A TRIBUTE TO NOSTRADAMUS BY THE PRINCE OF POETS

A TRIBUTE TO NOSTRADAMUS BY THE PRINCE OF POETS


                                                                                                                      image: Kheops Studios

A while after the publication in Lyons of his acclaimed first volume of the Centuries , Maistre Michel de Nostredame the receptor of Court affections (and peripheral disparagements) found himself sitting in the Hôtel de Sens in Paris contemplating in his mind’s eye the oncoming senescence of Royal France. On the eve of his departure for distant, homely Salon his room was littered with lavish and even glittering gifts yet an especial delight was the donation of verses from his friend Pierre – hailed in his lifetime as the prince of poets – that compared Michel with the prophets of old and rebutted his critics. Ronsard was to become poet laureate, the “poète officiel du roi Charles IX”, in 1560.

Here is the very heart of it:

“Ou soit que le grand Dieu l’immense éternité
 Ait de Nostradamus l’enthousiasme excité,
 Ou soit que le démon bon ou mauvais l’agite …
 Comme un oracle antique, il a de mainte année
 Prédit la plus grand part de nostre destinée.”

                     Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585)

OF ‘démon’ had three categories of meaning;
Medical: demon lupine/demonium lupinum: madness, folly, fury
Religious: Satan or the spirit of evil
Mythical: that “spirit good or bad” which presides over individual communal and national destinies

Translation:
Howbeit that the great God of All
Has aroused the enthusiasm of Nostradamus,
So be it that the spirit of Good Or Bad has stirred …
Like an ancient oracle, he has now for years
Predicted the greater part of our destiny.

                                                                   Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012