TheThe Poetry
≡ Menu

L’Olive: sonnet 28

My tongue cannot resist disclosing all
I feel for you, when from you I’m away,
but suddenly, feeling you nearby, it says
nothing—-left dumbstruck and deaf, words stall.

Thus hope makes guarantees while duping me:
I am less there, the more I’m in your presence.
What eludes me pleases me immensely:
I desire that which I refuse to keep.

I am joyful by night and sad all day,
having in sleep what, waking, will not stay:
my good’s a falsehood, my evil ever true.

I brood for one who’s faultless, best commended.
Therefore, Love, if there’s charity in you,
make my life brief, or night make never-ending.

L’Olive: sonnet 28

Ce, que je sen’, la langue ne refuse
_____Vous decouvrir, quand suis de vous absent,
_____Mais tout soudain que pres de moy vous sent,
_____Elle devient & muette, & confuse.
Ainsi, l’espoir me promect, & m’abuse,
_____Moins pres je suis quand plus je suis present.
_____Ce qui me nuist, c’est ce, qui m’est plaisent,
_____Je quier’ cela, que trouver je recuse.
Joyeux la nuit, le jour triste je suis.
_____J’ay en dormant ce, qu’en veillant poursuis,
_____Mon bien est faulx, mon mal est veritable.
D’une me plain’, & deffault n’est en elle,
_____Fay’ doncq’Amour, pour m’etre charitable,
_____Breve ma vie, ou ma nuit eternelle.

______________________________________________________
Joachim du Bellay was a French poet, critic, and a member of the Pléiade.

Translation by Brett Foster.

To get free latest updates, just sign up here

Brett Foster has published two poetry collections, The Garbage Eater (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2011) and Fall Run Road, which was awarded Finishing Line Press's 2011 Open Chapbook Prize. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, IMAGE, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, Raritan, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, Subtropics, and Yale Review. He teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at Wheaton College.

View all contributions by

  • michaelredmond November 22, 2013, 3:06 pm

    What, no original text? Is TheThe an English-only zone?

  • micah December 17, 2013, 8:47 am

    of course not, michael. we have often posted the original texts with translations. we have now posted one here for your own personal satisfaction.

  • michaelredmond December 17, 2013, 8:50 am

    Thanks, Micha!

Leave a Comment