DER HOF ZE WIENE SPRACH ZE MIR ... VIENNAíS COURT DECLARED TO ME ...
Walter von der Vogelweide trans. Tim Chilcott

der hof ze wiene sprach ze mir
walther ich solte lieben dir
nû leide ich dir daz müeze got erbarmen
mîn wirde diu was wîlent grôz
dô lebte niender mîn genôz
wan künic artûses hof sô wê mir armen
wâ nû ritter unde frouwen
die man bî mir solte schouwen
seht wie jâmerlîch ich stê
mîn dach is fûl sô rîsent mîne wende
mich enminnet nieman leider
silber golt ros unde kleider
die gab ich unde hât ouch mê
nun habe ich weder schapel noch gebende
noch frowen zeinem tanze owê.

Viennaís court declared to me,
ĎWalther, I ought to be so dear to you,
yet I offend. God show me pity now.
My glory reached once to the skies.
No court could equal mine,
King Arthurís set apart. Now, though, Iím poor.
Where are the ladies and the knights
that you should witness crowding here?
Look how desolate I stand;
my roof is rotten, walls are falling down.
Iím loved by no-one now ... the bitterness ...
Clothing, horses, silver, gold -
I gave away, and had still more to give.
I have no garlands now, no headdresses,
nor ladies for the dance.

A later evocation of the Viennese court in its decline, which movingly presents the change between past glory and present dereliction.

Trans. Copyright © Tim Chilcott 2009

See also: http://www.tclt.org.uk



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