Mary Stuart

Sonnets and Verse to Ronsard

Contributor: Professor Rosalind Smith

Date: 1581?

Material: MSS

Source: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, MS. Add c. 92, fol.22

Permissions: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford..

NB: For clarity corrections made within the manuscript have been noted below the images and transcription.

Images Transcription Translation





o signeur Dieu resceuez ma priere

Qui est selon ta sainte voulonte

Car si'il ne playt a ta grand mageste

Je defandray a la demi carriere

Elas signeur ie retourne en arriere

lasse desia si ta grande bonte

ne renforcit ma fraile voulonte

De ta vertu a franchir la barriere

Tu veusx Signeur estre maitre du cueur

10 Viens donc signeur & y fays ta demeure

pour en chasser l'amour & la rancueur

le bien le mal mostant tout soing & cure

fors seulement de paruenir a toy

penitament en constance & en foy


Donnes seigneur dones moy pasciance

& renforces ma trop debile foy

que ton esprit me condisuse en ta loy

& me guardes de choir par imprudance

Donee signeur donne moy la constance





20 en bien & mal & la perseuerance

reduis en toy toute mon esperance

& hors du cueur moste tout vaynes moy

Ne permets plus d'au monde remasuisi

mays tout plesir fors en toy ie refuse

Deliures moy de toutes passions

dire dereur & de tout autre vice

& prouois moy de doulceur & iustice

dun cueur deuot & sayntes actions



Ronsart. Si ton bon cueur de gentille nature

30 te ment pour le respect dun peu de nouriture

quen tes plus jeunes ans tu as resceu dun Roy

De ton Rooy alie et de sa mesme loy

Je diray non couart ni tasche dauarice

Mays digne a mon aduis du nom de braue prince

Elas ne scriues pas ses fayts ni ses grandeurs

Mays quil a bien voulu empesche de mal heurs



O Lord God, receive my prayer

Which is according to your holy will,

For if it does not please your great majesty

I will be condemned to a half-life.

Alas Lord, I am going over old ground,

Weary already if your great goodness

Did not strengthen my frail will,

Through your virtue, to leap the barrier.

You wish, Lord, to be master of my heart;

Come, therefore, Lord, and make your home there.

For in banishing love and rancour

Good and evil, removing all concern and care

Leaves only me reaching out to you,

Penitently with constancy and faith.


Give, O give me, Lord, patience,

And strengthen my too frail faith

So that your spirit leads me according to your law.

And safeguard me from falling through rashness.

Give, O give me, Lord, constancy,





In good and bad times, and perseverance,

All my hope concentrated in you,

And from my heart remove all vanity;

No longer acquiescing with the misguided world,

But all pleasure I reject except in you.

Deliver me from all passions,

From anger, from error and all other vices,

And provide me with gentleness and justice

Of a devout heart and saintly actions.



Ronsard, if your good and kind natured heart

Misleads you, out of consideration for the few benefits

That in your younger years you received from the King,

From your King, bound to you by common law,

I do not call you coward or taint you as avaricious,

But, in my opinion, you are worthy of the name courageous prince.

Alas! Do not write of his deeds, nor his greatness,

But that he wished to prevent misery.

1. priere] prieres MS corrected to priere

2. est] sont MS corrected to est       voulonte] voulontay MS corrected to voulonte

3. majeste] majestay MS corrected to majeste

4. line begins demasis est] deleted in MS

7. line begins ne re] deleted in MS

10. + Mays sans toy ie ne puis ten randre le veinceur

mais ie ne pous ten randre le veincur

sil ne te plest pat ta douce clemance

Le ramolir] deleted in MS

11. pour en chasser] deleted in MS

12. mostant] mostant sans MS corrected to mostant       soing] soin MS corrected to soing

14. en constance & en foy] et constant en ta foy…MS corrected to et constante en ma foy…MS corrected to en constance & en foy

21. + ne me priue iamays de ta sainte esperance deleted in MS

23. line on fold of page and almost illegible

25. + Ostes mon DIeu deleted in MS

26. + & abaorer toius especes devices

de tous erreurs deleted in MS

34. + Ou bien si tu auoys encore quelque desir as en quelque foys le desir deleted in MS