PER GRAZIR LA BONA ESTRENA ...I AM GRATEFUL TO BE GIVEN LOVE ...
Guillem de la Bacallaria*trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
Per grazir la bona estrena
d'amor que·m ten en capdelh,
e per aleviar ma pena
vuelh far alb' ab son novelh.
la nuech vey clara e serena
et aug lo chan d'un auzelh,
en que mos mals se refrena,
don quier lo jorn et apelh.
Dieus! qual enueg
mi fay la nueg!
per qu'ieu dezir l'alba.

Qu'ie·us jur pels sans evangelis
que anc Andrieus de Paris,
Floris, Tristans ni Amelis
no fo vas amor tant fis.
depus mon cor li doneris
us pater noster non dis,
ans qu'ieu disses: Qui es in coelis,
fon ab lieys mos esperis.
Dieus! qual enueg
mi fay la nueg!
per qu'ieu dezir l'alba.

En mar, en plan ni en roca
non puesc ad amor gandir,
mais non creyrai gent badoca
que·m fasson de lieys partir;
qu'ayssi·m punh al cor e·m toca
e·m tolh maniar e dormir
que, s'ieu era en Antioca,
yeu volri' ab lieys morir.
Dieus! qual enueg
mi fay la nueg!
per qu'ieu dezir l'alba.

Amors, yeu saupra gent tendre
e penre ors o laupart
o per far fort castelh rendre,
mas vas vos non truep nulh' art;
ni no·m play ab vos contendre,
qu'ayssi quo·n ai maior part,
suy plus volpilhs al defendre
e·n ay mil tans de regart.
Dieus! qual enueg
mi fay la nueg!
per qu'ieu dezir l'alba.
I am grateful to be given
love my darling has for me,
shy of speaking, I am driven
to compose some poetry:
in the calm and clear cool evening
there's a bird that sings for me.
I feel good, and I'll be writing
soon as daylight lets me see.
What a despite
I have for night
waiting for the dawning.

With the gospels for my witness,
to the truest love I swear:
Florent, Tristram or Amadis
had no love like that I bear.
While you say the Pater noster
all my heart is set on you:
I can't say 'qui es in coelis'
for my spirit's in the blue.
What a despite
I have for night
waiting for the dawning.

On the land or on the ocean
nothing known can counter love:
I don't hold with silly notions
that would take her off above.
It can touch me and can stab me,
it won't let me eat or sleep.
Though in Antioch I found me,
I'd return my love to keep.
What a despite
I have for the night
waiting for the dawning.

I can win in mental tussles,
I can catch a pard or bear,
even storm the strongest castles,
but with you I've not a pray'r.
I don't want to give you trouble
or to get the best of you,
even if my schemes are double
and I work into a stew.
What a despite
I have for the night
waiting for the dawning.

*or Guillem's brother, Uc de la Bacallaria

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2003


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