Guilhem de Cabestany trans. James H. Donalson
(from Provençal)
Anc mais no m·fo semblan
Qu'eu laisses per Amor
Solaz ni per joi chan
No plores per dousor:
Be·m ten en son coman
Amors, q'en mi comensa
Mainz dolz plazers, e cre
C'ad obs de leis me fe
Deus e per sa valenssa

Q'eu·m vau soven claman
De leis don faz lausor,
E vau leis merceian
Don degra far clamor,
Re non faz per engan;
Mas cel cui Amors gensa
Deu soffrir mainta re,
Car en mainz luocs s'ave
Qe·l mal taing qu·l bes venssa.

No·s deu plaingner d'affan
Ni dire sa dolor
Ni conoisser son dan
Ni del be far lausor
Amics qe va camjan
E va sa captenensa:
Maint ne parlon dese
que non sabon de qe
Mou jois ni malsabenssa.

Nuls no sai d'amor tan
Que·n parle ses temor,
Mas vist ai c'ap joi gran
Trop ris non an sabor
E mans sospirs que fan
De feiner gran parvenza;
Per c'Amors me capte,
Aixi com miels cove,
Ses blasme e ses failhenza.

Don', al plus fin aman
Et al miels sofridor
Et aicel que miels blan
Sa dona e sa valor,
Mandatz senes desman
Per vostra conoixenza
Zo que·us estara be ...
Sens o que no me·n te
Nuilha res mas temenza.

Si·m destreinges pessan
Que maintas vez qant or
Vos cuich esser denan,
Que la fresca color
E·l gen cors benestan
Tenc en tal sovinensa
De re als no·m sove:
D'aquest dous pes me ve
Franquesa e benvolenssa.
I'd never have believed
that, for love's sake, I'd leave
my sports or sing for joy
or weep for sweetened words:
Love has me in her power
for it starts up in me
sweet pleasures and I think
God made me just so I
could serve her and her worth.

I often have complained
of her I give my praise,
and I have always thanked
the source of my complaint,
and this is not a trick:
whom Love may raise in rank
must suffer many things,
and often it occurs
that good can conquer ills.

A lover can't complain
or talk about this pain
or let on that he's hurt,
or praise the good he has,
if he is not steadfast,
but changes in his aims,
though many rush to speak
who do not know the source
of joy or of distaste.

Of love none knows enough
to speak out fearlessly,
but I have seen how laughs
may not arise from joy,
and many are the tears
that look as though they're feigned,
but love is leading me,
and this is what is best,
without the blame and fault.

My lady, faithful loves
long-suffering ones as well,
the ones that serve the best
a lady and her worth,
will wait for your command
and by your courtliness
will do what pleases you,
and nothing holds me back
except my fear of you.

You so torment my thoughts
that often, when I pray,
I think that you are there:
my memories are such,
of your fresh coloring,
your graceful, shapely form,
I think of nothing else.
From this sweet thought I have
Good will and noble aims.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005

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