MENTRE M'OBRI I EIS ... WHILE I'M OPENING UP THE DOORS ...
Marcoat trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
Mentre m'obri i eis
Un sirventes escubel
En giteira inz s'arena,

Qu'eu no chanti de Gibel
De cel scacier picarel,
Anz chant de Domein Serena.

De joc es escoutellatz,
E del ping dreit es arpatz,
E tart crei lansa destenda;

Ben mal gitarial datz,
Et es pietz apareillatz
D'escorjal anguilla lena.

De favas a desgranar,
E de notz a scofellar
Lamcant hom las escofena;

E de gran ga a nadar,
E de figas a pelar
Lo vencerai ses contena.

Anc pois mori Marcabrus,
Ni Roilis perdet del mus,
Miels de mi nols entamena,

S'en Bernat no·m descausis,
Per conseill d'omes frairis,
Que·m t-olc en un saut s'avena.

Mon serventes no val plus,
Que faitz es de bos moz clus:
Apren lo, Domeing Sarena

Almornes e morsels crus
Assunaras al temps brus
E sal e meill e farina.
While I'm opening up the doors,
here's a well-done sirventes
of a gameboard in the sand-pile:

I don't sing about Gibel
wood-legged rascal that he is.
I sing of Domein Serena.

Now the game has been cut short
and the right side has been hooked,
I think he's too late with lances.

I would badly toss the dice
and am worse outfitted than
is an eel for jobs of roofing,

There are beans we have to hull,
there are nuts we have to shell,
when we want to set the table.

With a great urge to go swim
and to go and peel a fig
I'll beat them without a contest.

Since the death of Marcabru
even Roilis lost his muse,
better than I, none's beginning.

If Sir Bernard pays me heed
by the brotherhood's advice,
he will take me on arriving.

Nothing further, sirventes,
you're made of some private words:
learn it now, Domein Serena.

Chariy and uncooked bits
are your fast for darker times:
salt and honey and wheat-flour.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2003


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