3 1158 00765 4196



UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY



II nil II III III lllllllllllll III I II I



AA 000 539 044



trjihitt.-'*^^



i^V\''>^.:^\ii j,>^






>r%^



;/y.



.v^






'•^IMI



^.k>-i)'






intwwrtnr-ii






ii0Cnii^icpi»'.'-, .' < -■'■ui^^TWCTBaaw.j-at^iiiWwgi^ > 'Hfi imiwxwwiiiiwaiKiiMWWi



WWW I ' i J - *»<



■ s ' ' »"





1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9

Online LibraryJohn PayneFlowers of France: the renaissance period, from Ronsard to Saint-Amant, representative poems of the sixteenth century; → online text (page 9 of 9)