EN AVRIL AU TENS PASCOUR ... IN APRIL AT EASTER TIDE ...
Anon. (12. or 13c.) tr. A.S.Kline
En avril au tens pascour,
Que sur l'herbe naist la flour,
l'aloete au point du jour
chante par moult grant baudour,
Pour la douçour du tems nouvel,
Si me levai par un matin,
S'oï chanter sur l'arbrissel
Un oiselet en son latin.
Un petit me soulevai
Pour esgarder sa faiture;
N'en soi mot, que des oiseaux
Vi venir à desmesure.
Je vis l'oriou,
Et le rossignou,
Si vi le pinçon
Et l'esmerillon,
Dieu, et tant des autres oiseaux,
De quoi je ne sai pas les noms,
Qui sur cel arbre s'assistrent
Et commencent leur chançon.
Je m'en alai sous la flour
Pour oïr joie d'amour.
Tout belement par un prael
Li dieus d'Amours vis chevauchier.
Je m'en alai à son appel,
De moi a fait son escuier.
Ses chevaus fu de depors,
Sa selle de ses dangiers,
Ses escus fut de quartiers
De baisier et de sourire.
Ses haubers estoit
D'acoler estroit,
Ses heaumes de flours
De pluseurs colours.
Dieu, sa lance est de cortoisie,
Espee de flour de glai,
Ses chauces de mignotie,
Esperons de bec de jai.
Tuit chanterent à un son,
Onc n'i ot autre jongleör.
In April at Easter Tide
When flowers in grass spring to life
The lark at break of day does rise
And sings away with true delight,
With the sweetness of fresh greenery.
Early one morning I did rise,
And heard a little bird on a tree
His own song carolling on high.
I lifted my head to spy
What sort of bird he might be:
In the twinkling of an eye
Flocks of birds descend on me.
Orioles I hail,
And the nightingale,
Chaffinches I view,
And the merlin too,
God knows how many in the air,
Whose names I am lost among,
That roosted on the branches, there,
And began to sing their song.
I walked through that blossoming
Listening to love’s joy ring.
Over the meadow, riding slow,
I saw the god of Love pass by.
At his summons to him I go
And he makes of me his squire.
His horse was made of delight,
His saddle of Love’s delays,
His shield quartered by, I say,
Love’s kisses and Love’s sighs.
His coat of mail
Was a close embrace,
His helm of flowers
Of the rainbow race.
God, his lance was of courtesy,
His sword an iris blade,
His hose a caress, you see,
Spurs made of the beaks of jays.
They all sang a single song,
With never another musician.

Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2005


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