........................................CHANTAN ...
................................................IN SONG ...
Gaucelm Faidit trans. James H. Donalson
..........................................(from Provençal)
Ara cove que·m conort en chantan
del mal c'amors me fai sufrir e traire;
c'aisi m'ave, con ieu plus soven chan,
qu'ieu soi plus gais e de meilhor solatz,
e n'alegri mon cor, quan soi iratz;
per so no·m lais de chantar ni·m biais,
c'ades val mais e·n par plus fis amaire
sel que plus gen sap far e plus soven
so que a pretz s'atanh e a joven.

E donx per que vauc mas chansos tarzan
pois mais val hom, quant es gais e chantaire?
per so qu'en mi n'ai consirer tan gran
que·m meravilh cum dic ren be ni fatz,
quan pens que silh que el mon plus mi platz,
no sap lo fais ni·l dezir ni·l pantais
que·m ve e·m nais de leis, c'als no·n ai gaire;
ni ieu non sen en mi tan d'ardimen
que ia l'aus dir mon cor a mon viven.

Pero ben cre qu'ilh conois mon talan. -
e qual pro i ai? qu'ela non fai vejaire
qu'en re·s tenha mon mal ni mon afan;
c'aisi for'ieu tostems ricx et onratz,
si·lh forses tan son cor humelitatz
que·m des un bais.- c'ai dig? trop mi eslais
que tan ricx jais no cug que ia m'esclaire. -
doncx per cal sen l'am, pos joi no·n aten?
c'aisi con plus la vueilh, e pietz m'en pren.

Ges no·m recre d'amar leis, tan ni quan
si tot no l'aus mon ferm voler retraire;
que ben conosc qu'anc re non amei tan
com ieu fauc leis, des l'ora qu'ieu fui natz. -
e s'ieu la am, ie·n sui ben enguanatz,
c'anc sos cors gais ves lo mieu no s'atrais,
que·l es verais, fis, franx e de bon aire,
d'umil parven; - e per aital coven
m'autrei a lei ades e·m do e·m ren.

Quan mi sove d'un avinen semblan
e d'un esgart qu'ieu·l vi dousamen faire,
aisi·m rete que no i gart mal ni dan
ni vir los hueils ni·l cor ves altre latz;
ni anc mais tant no·m destreis amistatz,
qu'us dous esglais mi ven, mescle d'esmais;
mas no·m irais tant soi sos sufertaire;
ab cor jauzen, si mortz no m'en desmen,
la servirai a totz jorns finamen.

En sa merce estauc ves on que·m an;
e quar ves lieis plus soven no repaire,
paors m'o tol e temensa, que·m fan
fals lauzengier devinador malvatz;
que donz itis sap ben e mos Conhatz
c'ab los fall brais dels lauzengiers savais
sui Dieus abais, se vir' amors en caire
e franh e fen, per que fai failhimen
dona qui·ls cre ni·ls ama ni·ls consen.

Chanso, vai t'en a mon Plus-Avinen
qu'er bo si·t pren e chanta et apren.
Now is the time I comfort me in song
because of ills love's made me suffer from.
It happens, when I sing more frequently,
that I'm more glad, and better company.
It also lifts my heart when I am sad,
so I don't stop or slacken in my song:
this way is better, and more fit for love.
More and more often nobler ones can sing
things that are fitting both for worth and youth.

Why then do songs delay in reaching me,
for men are better when they're bright with song?
There's no consideration better, so
I marvel when I'm good in deeds or speech.
When I think she who pleases me the most
Can't see the burden, the desire or urge
that comes to me from her, not otherwise;
nor do I feel such ardor in my heart:
for this is what my life hears from my heart.

But I think that she knows how I'm inclined. -
To what advantage? She won't think of me
but puts at naught all my desire and lusts;
so always I'd be honored, I'd be rich
if I could give her heart humility
so she'd give me a kiss. - How's that? I'm lax,
I don't think anything could give such joy.
Why love her, then, without expecting joy?
The more I see her's all the worse for me.

I can't stop loving her, or love her less,
and I don't dare retract my firm resolve
that well knows I have never loved so much
as I do her, and have since I was born,
and if I love her, I've been much deceived,
though her glad heart's not drawn to mine:
mine's true, fine, free, and of the very best,
and humbly·born; - so it is suitable
to lay me down and give myself to her.

When I remember any pretty face
and such a look as I saw sweetly made,
then I am careful not to hurt or harm,
or turn my eyes or heart away from her,
and nothing can distress my friendship more:
I feel a quiver and uneasiness,
but I'll not leave: I'm good at suffering.
With joyful heart, if death does not belie,
I'll serve her truly till the end of days.

You see, they have me at their mercy too
and if I don't repair to her each time,
a fear and trembling stop me, started by
false slanderers and ill-willed charlatans,
as young men well know, also my 'Conhatz'*.
With such false cries of scornful slanderers
God lowers me, and love will go awry
and breaks and shatters, since it has to lose
a girl who will not love or give consent.

O song, go now, to my 'Plus-Avinen',
it will be good if she will sing you then.

*It is not known if Conhatz is a 'senhal' or should taken literally (meaning Brother-in-law).

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2006

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