ONQUES N’AMAI ...I NEVER LOVED SO MUCH ...
Richard de Furnivaltr. Peter Dean
Onques n’amai tant com je fui amee.
Or m’en repent s’il me peust valoir
qu’Amors m’avoit au mellor assenee
por tout deduit et toute joie avoir
et au plus bel de toute la contree.
Mes ore a il autrui s’amor dounee
qui volentiers l’a a soi retenu.
Lasse! por quoi fui je de mere nee?
Par mon orgueil ai mon ami perdu.

Si me doint Dieus d’amors longue duree,
que je l’amai de cuer sans decevoir,
quant me disoit qu’iere de li amee;
mes n’en osai ainz descouvrir le voir,
des mesdisans doutoie la nomee.
Biau sire Dieus, baisie et acolee m’eust,
plor et aveus moi geu,
mes qu’il m’eust sans plus s’amor donee,
si m’eust bien tous ci siecles veu.

Or m’a Amors malement assenee,
quant ce que j’aim fait a un autre avoir,
ne le me lait retraire ma pensee,
ne si n’en puis solas ne joie avoir.
Lasse! l’amor que je tant li ai vee
li sera ja otroie et donee;
mes tart l’ai dit, car je l’ai ja perdu.
Or me convient amer sans estre amee,
car trop ai tart mon felon cuer vaincu.
I never loved so much as I have been.
I now regret - if it will do much good -
that Love presented me the sweetest scene
for every joy and happiness he could,
and the handsomest lad this land has ever seen.
But now his love he’s given clean
away to one who holds it tight.
Alas! why was I born, what comfort glean?
Out of my pride my love is lost outright.

If God had only given me love that’s long,
how I’d have loved him with true heart and deep
when he told me his love for me was strong;
but I dared not disclose this here among
the slanderers whose counsels I find cheap.
Blessed Lord God, kissed and embraced me has he,
whilst I have wept and prayed that I would be -
once he had given his love for me to keep -
his for all future centuries to see.

Now love has led me wickedly astray,
when to another he I love has gone,
not giving me to change my mind one day,
my solace and my joy all passing on.
Alas! the love in him I saw so play
he’ll now remove and give away.
But too late do I speak: all’s lost to me.
Now bitter is my heart without love’s stay,
since too late did I make its blindness see.

Trans. Copyright © Peter Dean 2003


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