Pierre De Ronsard, a French poet, born near Vendôme, Sept. 11, 1524, died near Tours, Dec. 27, 1585. At the age of ten he entered the service of the duke of Orleans, son of Francis I.; and resuming it after some years' connection with the court of James V. in Scotland, he was employed by the duke in several confidential missions when still a boy. He was subsequently secretary of the French ambassador at the diet of Spire, and of Captain Lan-gey du Bellay in Piedmont. But an illness resulting in deafness detained him in Paris about 1541, and he remained for several years at the college of Coqueret engaged in studies for improving the French language and literature after classical models. His disciple Joachim du Bellay published in 1549 L'Illustration de la langue françoise, an exposition of Ronsard's projected improvements. The works of the Pleiad (the name which Ronsard and his six friends, Du Bellay, Baïf, Jamyn, Belleau, Jo-delle, and Ponthus de Thiard, gave to their literary association) appeared in rapid succession, and were very popular, excepting with the adherents of the old school. The poems of Ronsard were hailed with enthusiasm, and the title of "the French poet" was bestowed on him.
He became the poet laureate, and Charles IX. desired his company in all his travels, bestowing upon him pensions and gratuities. Many complete editions of his works were published from 1567 to 1630. Sainte-Beuve published in 1828 a select edition, with a biographical sketch and comments. - See Vie de Ronsard, appended to his Oeuvres inédites, by Guillaume Colletet (Paris, 1854), and Ea-sai sur Ronsard et sa réforme littéraire, by G. Scheffler, Dresden, 1874).