Anon. Trouveres (early 13c.)tr. Peter Dean
Je n’amerai autre que celle que j’ai de fin cuer amee.
Je li ai m’amor donee, ne ja ne m’en partirai
de li por noif ne por gele.
Dieus, que li dirai, la bele
qui a mon cuer et m’amor?
Por li sui en grant doulor,
ni ai repos ne nuit ne jor.
Quant je remir sa bouchete, sa tres froichete coulor,
ses ators, n’est pas vilains, mais pleins est de doucor,
de courtoisie et d’onor.
He, douce amie!
Trop main dure vie,
en plor tous jors
por vous sui:
Alegiez moi mes grans doulors!

Sire Dieus, li douz maus m’ocit que j’ai.
Je cuit que ja n’en guerrai.
Dieus, j’en morrai
car bien le sai,
se s’amor n’ai.
Dame, quant je ne vous voi,
mout m’en esmai,
car en effroi
m’a mis la vostre douz cors gai.
El moi de mai
n’est si blanche,
la flor de glai
coume vous,
le vostre blont chief bloi.
Vostre ami vrai, qui vous a tous jors servie,
ostez de cest esmai!
I’ll never love another as she who has my heart,
I’ve given her my love, from her I’ll never part,
no, not for burning nor for ice.
God, who will tell her - what suffice -
the beauty who’s my heart and love to keep?!
For her alone I ache and weep.
By neither night nor day can I find sleep,
when I think of her mouth, complexion fresh and deep,
her dress, there’s nothing mean but sweetness in a heap
with grace and goodness, here there’s nothing cheap.
Ah, dearest one!
too long my life goes on,
pining always
for your benison:
Lighten, I beg, these killing days!

Great God, the sweet pain kills me that I feel!
I suffer! Never shall I heal!
I’ll die, I know, for real,
o God, if she’ll
not give her love to my appeal.
Lady, when I lose your sight
much is my dismay,
for I am plunged in fear and fright
in thinking of your body soft and gay.
Nor is the month of May
so white as you,
the meadow flower no way
so fair as your blonde hair to view.
Your one true love, who ever served you well,
raise now, he begs you, from this hell!

Trans. Copyright © Peter Dean 2003

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