Marie de Franceprose tr. Glyn S.Burgess
& Keith Busby
Lungement se sunt entr'amé,
Tant que ceo vient a un esté,
Que bruil e pré sunt reverdi
E li vergier ierent fluri.
Cil oiselet par grant duçur
Mainent lur joie en sum la flur.
Ki amur ad a sun talent
N'est merveille s'il i entent.
Del chevaler vus dirai veir:
Il i entent a sun poeir
E la dame de l'autre part,
E de parler e de regart.
Les nuiz, quant la lune luseit
E ses sires cuché esteit,
Dejuste lui sovent levot
E de sun mantel se afublot.
A la fenestre ester veneit,
Pur sun ami qu'el i saveit
Que autreteu vie demenot
E le plus de la nuit veillt.
Delit aveient al veer,
Quant plus ne poeient aver.
Tant i estut, tant i leva
Que ses sires s'en curuça
E meintefeiz li demanda
Pur quei levot e u ala.
'Sire', la dame li respunt,
'Il nen ad joie en cest mund
Ki n'ot le laüstic chanter.
Pur ceo me vois ici ester;
Tant ducement l'i oi la nuit
Que mut me semble grant deduit.
Tant me delit e tant le voil
Que jeo ne puis dormir de l'oil.'
For a long time they loved each other, until one summer when the copses and meadows were green and the gardens in full bloom. On the flower-tops the birds sang joyfully and sweetly. If love is on anyone's mind, no wonder he turns his attention towards it. I shall tell you the truth about the knight. Both he and the lady made the greatest possible effort with their words and with their eyes. At night, when the moon was shining and her husband was asleep, she often rose from beside him and put on her mantle. Knowing her beloved would be doing the same, she would go and stand at the window and stay awake most of the night. They took delight in seeing each other, since they were denied anything more. But so frequently did she stand there and so frequently leave her bed that her husband became angry and asked her repeatedly why she got up and where she went. 'Lord,' replied the lady, 'anyone who does not hear the song of the nightingale knows none of the joys of this world. This is why I come and stand here. So sweet is the song I hear by night that it brings me great pleasure. I take such delight in it and desire it so much that I can get no sleep at all.'

Trans. Copyright © Glyn S.Burgess & Keith Busby 1986, 1999 - publ. Penguin Classics this book
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