EL MON NON POT AVER ... THE WORLD CANNOT CONTAIN ...
Guiraut de Calanso trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
El mon non pot aver
Nulh autre aymador
Que·ls grant plazers d'amor
Aia totz guazanhatz,
Qu' i eu de mon ferm voler
Mielhs nom tanha pagaz
Quez el ab totz sos dos,
qu'er viu rics et joios.
Dompna belha e plazens,
Tan vos am leialmen,
ferms de dopt e partitz,
Cum perilhatz gueritz
A mala mar,
Quant a bon port lo mena belhs auratges.

E quar no pot valer
Pretz ni laus part honor,
En loc de preiador
Mi suy a vos donatz,
Et en loc del jazer,
Prenc l'amor el solatz,
Quar mout belhs guizardos,
Dona, m'eschai de vos,
Sol qu'ieu sia jauzens,
Quar us belhs onramens
Val mais q'un don petitz,
E tot hom pros grazitz
Ses trop preiar
Fa mans belhs dos quan es sos agradatges.

El vostre belh plazer
Son de tan gran doussor
Qu'ab ricx faitz de valor
Vos faitz als pros prezatz
Honrar e car tener,
El pretz et la beutatz
Don mans son enveios,
E del honratz respos
Que faitz a totas gens,
El solas avinens
Adoncx ricx e jauzitz
Que vos fan a totz guitz
Als pros prezar,
Per que·us es datz de totz laus senhoratges.

Doncx si en bon esper
Estan li servidor
Que servon bon senhor,
Non dei esser blasmatz
S'ab bos vuelh remaner
On totz bes son pauzatz,
E non sian gelos,
Maldizens enuios,
Nis cug quem pas las dens
Uns motz descovinens,
Mas bos chans luenh auzitz,
Que pretz e jois los guitz
Se fan lauzar
Per los melhors lai on es fis paratges.

Doncx val mais s'ieu dic ver
De vostra gran valor
No fai mentir d'alhor
Cuy mal guazardonaz,
Qu'en re non pot caber,
E de belha vertatz
Non dei esser duptos,
Qu'aissi cum lo leos
Huelhs ubertz es dormens,
Dompna, tot eissamens
Vos ve mos esperitz
Velhan et adurmitz;
Al rissidar
Trassalh vas vos cum lo solelh ombratges.

E
Belh Diamon-, grazitz
Thezaurs e gaugz complitz,
En vos amar
Et obezir es trastotz mos coratges.
The world cannot contain
another lover such,
who has entirely won
the great pleasure of love,
for I with my resolve
am very satisfied,
for he with all his gifts
would live with wealth and joy.
My lady, fair and sweet,
I love you loyally
without a doubt or rift
as one who's saved from harm
on rough high seas
when brought by favoring winds to a good port.

And since I can't deserve
more worth than honored praise,
I give myself to you
in role of suppliant:
instead of lying in
I'll take love and content
for many handsome gifts
I have, my dear, from you;
just for me to enjoy,
for pretty honors are
worth more than little gifts.
A worthy man who's thanked
without a plea
makes many gifts when it's agreeable.

And your fair pleasures are
of sweetness that is great
with noble, valiant deeds:
your acts are praised as best;
to honor and hold dear,
with worth and beauty too
(which many envy you)
and an honest response
you make to everyone,
and pleasant talk takes place
when nobles and your guests,
who make you guide for all,
praise you as best,
for all the praise has given mastery.

So then, while in good hope
the serving men await:
they wait on a good lord.
I am not to be blamed
for wanting to remain
where all good things take rest
and have no jealousy,
no envy and no curse,
nor let to pass the teeth
improper words at all
but hear good songs at length
with worth and joy for guide
and they are praised
by all the best where peerages are fine.

I'd better tell the truth
in speaking of your worth:
I further do not lie,
though my reward is poor,
for nothing else will do
and of the fairest truth
I must not have a doubt.
With lions it's that way:
eyes open, but they sleep;
my lady, all the same
you see my spirit so:
awake and yet asleep
and with a smile
that leaps to you as sunlight to the shade.

E
Bel Diamon, be thanked:
my treasure and all joy
in loving you,
and in obeying is all my desire.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005


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