Ô bel oeil de la nuit, ô la fille argentée

Here is a nice sonnet from Jean Passerat, in which a tormented lover confides his troubles to the moon, asking for help from the big rock in the night sky. This would be the literal definition of a lunatic, I think.

Jean PASSERAT   (1534-1602)

A la lune

Ô bel oeil de la nuit, ô la fille argentée

Et la soeur du soleil et la mère des mois,

O princesse des monts, des fleuves et des bois,

Dont la triple puissance en tous lieux est vantée.

Puisque tu es, déesse, au plus bas ciel montée,

D’où les piteux regrets des amants tu reçois,

Dis, lune au front cornu, as-tu vu quelquefois

Une âme qui d’amour fût si fort tourmentée ?

Si doncques ma douleur vient ton corps émouvoir,

Tu me peux secourir ; ayant en ton pouvoir

Des songes emplumés la bande charmeresse.

Choisis l’un d’entre tous qui les maux d’un amant

Sache mieux contrefaire, et l’envoie en dormant

Représenter ma peine à ma fière maîtresse.

From <http://poesie.webnet.fr/lesgrandsclassiques/poemes/jean_passerat/a_la_lune.html>

The poet quickly establishes that, for him, the moon is a goddess with powerful influence over earthly and human affairs. The fourth line refers to the triple powers of the moon, recognized by all – these are not defined but could be power over the tides, power over the night sky and power over human moods and feelings. Anyway, whatever they may be, the poet goes on to implore the moon’s intervention in favour of his soul tormented by love. The final lines explain the ingenious mechanism – the moon has a stock of dreams which it can send to anyone sleeping, so it will be easy for the moon to send the poet’s lover a dream which will make her aware of and sympathetic to the poet’s suffering.

Nice idea, perhaps a better one would be to take his lover out and appreciate together the beauty of the moon in a clear night sky, while whispering romantic notions in her ear.

The Poetry Dude

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