BALLADE POUR ROBERT D'ESTOUTEVILLE AT DAWN OF DAY, WHEN FALCON SHAKES HIS WING ...
François Villontr. A.S.Kline
Au point du jour, que l'esprevier s'esbat,
Meu de plaisir et par noble coustume,
Bruyt la mauviz et de joyë s'esbat,
Reçoyt son per et se joinct a sa plume,
Offrir vous vueil, ad ce desir m'alume,
Joyeusement ce qu'aux amans bon semble:
Sachiez qu'Amour l'escript en sa volume,
Et c'est la fin pourquoy sommes ensemble.

Dame serez de mon cueur sans debat,
Entierement, jusques mort me consume,
Lorrier soüef qui pour mon droit combat,
Olivier franc m'otant toute amertume,
Raison ne veult que je desacoustume,
- Et en ce vueil avec elle m'assemble -
De vous servir, mais que m'y acoustume,
Et c'est la fin pourquoy sommes ensemble.

Et qui plus est, quant dueil sur moy s'embat
Par Fortune qui souvent si se fume,
Vostre doulx oeil sa malice rabat
Ne plus ne moins que le vent fait la fume.
Sy ne pers pas la graine que je sume
En vostre champ, quant le fruyt me ressemble;
Dieu m'ordonne que le fouÿsse et fume,
Et c'est la fin pourquoy sommes ensemble.

Princesse, oëz ce que cy vous resume:
Que le mien cueur du vostre desassemble
Ja ne sera ; tant de vous en presume,
Et c'est la fin pourquoy sommes ensemble.
At dawn of day, when falcon shakes his wing,
Mainly from pleasure, and from noble usage,
Blackbirds too shake theirs then as they sing,
Receiving their mates, mingling their plumage,
O, as the desires it lights in me now rage,
I’d offer you, joyously, what befits the lover.
See how Love has written this very page:
Even for this end are we come together.

Doubtless, as my heart’s lady you’ll have being,
Entirely now, till death consumes my age.
Laurel, so sweet, for my cause now fighting,
Olive, so noble, removing all bitter foliage,
Reason does not wish me unused to owing,
Even as I’m to agree with this wish, forever,
Duty to you, but rather grow used to serving:
Even for this end are we come together.

And, what’s more, when sorrow’s beating
Down on me, through Fate’s incessant rage,
Your sweet glance its malice is assuaging,
Nor more or less than wind blows smoke away.
As, in your field, I plant I lose no grain,
For the harvest resembles me, and ever
God orders me to plough, and sow again:
Even for this end are we come together.

Princess, listen to this I now maintain:
That my heart and yours will not dissever:
So much I presume of you, and claim:
Even for this end are we come together.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Note: The ballade was written for Robert to present to his wife Ambroise de Loré, as though composed by him.

Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2004


next
vcb11 index
French index