Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
Avant qu’ Amour
By Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585)
Translated by Cosmo Monkhouse

BEFORE that Love of drowsy Chaos rent
  The breast, and freed the light therein concealed,
  With land unshaped, and waters unrevealed,
  The very heaven was in confusion blent;—
Even so my mind, of all things indolent,        5
  In the gross substance of my body sealed,
  Lay all unformed, unwhole, till through my shield
  Love from thine eyes his piercing arrows sent.
My nature now by Love made perfect is,
  My heart is freed from all impurities,        10
  And Life to them and Power is given by Love.
Through my cold blood his subtle spirit stole,
  And rapt aloft by him, with him I move
  For ever joined in body, mind, and soul.

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