Thibaut de Champagne

(1201 - 1253 / France)

Pastourelle


The other day I went wandering
Without any companion
On my palfrey, thinking
To make a song,
When I heard—I don't know how—
Near a bush
The voice of the most beautiful child
That any man has ever seen;
And she was not a child,
For she was fifteen and a half years old.
I have never seen anyone
With such a noble face.
Laughing, I rode towards her
And made this speech:
'Beautiful one, tell me,
By God, what your name is.'

But she jumped up
With her crook:
'If you come any nearer,
You'll get a blow from this.
Sir, get away from here!
I don't care for a friend such as you,
And I'd rather choose
A more handsome one called Robin!'

When I saw that she was scared
So thoroughly
That she wouldn't look at me
Or give any other positive sign,
Then I began to think
How to make her
Fall in love with me
And change her mind.
I sat down on the ground beside her,
And the more I looked upon her bright face,
The more it fired my heart,
Which doubled my desire.

Then I took upon myself to ask her,
In the most beautiful terms,
To look at me
And give me a different expression.
She started to cry
And said thus:
'I cannot look at you;
I don't even know what you're after.'
I leant towards her, and told her:
'My beautiful one, by God, your mercy.'
She laughed and responded:
'You make folk scared.'

Then I took her up before me
And made straightaway
In the direction of a small, green wood.
Across the fields I saw
And heard calling out
Two shepherds amongst the wheat;
They came shouting
And raising a great cry.
And I accomplished nothing more than I have said.
I let her down and fled from there;
I didn't care for such folk.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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