MANGER GRÜEZET MICH
ALSÔ ...
WHY THE COMMON WOMEN
ARE BETTER
Hartmann von Aue trans. Leonard Cottrell
Manger grüezet mich alsô
(der gruoz tuot mich ze mâze frô),
"Hartmann, gên wir schouwen
ritterlîche frouwen."
mac er mich mit gemache lân
und île er zuo den frowen gân!
bî frouwen triuwe ich niht vervân,
wan daz ich müede vor in stân.
Ze frowen habe ich einen sin:
als sî mir sint als bin ich in;
wand ich mac baz vertrîben
die zît mit armen wîben.
swar ich kum dâ ist ir vil,
dâ vinde ich die diu mich dâ wil;
diu ist ouch mînes herzen spil:
waz touc mir ein ze hôhez zil?
In mîner tôrheit mir geschach
daz ich zuo zeiner frowen sprach
"frow, ich hân mîne sinne
gewant an iuwer minne."
dô wart ich twerhes an gesehen
. des wil ich, des sî iu bejehen,
mir wîp in solher mâze spehen
diu mir des niht enlânt geschehen.
It really doesn't make my day
when friends come up to me and say
"Hartmann, let us go and see
the noble ladies." Why take me?
If you are so devotion-prone
go chase the highborn babes alone!
I find there's never a reward,
and I get tired paying court.
With women I want things to be
based on reciprocity.
In fact my time is better passed
with common women than high class.
They're plentiful and quick to find,
and when one's favorably inclined
then she can be my heart's delight.
So why ought I to raise my sights?
Once foolishly and to my shame
I spoke as follows to a dame:
"Your ladyship I am resolved
that you and I shall fall in love."
But all I got was a cross-eyed glare:
my bid she angrily declined.
Henceforth I'll seek companions fair
who won't give me that hard a time.

For more of this translator's work see: http://planck.com/rhymedtranslations/versetrans.htm

Trans. copyright © Raymond Oliver 1981


next
index
translator's next