AR VEY QU'EM VENGUT ALS
JORNS LONCS ...
I SEE NOW THAT THE DAYS
ARE LONG ...
Guilhem de Cabestany trans. James H. Donalson
(from Provençal)
Ar vey qu'em vengut als jorns loncs,
Que·il flors s'arenguo sobr'els troncx,
Et aug d'auzelhs chans e refrims
Pe·ls playssatz qu'a tengutz embroncx
Lo fregz, mas eras pe·ls soms prims,
Entre las flors e·ls brondelhs prims,
S'alegra quascus a son for.

Mas ieu m'esjauzisc e·m demor
Per un joi d'amor q'ai al cor,
Don m'es dous deziriers techitz;
Que mains que serps de sycomor
Me·n deslong per us vars fraiditz,
Anz m'es totz autres jois oblitz
Vas l'amor don paucs bes ajust.

Anc pus N'Adam culhic del fust
Lo fruig don tug em en tabust
Tam belha no·n aspiret Crist:
Bel cors benestan, car e just,
Blanc e lis plus qu'us almatist,
Tant es ylh belha qu'ieu·n sui trist,
Quar de me no·lh pren mais de sonh.

Et ja mais no·il serai tan lonh
Que l'amors que m'aflama e·m ponh
Si parta del cor ni s'esquins;
Mas a la vetz quan si desjonh
S'espandis defors e dedins.
Adoncx sui cobertz, claus e cins
D'amor plus que de flors ysops.

Et am tant que menhs n'a mortz trops,
E tem que·l jorns mi sia props,
Qu'Amors m'es cara et e·l sui vils;
E ges aissi no m'agra ops,
Que·l fuecs que m'art es tals que Nils
No·l tudaria pus q'us fils
Delguatz sostendria una tor.

Mas ieu sols, las! sosteing l'ardor
E la pena que·m ven d'amor
Ab doutz desirs, ab mains destricx,
E·m n'espalezis ma color.
Pero non dic que s'er'anticx
E blancs devengutz cum es nicx,
Qu'en re de ma dona·m clames.

Quar dompnas fan valer ades
Los desvalenz e·ls fels engres:
Que tals es francs et agradius
Que si ja dompna non ames
Vas tot lo mon fora esquius;
Qu'ieu·n sui als pros plus humilius
E plus orgulos als savays.

E1
Joglars, no·t tenha·l cautz estius:
Vai e saluda·m mos amius,
E·N Raimon plus, car el val mais:

E2
Que·l mals m'es douz e saborius
E·l pauc ben mana don me pais.
I see now that the days are long,
the blossoms line up on the branch,
I hear the songs and trills of birds
in hedges, birds the cold has kept
in silence, now on highest peaks
among the flowers and early fronds
each one rejoices in his way.

But I rejoice and I am glad,
for joy of love that's in my heart,
which formed a sweet desire in me.
As serpent seeks the sycamore
I'd get away from perfidy,
and I've forgot all other joy
for love that does me little good.

Since father Adam picked the fruit
that's had us all in trouble since,
Christ gave breath to no fairer one
A body that's proportionate
and polished more than amethysts;
she is so beautiful, I'm sad
for she has not a thought of me.

I'll never be so far from her
that love that drives me will depart,
or leave my heart and its four parts -
but sometimes when it opens up
it spreads within and spreads without,
so, shut and bound, I'm covered round
more than the hyssop by its flowers.

I'll never be so far from her
that love that drives me will depart
or leave my heart and its four parts,
but some times when it opens up
it spreads within and spreads without,
so, shut and bound, I'm covered round
more than the hyssop by its flowers.

Less love than mine has killed good men,
and I'm afraid my time is near:
Love's dear to me, but thinks I'm mean,
and that is just not what I need,
because the fire that's burning me
the Nile could not put out, nor could
a slender thread hold up a tower.

The ladies build up courage in
the weak and even criminals:
the noble and the grateful, though,
if they have not a lady-love,
are disagreeable to all.
So I am humble to the good
and I am prouder to the bad.

E1
Jongleur, don't let the heat stop you,
go on and greet my friends for me,
Sir Raymond most, the worthiest.

E2
My ills are sweet and savory:
what's good, is manna feeding me.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005


next
index
translator's next