Christine de Pizan

(1365-1434 / France)

Ballad XXIII

Alas, now! If I were only able
To hear a bit of news of how that man
Is doing, who makes me so miserable,
And what is keeping him away so long,
Far from me, it might bring a little song
To my heart, but I hear not one word said,
No more or less than if the man was dead.

He’s crossed the sea in who knows what vessel,
Ship or barge or yacht, to some foreign strand,
Is he in Spain, or Aragon, or Castile,
Or somewhere else, such a slow course he’s on,
Or is it nearer neighbours he’s among?
I don’t know to what port it is he’s fled,
No more or less than if the man was dead.

Or now perhaps he loves another girl,
Lovelier than I, and cares naught as a man
About his home: but there’s no mademoiselle
Of any rank, I know this for certain,
Who’d ever love him better than I can:
But how’s that help? I’m comfortless instead,
No more or less than if the man was dead.

Submitted: Friday, September 17, 2010
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