ESPERANZA DE TOTZ FERMS
ESPERANS ...
O HOPE OF ALL WHOSE HOPE IS FIRM
IN THEE ...
Guilhem d'Autpoltrans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
1
Esperanza de totz ferms esperans,
flums de plazers, fons de vera merce,
cambra de Dieu, ortz don naysso tug be,
repaus ses fi, capdels d'orfes enfans,
conssolansa dels fis descossolatz,
frugz d'entier joy, seguransa de patz,
portz ses peril, porta de salvan port,
gaugz ses tristor, flors de vida ses mort,
maire de Dieu, dona del fermamen,
sojorns d'amicx, fis delietz ses turmen,
de paradis lums e clardatz et alba.

2
Glorioza, tant es la joya grans
que·us venc de selh que·l mon capdelha e te,
que vos lauzan no pot hom dir mas be,
si totz lo mons n'era tostemps lauzans,
quar en vos son totas plazens bontatz,
gaugz et honors, salutz e caritatz;
verdiers d'amor, qu'el tieu pressios ort
dissendet frugz que destruys nostra mort;
verga seca, fazen frug ses semen,
porta del cel, via de salvamen,
de totz fizels lums e clardatz et alba.

3
Plazens dompna, qu'en vos a plazers tans
que totz lo mons no·n diria·l mile;
glorioza, pus que tant as de be,
membre·t de me e de totz tos clamans,
que·l tieus gens cors fon per nostr'ops creatz,
cors gracios, ples de totas beutatz,
pus que ses te non puesc trobar cofort,
perduy me lay on es vida ses mort,
pres del tieu filh, que m'a fach de nien,
si qu'ieu veya·l sieu gay captenemen,
lay on no falh lums ni clardatz ni alba.

4
A, quon seran jauzens e benanans
tug vostr'amic d'entier joy per jasse!
e pus Dieus vol qu'en vos sion tug be,
gloriosa, siatz de mi membrans;
e si tot s'es grans vostra sanctitatz,
no m'oblidetz, dompna, per mos peccatz,
qu'ayssi quon son mey falhimen pus fort,
m'es maiers ops que·m desliuretz de mort;
e quar de vos auta merce n'aten,
merce m'aiatz per vostre chauzimen,
que mi siatz lums e clardatz et alba.

5
Qu'ieu falhitz fals mi sent greus e pezans
per mos fols faitz, et ai razon de que,
quar gran so·l mal qu'ay faitz, e pauc li be,
e·lh dich tafur, per qu'ieu suy merceyans
que·m razonetz, plazens dompna, si·us platz,
lay on sera·n dregz jutiamens donatz,
que no y valran plag ni agur ni sort,
ans aura quecx per se paor de mort;
vos me mostratz al jorn del jutiamen
vostre car filh ab cara resplanden,
que·m don ab joy lum e clardat et alba.

6
Poderos Dieus, verays e merceyans,
merce m'aiatz, qu'ieu vos azor e·us cre
e·us ren lauzor de l'honor e del be
que m'avetz fag temps, jorns e mes et ans;
Dieus, paire, filhs, salvaire, Crist nomnatz,
sayns esperitz e vera trinitatz,
als peccadors donatz via e conort
co·s desliuron dels liams de la mort,
e·ls faitz venir al veray jauzimen,
on seran fait maynt glorios prezen,
lay on estan jorns e clardatz et alba.

A*
Lo sons mortals estenh la folla gen.
leu si qui dorm! mentre qu'a merce pren
Dieus peccadors, que·l jorns ven apres l'alba.

B*
Vida don Dieus ab joy ses marrimen
en paradis ab tot lo sieu coven
a totz ayssels que diran aquest'alba.
1
O hope of all whose hope is firm in thee,
river of pleasures, mercy's streaming fount,
mirror of God, garden of good account,
endless repose, reader that orphans seek,
consoler of the disconsolate son,
fruit of total joy, peace under the sun,
port without danger, and salvation's port,
joy without sadness, deathless flower-sort,
mother of God, lady of firmament,
sojourn of friends, delight without torment,
light of paradise and brightness and dawning.

2
O glorious one, great joy comes down to me,
because thou only leadest me around:
nor could thy praises better now resound
if all the world were always praising thee,
for every pleasing goodness is in thee,
for joy and honor, health and charity;
love's garden where there grows the precious fruit,
the tree producing death-destroying fruit,
dry twig that brings its seeds to fruition,
gate of heaven, and way to all salvation;
light of the faithful and brightness and dawning.

3
Pleasant lady, thou givest pleasures such
the whole world couldn't tell a thousandth part;
glorious, since thou hast so much good to give,
remember me and all who pay thee suit.
For thy people, creatures, make a body,
graceful body, filled with every beauty;
since without thee I can find no comfort,
thou guidest me to where there's deathless life,
near thy son who made me from nothingness
so I may observe his happy sweetness
where light doesn't fail, nor brightness and dawning.

4
O how joyful and how fortunate are
all thy friends, with total joy forever,
and since God wants all good to be in thee,
O glorious one, always remember me;
and because your sanctity is so great
do not forget me, lady, a sinner;
for as my failings are greater, my need
is greater for thee to save me from death
and seek of thee unexpected mercy:
mercy that thou wilt choose to show to me,
who art for me light and brightness and dawning.

5
Since I fail, I feel false, grey, overwhelmed
because of foolishness, I've reason to:
I've done much evil and but little good,
I'm speaking as a rogue but I thank thee,
remembering, gracious lady, if you please,
there, where just judgement will be given out,
there will not be prejudgement, fate or luck,
but only and alone the fear of death,
but thou wilt guide me on the judgement day
to thy dear son and to his shining face
which gives me joy, light, and brightness and dawning.

6
All-powerful God, and true and merciful
have mercy, for I adore and believe:
I praise and honor thee for all the good
received in times and days and months and years;
God the father, son and saviour called Christ,
and holy Spirit, and true Trinity;
Thou wilt give life and thou wilt give comfort
to sinners thou hast freed from bonds of death
to sinners thou hast taken to true joy
where they will have many glorious presents
there where are daylight and brightness and dawning.

A
The foolish will dissolve in mortal sounds
and really sleep! the while God's mercy takes
the sinners, for the day comes after dawning.

B
God gives us life, and the sorrowless joy
in paradise, with all befitting it
to anyone who will recite this dawn-song.

*We are not sure whether these are alternate refrains, or just differences between manuscripts.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2003


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