Charles, Duc d'Orléans tr. Barton Palmer
Le beau souleil, le jour saint Valentin,
Qui apportoit sa chandelle alumee,
N'a pas longtemps entra un bien matin
Priveement en ma chambre fermee.
Celle clarté qu'il avoit apportee,
Si m'esveilla du somme de soussy
Ou j'avoye toute la nuit dormy
Sur le dur lit d'ennuieuse pensee.

Ce jour aussi, pour partir leur butin
Les biens d'Amours, faisoient assemblee
Tous les oyseaulx qui, parlans leur latin,
Crioyent fort, demandans la livree
Que Nature leur avoit ordonnee
C'estoit d'un per comme chascun choisy.
Si ne me peu rendormir, pour leur cry,
Sur le dur lit d'ennuieuse pensee.

Lors en moillant de larmes mon coessin
Je regrettay ma dure destinee,
Disant: "Oyseaulx, je vous voy en chemin
De tout plaisir et joye desiree.
Chascun de vous a per qui lui agree,
Et point n'en ay, car Mort, qui m'a trahy,
A prins mon per dont en dueil je languy
Sur le dur lit d'ennuieuse pensee."


Saint Valentin choisissent ceste annee
Ceulx et celles de l'amoureux party.
Seul me tendray, de confort desgarny,
Sur le dur lit d'ennuieuse pensee.
On St. Valentine's day, the lovely sun,
Carrying along its lighted candle,
Made its way that fine dawn, not long ago,
Into my locked chamber, all in secret.
The gleaming brightness that it brought therein
Awakened me then from the sleep of Care,
In which I had been drowsing all night long
While lying on the bed of Painful Thought.

That day as well, to share out their booty
Of the benefits of Love, all the birds
Did assemble, who, speaking their language,
Cried out loud, demanding the provision
That Nature had ordained to serve them all:
This was a mate, as each had made their choice.
With their noise I could not fall back asleep
While lying on the bed of Painful Thought.

Then, with hot tears moistening the pillow,
I bemoaned all my bitter destiny,
Saying: "Birds, I see you on the pathway
Of all things that please, with joy expectant.
You each have a companion who suits you,
And I have none, for Death, betraying me,
Took my mate, so I languish all in pain
While lying on the bed of Painful Thought."


May the men and women of love's party
Be granted their St. Valentine this year!
Alone I remain, bereft of comfort
While lying on the bed of Painful Thought.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright: Barton Palmer 2005