NO·M PREN AXÍ COM AL PETIT
VAYLET ...
NOT SO WITH ME AS WITH THE
LITTLE PAGE ...
Ausiàs Marchtrans. John Frederick Nims (from Catalan)
No·m pren axí.....com al petit vaylet
qui va cerquant.....senyor qui festa ·l faça,
tenint-lo calt.....en lo temps de la glaça
e fresch, d'estiu,.....com la calor se met;
preant molt poch.....la valor del senyor
e concebent.....desalt de sa manera,
vehent molt clar.....que té mala carrera
de cambiar.....son estat en major.

¿Com se farà.....que visca sens dolor
tenint perdut.....lo bé que posseÿa?
Clar e molt bé.....ho veu, si no ha follia,
que may porà.....tenir estat millor.
¿Donchs què farà,.....puix altre bé no·l resta,
sinó plorar.....le bé del temps perdut?
Vehent molt clar.....per si ser decebut,
may trobarà.....qui·l faça millor festa.

Yo són aquell.....qui·n lo temps de tempesta,
quant les més gents.....festegen prop los fochs
e pusch haver.....ab ells los propris jochs,
vaig sobre neu,.....descalç, ab nua testa,
servint senyor.....qui jamés fon vassall
ne·l vench esment.....de fer may homenatge,
en tot leig fet.....hagué lo cor salvatge,
solament diu.....que bon guardó no·m fall.

Plena de seny,.....leigs desigs de mi tall;
erbes no·s fan.....males en mon ribatge;
sia entès.....com dins en mon coratge
los penssaments.....no·m devallen avall.
Not so with me as with the little page
hunts up and down a more obliging sire,
to keep him warm when violent winters rage,
see that he's cool when summer sky's afire.
His present lord he mocks: not worth a bubble
groans at his ways; annoyance grows to hate.
Knows in his heart, along the road there's trouble
in jockeying so to better his estate.

How learn to live indifferent to disaster,
burning that bridge, the once familiar role?
No rainbow's end ahead, no finer master -
-now the boy knows it, if his wits are whole.
What's to be done but sit, and sit a-weeping
(as doors are shut) the rejected bed and board?
Sees in a flash that all he's sowed he's reaping.
No chance to find a more considerate lord.

Quite otherwise with me. I'm one, come winter
when good folk, snug in firelight, mull the rum
and call me in to celebrate, won't enter,
but wade the drifts, bareheaded, barefoot, numb
page for a lord pays reverence to no one
- reverence? what's remoter from his mind?
His joy in any meanness he can show one;
mocking with, "Lucky you! A lord so kind!"

Discerning girl: low lust I shear away;
no ragged weed in meadows I patrol.
Then know me well: in all my heart and soul
no thought but lifts, none furrowing the clay.

Trans. Copyright © Mrs. Bonnie Nims 1971 - publ. Rutgers University Press


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