de LANVALfrom LANVAL
Marie de Francetr. Judith P. Shoaf
L'aventure d'un altre lai,
cum ele avint, vus cunterai.
Faiz fu d'un mult gentil vassal;
en Bretanz l'apelent Lanval.

A Kardoeil surjurnot li reis,
Artur, li pruz e li curteis,
pur les Escoz e pur les Pis
ki destrueient le païs;
en la terre de Loegre entroënt
e mult suvent le damajoënt.

A la pentecuste en esté
i aveit li reis sujurné.
Asez i duna riches duns.
E as cuntes e as baruns,
a cels de la table roünde
(n'ot tant de tels en tut le munde!)
femmes e terres departi,
fors a un sul ki l'ot servi.
Ceo fu Lanval; ne l'en sovint,
ne nuls des soens bien ne li tint.

Pur sa valur, pur sa largesce,
pur sa bealté, pur sa pruësce
l'envioënt tuit li plusur;
tels li mustrout semblant d'amur,
s'al chevalier mesavenist,
ja une feiz ne l'en pleinsist.
Fiz a rei fu, de halt parage,
mes luin ert de sun heritage.
De la maisniee le rei fu.
Tut sun aveir a despendu;
kar li reis rien ne li dona,
ne Lanval ne li demanda.
Ore est Lanval mult entrepris,
mult est dolenz, mult est pensis.
Seignur, ne vus en merveilliez:
huem estranges, descunseilliez
mult est dolenz en altre terre,
quant il ne set u sucurs querre.

Li chevaliers dunt jeo vus di,
ki tant aveit le rei servi,
un jur munta sur sun destrier,
si s'est alez esbaneier.
Fors de la vile en est eissuz;
tuz suls est en un pre venuz.
Sur une ewe curant descent;
mes sis chevals tremble forment:
il le descengle, si s'en vait,
enmi le pre vultrer le fait.
Le pan de sun mantel plia
desuz sun chief, si se culcha.
............
............
The adventure of another lay,
Just as it happened, I'll relay:
It tells of a very nice nobleman,
And it's called Lanval in Breton.

King Arthur was staying at Carduel -
That King of valiant and courtly estate -
His borders there he guarded well
Against the Pict, against the Scot,
Who'd cross into Logres to devastate
The countryside often, and a lot.

He held court there at Pentecost,
The summer feast we call Whitsun,
Giving gifts of impressive cost
To every count and each baron
And all knights of the Round Table.
Never elsewhere so many, such able
Knights assembled! Women and land
He shared with all - except one vassal
Who'd served him well; he forgot Lanval.
Lanval got nothing at the King's hand.

For being brave and generous,
For his beauty and his prowess,
He was envied by all the court;
Those who claimed to hold him dear,
If Fortune had brought him up short,
Would not have shed a kindly tear.
A king's son, he'd a noble lineage,
But now, far from his heritage,
He'd joined the household of the King.
He'd spent all the money he could bring
Already. The King gave him no more -
He gave just what Lanval asked for.
Now Lanval knows not what to do;
He's very thoughtful, very sad.
My lords, I don't astonish you:
A man alone, with no counsel - or bad -
A stranger in a strange land
Is sad, when no help's at hand.

This knight - by now you know the one -
Who'd served the King with many a deed,
One day got on his noble steed
And went riding, just for fun.
Alone he rode out of the town,
And came to a meadow - still alone -
Dismounted by a flowing brook.
But his horse trembled now and shook,
So he took off the tackle and let him go,
Rolling free in the broad meadow.
The knight took his own cloak folded
It into a pillow for his head.
............
............

TO READ THE REST go to http://web.english.ufl.edu/exemplaria/marie/lanval.pdf


Trans. Copyright © Judith P. Shoaf 1991


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