....................................LOVERS PLAY ...
Savaric de Mauleon, Gaucelm Faidit
....................................& Uc de la Bacalaria
trans. James H.Donalson (from Provençal)
"Gaucelm, tres jocs enamoratz
Partisc a vos et a n'Hugo,
E chascus prendetz to plus bo,
E laissatz me cal que·us voilhatz:
Una Dompna a tres prejadors,
E destreingn la tant lor amors
Que, quan tuich trei li son denan,
A chascun fai d'amor semblan;
L'un esgard' amorosamen,
L'autre' estreinh la man dousamen,
Al tertz caucïa·l pe rizen.
Digatz a cal, pois aissi es,
Fai major amor de totz tres."

"Seinh'en Savaric, ben sapchatz
Que l'amics receup plus gent do,
Que franchamen, ses cor felo,
Es dels huoilhs plazens esgardatz.
Del cor mou aquelha doussors,
Per qu'es cen tans majer honors;
E del man tenir dic aitan
Que non li ten ni pro ni dan,
C'aital plazer comunalmen
Fan dompnas per acuilhimen;
E del caucïar non enten
C'anc la dompn'amor li fezes,
Nil deu per amor esser pros."

"Gaucelm, vos dizetz so qu·eus platz
For que non mantenetz razo;
Q'en l'esgardar non conosc pro
A l'amic que vos razonatz,
E si l'i enten es folhors,
C'uoilh esgardon lui et ailhors
E nuilh autre poder non an.
Mas, cand la blancha mas ses gan
Estreing son amic dousamen
L'amors mou del cor e del sen.
E·n Savarics, que part tant gen,
Mantenga·l caucïars cortes
Del pe, q'ieu no·l mantenrai ges."

"N'Hugo, pois lo mieilhs me laissatz,
Mantenrai lo ses dir de no;
Don dic que·l caucïars quo fo
Faitz del pe fon fin' amistatz,
Celada dels lausenhadors;
E par ben, pos aital socors
Pres l'amic rizen chaucïan,
Que l'amors es ses tot engan.
E, qui·l tener de la man pren
Per major amor, fai nonsen.
E d'en Gaucelm no m'es parven
Que l'esgart per meilhor prezes,
Se tan con dis d'amor saupes."

"Seinher, vos que l'esgart blasmatz
Dels huoilh e lor plazen faisso,
Non sabetz que messatgier so
Del cor, quels hi a enviatz;
C'uoilh descobron als amadors
So que reten el cor paors,
Don totz los plazers d'amor fan;
E maintas vetz rizen gaban,
Caucïa-l pe a mainta gen
Dompna, ses autr' entendemen.
E n'Hugo manten faillimen,
Qe·l teners del man non es res,
Ni son cre q'anc d'amor mogues."

"Gaucelm, encontr' amor parlatz
Vos e·l Seinher de Malleo;
E pareis ben a la tenso
Que·il huoilh que vos avetz triatz,
E que razonatz pelz meilhors,
Ant trahitz mains entendedors.
E de la dompn' ab cor truan,
Si·m caucïava·l pe un an,
No·n auria mon cor gauzen;
E de la man es ses conten
Que l'estreinhers val per un cen,
Car ja, si al cor no plagues
L'amors, no·il agra·l man trames."

"Gaucelm, vencutz etz del conten
Vos e n'Hugo certanamen.
E vuoilh que fassa-l jutgamen
Mos Garda-Cors, que m'a conques,
E na Maria, on bons pretz es."

"Seinher, vencutz no sui nien,
Et al jutgar er ben parven;
Per qu'eu vuoilh sia eisamen
Ma Guilhelma de Benauges,
Ab sos digz amoros cortes."

"Gaucelm, tant ai razon valen,
C'amdos vos fortz' e mi defen;
E sai n'una ab gai cors plazen
En qe·l jutgamens fora mes;
Mas pro n'i a ab meins de tres."
"Gaucelm, three games that lovers play
I'll tell to you and Hugo too:
let each one tell me which is best
and leave to me the part you wish:
a lady had three suitors now,
and each one sought to have her love,
so when all three stood facing her
she gave a sign of love to each;
the one she looks at lovingly,
she takes the second suitor's hand,
steps on the foot of number three.
Now tell me which, in such a case,
she loves the best of all the three."

"Sir Savaric, you know quite well
which friend received the kindest gift,
for freely, without guile at heart,
she gave a pleasant glance to one.
Such sweetness comes from in the heart
so is a hundredfold more great,
while taking hold of someone's hand
is neither help nor is it harm
for though it's pleasing, commonly
the ladies do it to us all;
the stepping, I don't understand,
for if the lady thinks it's love
she shouldn't be so close to him."

"Gaucelm, you say what pleases you,
however you're not in the right;
for there's no gain from just a look
for this friend you reason of:
he'd he mad to understand,
an eye may look at one or not
and has no other power at all,
but when the white and gloveless hand
takes her friend's hand in its soft touch,
love stirs in heart and mind as well.
Sir Savaric of gentle parts
maintains the footstep's courteous,
which I will not maintain at all."

"Sir Hugo, you've left me the best,
and I'll maintain and not say no;
and say the pressing that was made
by her fine foot was friendliest
and hidden from the slanderers;
and for the good, since such a help
may laugh and press the friendly foot
for love's devoid of all deceit.
And he who thinks a handshake shows
a greater love's nonsensical.
And from Sir Gaucelm I've not heard
a greater praise than her regard
if she knows all you say of love."

"Sir, you would put the blame upon
a glancing eye and pleasant face;
do you not know they're messengers
out of the heart that sent them there;
for eyes disclose to lovers that
which is retained by timid hearts
where all love's pleasures are composed;
and many times a lady laughs
if she steps on somebody's foot
with nothing else to understand.
Sir Hugo's wrong as he maintains
that shaking hands is nothing much
and thinking it can't come of love."

"Gaucelm, you've spoken ill of me,
you and the lord of Mauleon,
and it seems good in this dispute
that it's the eye that you select
and that you reason with the best
and show the most who understand
the fickle-hearted lady, too -
if she caressed my foot sometime
my heart.would not rejoice at that;
as for the hand, there's no dispute
for touching's worth a hundredfold
and yet if love won't please the heart
a hand can't have transmitted it.

"Gaucelm, now you have lost the match,
you and Sir Hugo certainly:
I'd like to hear the judgement of
my 'Garda-Cors'*, who's conquered me,
and Lady Mary's worthiness."

"Sir, I have not been overcome
and I'm prepared for judgement now,
so I am hoping it will be
the Lady Willa of Benauges:
the one with courtly words of love."

"Gaucelm, my reason's good enough
to stand up to you both for me,
and there is one with pleasing form
on whom all judgement should he cast,
but there will be no less than three."

* = "bodyguard"

Trans. Copyright © James H.Donalson 2005

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