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Bernard de Ventadorn

(1150 - 1195)

Quan l'herba fresqu'el.h folha

Can l'erba fresch'e.lh folha par
e la flors boton'el verjan
e.l rossinhols autet e clar
leva sa vots e mou so chan,
joi ai de lui, e joi ai de la flor
e joi de me e de midons major;
daus totas partz sui de joi claus e sens,
mas sel es jois que totz autres jois vens.

Tan am midons e la tenh car,
e tan la dopt' e la reblan
c'anc de me no.lh auzi parlar,
ni re no.lh quer ni re no.lh man.
Pero elh sap mo mal e ma dolor,
e can li plai, mi fai be e onor,
e can li plai, eu m'en sofert ab mens,
per so c'a leis no.n avenha blastens.

S'eu saubés la gen enchantar,
mei enemic foran efan,
que ja us no saubra triar
ni dir re que.ns tornes a dan.
Adoncs sai eu que vira la gensor
e sos bels olhs e sa frescha color,
e baizera.lh la bocha en totz sens,
si que d'un mes i paregra lo sens.

Be la volgra sola trobar,
que dormis, o.n fezés semblan,
per qu'e.lh emblès un doutz baizar,
pus no valh tan qu'eu lo.lh deman.
Per Deu, domna, pauc esplecham d'amor;
vai s'en lo tems, e perdem lo melhor!
Parlar degram ab cubertz entresens,
e, pus no.ns val arditz, valgués nos gens!

Ai las! com mor de cossirar!
que manhtas vetz en cossir tan:
lairó m'en poirian portar
que re no sabria que.s fan.
Per Deu, Amors! be.m tròbas vensedor:
ab pauc d'amics e ses autre senhor.
Car una vetz tan midons no destrens
abans qu'eu fos del dezirer estens?

Messatger, vai, e no m'en prezes mens,
s'eu del anar vas midons sui temens.

(When the new vegetation and the leaves appear, when the flowers bloom on the branch, and when the nightingale clear and loud raises its voice and begins to sing, I rejoice in the nightingale, and in the flowers, and in myself, and most of all in my lady. I am surrounded by joy on all sides, but she is the joy from which all other joys come.

So much do I love my lady, and hold her dear, and so much do I fear and honor her, that I dare not talk to her of myself. I ask her nothing and I send her nothing. But still she knows of my pain and sorrow, and when it pleases her she bestows on me grace and honor, and when it pleases her I submit to even less so that no blame may come to her.

If I knew how to cast spells on people, my enemies would become babes, so that none of them could discover anything that could be turned against us. I know now that I will see my lady, and her fair eyes and fresh color, and I will kiss her on the mouth every which way, so that for a month the marks will be visible.

I would like to find her alone, sleeping, or pretending to sleep, so that I could steal a sweet kiss from her, since I am not worth so much that I could ask it of her. By God, lady, little do we profit from our love; time passes, and we are losing the best moments. We should speak in a coded language, and since audacity is worth little, may ingenuity be the thing.

Alas! I die from desire. For often, I am so full of yearning that theives could carry me off, and I wouldn't even realize what was happening. By God, Love! you find me Defeated (vensedor=Ventadorn), with few friends and without another master. Why don't you, once, ensnare my lady, before I am consumed with passion?)

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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