LO JORN QU'IE·US VI, DOMPNA,
PRIMEIRAMEN ...
THE DAY, MY LADY, THAT I FIRST
SAW YOU ...
Guilhem de Cabestany trans. James H. Donalson
(from Provençal)
Lo jorn qu'ie·us vi, dompna, primeiramen,
Quan a vos plac que·us mi laissetz vezer,
Parti mon cor tot d'autre pessamen
E foron ferm en vos tug mey voler:
Qu'assi·m pauzetz, dompna, el cor l'enveya
Ab un dous ris et ab un simpl' esguar;
Mi e quant es mi fezes oblidar.

Que·l grans beutatz e·l solas d'avinen
E·l cortes dig e·l'amoros plazer
Que·m saubetz far m'embleron si mon sen
Qu'anc pueis hora, dompna, no·l puec aver:
A vos l'autrei cui mos fis cors merceya
Per enantir vostre pretz et honrar;
A vos mi ren, c'om miels non poi amar.

E car vos am, dompna, tan finamen
Que d'autr' amar no·m don' Amors poder,
Mas aize·m da c'ab autra cortei gen,
Don cug de me la greu dolor mover;
Pueis quan cossir de vos cui jois sopleya,
Tot autr' amor oblit e dezampar:
Ab vos remanc cui tenc' al cor pus car.

E membre vos, si·us plai, del bon coven
Que me fezetz al departir saber,
Don aic mon cor adoncs guai e jauzen
Pe·l bon respieit en que·m mandetz tener:
Mout n'aic gran joi, sera lo mals s'engreia,
Et aurai lo, quan vos plaira, encar,
Bona dompna, qu'ieu sui en l'esperar.

E ges maltraitz no me·n fai espaven,
Sol qu'ieu en cug e ma vida aver
De vos, dompna, calacom jauzimen;
Anz li maltrag mi son joi e plazer
Sol per aisso quar sai qu'Amors autreya
Que fis amans deu granz torz perdonar
E gen sufrir maltrait per guazanh far,

E
Ai! er ja, donna, l'ora qu'ieu veya
Que per merce me vulhatz tant honrar
Que sol amic me denhetz apelhar!
The day, my lady, that I first saw you
when you were pleased to let me see you there,
all other thoughts departed from my heart
and all my wishes grasped a hold on you,
and you, my lady, have set up desiring
with your sweet smile and just a simple glance
and you made me forget self and all else.

Great beauty, pleasant conversation and
the courtly speech and kind reception that
you gave me there have so benumbed my sense
that to this day, my lady, I've none yet.
I'll grant you, whom my grateful heart is pleading,
to raise on high your worth and honor it,
I yield to you, no better can be loved.

And, lady, since I love you with such faith
that Love won't give me power for other loves:
yet he permits me to pay court to one.
I think by her I can remove my grief,
and then I think how joy to you is bowing;
I then forget and leave all other loves
and I remain with one my heart holds dear.

And please remember promises you made
back at the time we separated, when
my heart was filled with joy and good, because
you told me to hold my expectancy.
I had great.joy, but now it's aggravating:
I'll have my joy again when you are pleased,
good lady, for I always live in hope.

And no maltreatment ever frightens me,
because of this I think my life will have
from you, my lady, some small recompense
so that my.suffering's only joy to me.
I know this for I know that Love's assuring:
true lovers must endure and pardon wrongs
and undergo mistreatment for their gains.

E
Ah, lady, if she'd come while I am watching,
take pity now and honor me enough
by deigning to let me call you my friend.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005


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