Volontiers en ce mois ici

Here is a poem from Clement Marot which takes the notion that springtime and the month of May are the time of year most propitious for love and takes it to an unexpected conclusion, particularly when you are familiar with the poet’s many genuine poems of love and courtship. The title leads into this subjects matter, it is to be a song of May and Virtue, not a song of May and Love or May and fecundity. It makes me wonder whether this poem was written tongue-in0cheek or whether Marot meant it as serious expression of an alternative to carnal love.

Clément MAROT   (1497-1544)

Chant de Mai et de Vertu
Volontiers en ce mois ici
La terre mue et renouvelle.
Maints amoureux en font ainsi,
Sujets à faire amour nouvelle
Par légèreté de cervelle,
Ou pour être ailleurs plus contents ;
Ma façon d’aimer n’est pas telle,
Mes amours durent en tout temps.

N’y a si belle dame aussi
De qui la beauté ne chancelle ;
Par temps, maladie ou souci,
Laideur les tire en sa nacelle ;
Mais rien ne peut enlaidir celle
Que servir sans fin je prétends ;
Et pour ce qu’elle est toujours belle
Mes amours durent en tout temps.

Celle dont je dis tout ceci,
C’est Vertu, la nymphe éternelle,
Qui au mont d’honneur éclairci
Tous les vrais amoureux appelle :
” Venez, amants, venez (dit-elle),
Venez à moi, je vous attends ;
Venez (ce dit la jouvencelle).
Mes amours durent en tout temps. ”

From <http://poesie.webnet.fr/lesgrandsclassiques/poemes/clement_marot/chant_de_mai_et_de_vertu.html&gt;

The poem is in three stanza, of eight lines each, with a regular alternating rhyme scheme. Technically, Marot works well in this form, the rhythm is maintained and the rhymes do not seem unduly forced.

The structure of the content also follows the fairly conventional format of thesis in the first stanza, antithesis in the second stanza and synthesis in the final stanza. The argument goes like this; May is the month when loves are revived and lovers renew their vows, but my love is not like this, it is enduring. Beautiful women can inspire love, but then their beauty is degraded by care, illness or age, but my love is not like this, it is enduring. For my love is of Virtue, which calls all lovers to her and makes their love last forever.

The Poetry Dude


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