Tag Archives: healing power of sad music

SONNET XII

Standard

(A translation from the French of Louise Labé, 16th century. Original given below)

SONNET XII

Lute, dear companion of my discontent,
Innocent witness to my sighs,
Fair steward of my sad outcries,
How often you have joined in my lament.

So bothered by my mood’s descent
That having once begun to improvise
A happy tune you suddenly revise it,
Mimicking my plaintive instrument.

And should I bid you play a major key
You hold back, in the minor, silence me–
Seeing how I sigh so tenderly again

You give expression to my tale of woe
And I am held back from self-pity in the hope
Your sadness brings my sadness to an end.

____________________________________________© Cynthia Jobin 2015

SOONNET XII–ENGLISH

SONNET XII

Lut, compagnon de ma calamité,
De mes soupires témoin irreprochablle,
De mes ennuis controlleur veritable,
Tu as souvent avec moy lamenté:

Et tant le pleur piteus t’a molesté,
Que commençant quelque son delectable,
Tu le rendois tout soudein lamentable,
Feignant le ton que plein avait chanté.

Et si te veus efforcer au contraire,
Tu te destens et si me contreins taire:
Mais me voyant tendrement soupirer,

Donnant faveur à ma tant triste pleinte:
En mes ennuis me plaire suis contreinte,
Et d’un dous mal douce fin esperer.

______________________________________Louise Labé:Oeuvres Complètes,par François Rigolot

SONNET XII–FRENCH

Some of my other translations of the Labé sonnets: search TRANSLATIONS above for category archives.