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II

ODES PUBLISHED AFTER 1550

In 1551 was published the Tombeau de Marguerite de Valois, Royne de Navarre, which contained several poems by Ronsard. Among these, the Hymne Triomphal d'elle-mesme has a long passage imitated from the Eneid. Christ sends a messenger to earth to do his bidding in the same way that Jupiter sends Mercury in the fourth book of the Eneid:

Et lors l'ange il appella

Qui par l'air vistement vole,...
« Poste, dit-il, marche, fuy,
Huche les vents et les suy,
Laisse ramer tes aisselles
Et glisse dessus tes ailes,...

Là de ta parole endors

Ceste guerriere et le voile

De son victorieux corps

Transforme au ciel en estoile : >>

« Afterwards », he continues, « allow its image to roll through the air order in that it fall on earth and scorning the tomb

Vole en France sans repos

Par la bouche de maint homme 1. >>>

In the Eneid Jupiter calls Mercury to him and orders him to take his commands to Eneas:

1. Lau., II, 398-399.

STORER

4

tum sic Mercurium adloquitur ac talia mandat

« vade age, nate, voca Zephyros et labere pinnis ! »

1

The ideas of transformation into a star and of flitting on the lips of men are found in the Georgics 2. The description of the angel's flight to earth is very similar to that of Mercury's:

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C

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D

Volant d'une aile subite

Glissa bassement leger... 1

ille patris magni parere parabat

A imperio, et primum pedibus talaria nectit
aurea, quæ sublimem alis sive æquora supra
seu terram rapido pariter cum flamine portant.
tum virgam capit, hac animas ille evocat Orco
pallentis, alias sub Tartara tristia mittit,
dat somnos adimitque et lumina morte resignat.
G illa fretus agit ventos et turbida tranat

EF

nubila, iamque volans apicem et latera ardua cernit
Atlantis duri, cælum qui vertice fulcit,

H Atlantis, cinctum adsidue cui nubibus atris
piniferum caput et vento pulsatur et imbri ;
nix umeros infusa tegit, tum flumina mento
præcipitant senis, et glacie riget horrida barba.
I hic primum paribus nitens Cyllenius alis

constitit; hinc toto præceps se corpore ad undas
J misit avi similis, quæ circum litora, circum

piscosos scopulos humilis volat æquora iuxta. K haud aliter terras inter cælumque volabat

litus harenosum ad Libyæ, ventosque secabat 2.

3

the

There are several other epic touches in the poem, comparison of l'Esprit to a streak of lightning 3, the combination of waves and fields of grain in a double comparison 4, the comparison of the battering and crashing of la Chair to the fall of a mass of rocks down a mountain 5, and the gazing of Christ at the battle from a cloud 6. As on Æneas' shield the brow of Augustus gleams with his father's star, so on Marguerite may be seen her brother's star 7. Finally the apotheosis of Daphnis is remembered again :

1. Lau., II, 399-400.

2. En., IV, 238-257.

3. Lau., II, 394; Æn., VIII, 391.

4. Lau., II, 393; Æn., VII, 718-720.

5. Lau., II, 397; Æn., XII, 684. 6. Lau., II, 398; En., XII, 792.

7. Lau., II, 401; Æn., VIII, 680.

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Another poem of Ronsard's in Marguerite's Tombeau is likewise inspired in part by this same eclogue :

Comme les herbes fleuries

Sont les honneurs des prairies,

Et des prez les ruisselets,

De l'orme la vigne aimée,

· Des bocages la ramée,

Des champs les bleds nouvelets :

Ainsi tu fus, ô Princesse

(Ainçois plutost ô Deesse)

Tu fus certes tout l'honneur

Des Princesses de nostre âge 2,

For such a princess, as for Daphnis, there should not be erected a showy sepulchre, but a flowery tomb in the meadows :

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Like Daphnis, the princess was the fairest of the fair and should have a beautiful green tomb :

Tous les ans soit recouverte

De gazons sa tumbe verte,
Et qu'un ruisseau murmurant
Neuf fois resourbant ses ondes,
De neuf torses vagabondes
Aille sa tumbe emmurant 4.

1. Lau., II, 401-402; Ec., V, 56-57.

2. Lau., II, 404-405; Ec., V, 32-34.

3. Lau., II, 405; Ec., V, 42-44.

4. Lau., II, 406; Ec., V, 66, 40; Æn., VI, 439.

On a neighboring cypress tree verses in her honor are to be cut 1, and yearly offerings are to be made to her :

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Several lines of an ode of 1553 are borrowed from lines of the first Georgic concerning the laws laid by Nature at the time of the establishment of the human race from stones :

Telles loix la sage Nature
Arresta dans ce monde, alors

Que Pyrrhe espandoit sus la terre
Nos ayeux conceus d'une pierre
S'amollissante en nouveaux corps.

Continuo has leges...

imposuit natura locis, quo tempore primum
Deucalion vacuum lapides iactavit in orbem,
unde homines nati, durum gens 3.

Further incidents from the Georgics are Astrea's departure and the discovery by farmers of great piles of bones: If Prometheus had not formed mortal hearts of clay as he did

Certainement la vierge Astrée

N'eust point quitté nostre contrée,...

On n'eust point emmuré les villes

Pour crainte des guerres civiles

Ny des estranges legions,

Ny le coutre de Pharsalie

N'eust hurté tant d'os d'Italie,

Ny tant de vuides morions 4.

Several other lines may also allude to Virgil, the storm and winds of the Egean sea; snow, ice, and fir trees on a

1. Lau., II, 407; Ec., V, 13.

2. Lau., II, 407; Ec., V, 67, 58.

3. Lau., II, 350; Geor., I, 60-63.

4. Lau., II, 352; Geor., II, 474; I, 489-497.

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