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


J’ai perdu ma tourterelle

The definition of a Villanelle is as follows:

a nineteen-line poem with two rhymes throughout, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with the first and third lines of the opening tercet recurring alternately at the end of the other tercets and with both repeated at the close of the concluding quatrain

Hence the designation of this poem by sixteenth century French poet Jean Passerat. I posted another example of this form on November 26th 2015, from the twentieth century English poet, WH Auden, also, in that posy, drawing attention to the definition of the form. See which one you think works best.

Jean Passerat (1534–†1602)
J’AI perdu ma tourterelle;

Est-ce point celle que j’oy?

Je veux aller après elle.
Tu regrettes ta femelle,

Hélas! aussi fais-je moy.
J’ai perdu ma tourterelle.
Si ton amour est fidelle,

Aussi est ferme ma foy;

Je veux aller après elle.
Ta plainte se renouvelle,
Toujours plaindre je me doy;

J’ai perdu ma tourterelle.
En ne voyant plus la belle,

Plus rien de beau je ne voy;

Je veux aller après elle.


Mort, que tant de fois j’appelle,

Prends ce qui se donne à toy!

J’ai perdu ma tourterelle;

Je veux aller après elle.
From <http://www.bartleby.com/244/115.html&gt;


The poet has lost his turtle-dove (his lover). He misses her and wants to go after her, nothing is more beautiful.

Simple really…

The Poetry Dude