Pierre de Ronsard
Biography of Pierre de Ronsard
Pierre de Ronsard (11 September 1524 – 28 December 1585) was a French poet and "prince of poets" (as his own generation in France called him).
Pierre de Ronsard was born at the Manoir de la Possonnière, in the village of Couture-sur-Loir, Vendômois (in present-day Loir-et-Cher). Baudouin de Ronsard or Rossart was the founder of the French branch of the house, and made his mark in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War. The poet's father was Louis de Ronsard, and his mother was Jeanne de Chaudrier, of a family both noble and well connected. Pierre was the youngest son. Loys de Ronsard was maître d'hôtel du roi to Francis I, whose captivity after Pavia had just been softened by treaty, and he had to quit his home shortly after Pierre's birth.
The future poet was educated at home in his earliest years and sent to the Collège de Navarre in Paris at the age of nine. When Madeleine of France was married to James V of Scotland, Ronsard was attached as a page in the Scottish court, where he was encouraged in the idea of making French vernacular translations of classical authors. A year after the death of the queen, he returned to France, travelling back through England.
Further travel took him to Flanders, Holland, and again, for a short time, Scotland, on diplomatic missions under Claude d'Humieres, seigneur de Lassigny, until he was attached as secretary to the suite of Lazare de Baïf, the father of his future colleague in the Pléiade and his companion on this occasion, Antoine de Baïf, at the diet of Speyer. Afterwards he was attached in the same way to the suite of the cardinal du Bellay-Langey, and his mythical quarrel with François Rabelais dates from this period.
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Pierre de Ronsard Poems
To His Young Mistress
Fair flower of fifteen springs, that still Art scarcely blossomed from the bud, Yet hast such store of evil will, A heart so full of hardihood,
See, Mignonne, hath not the Rose, That this morning did unclose Her purple mantle to the light, Lost, before the day be dead,
I send you here a wreath of blossoms blown, And woven flowers at sunset gathered, Another dawn had seen them ruined, and shed Loose leaves upon the grass at random strown.
On His Ladies Waking
My lady woke upon a morning fair, What time Apollo’s chariot takes the skies, And, fain to fill with arrows from her eyes His empty quiver, Love was standing there:
To The Moon
Hide this one night thy crescent, kindly Moon; So shall Endymion faithful prove, and rest Loving and unawakened on thy breast; So shall no foul enchanter importune
All take these lips away; no more, No more such kisses give to me. My spirit faints for joy; I see Through mists of death the dreamy shore,
As in the gardens, all through May, the rose, Lovely, and young, and fair apparelled, Makes sunrise jealous of her rosy red, When dawn upon the dew of dawning glows;
His Ladys Death
Twain that were foes, while Mary lived, are fled; One laurel-crowned abides in heaven, and one Beneath the earth has fared, a fallen sun, A light of love among the loveless dead.
All take these lips away; no more,
No more such kisses give to me.
My spirit faints for joy; I see
Through mists of death the dreamy shore,
And meadows by the water-side,
Where all about the Hollow Land
Fare the sweet singers that have died,
With their lost ladies, hand in hand;
Ah, Love, how fireless are their eyes,