BELHS M’ES L’ESTIUS E·L TEMPS
FLORITZ ...
I LIKE THE SUMMER WITH ITS
FLOWERS ...
Jaufré Rudel trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
Belhs m’es l’estius e·l temps floritz
Quan l’auzelh chanton sotz la flor,
Mas ieu tenc l’ivern per gensor
Quar mais de joi m’i es cobitz,
Et quant hom ve son jauzimen
Es ben razos e d'avinen
Qu'om sia plus coyndes e guays.

Er ai ieu joi e sui jauzitz
E restauratz en ma valor,
E non irai jamai alhor
Ni non querrai autrui conquistz,
Qu'eras sai ben az escien
Que selh es savis qui aten
E selh es fols qui trop s'irais.

Lonc temps ai estat en dolor
Et de tot mon afar marritz,
Qu'anc no fui taut fort endurmitz
Que no·m rissides de paor.
Mas aras vei e pes e sen
Que passat ai aquelh turmen,
E non hi vuelh tornar ja mais.

Mout mi tenon a gran honor
Tug silh cui ieu n'ei obeditz
Quar a mon joi sui revertitz:
E laus en lieis e Dieu e lor,
Qu'er an lur grat e lur prezen,
E, que qu'ieu m'en anes dizen,
Lai mi remanh e lai m'apais.

5 Mas per so m'en sui encharzitz,
Ja no'n creyrai lauzengador,
Qu’anc no fui tan lunhatz d’amor
Qu’er no·n sia sals e gueritz.
Plus savis hom de mi mespren,
Per qu’ieu sai ben az escien
Qu'anc fin'amors home non trais.

Mielhs mi fora jazer vestitz
Que despolhatz sotz cobertor
E puesc vos en traire auctor
La nueit quant ieu fui assalhitz.
Totz temps n'aurai mon cor dolen,
Quar aissi·s n'aneron rizen,
Qu'enquer en sospir e·n pantais.

Mais d'una re soi en error
E·n estai mos cors esbaïtz
Que tot can to fraire·m desditz
Aug autrejara la seror;
E nulhs hom non a tan de sen,
Que puesc' aver comonalmen,
Que ves calque art non biais.

El mes d'abril e de pascor
Can l'auzel movon lur dous critz
Adoncs vuelh mos chans si' auzitz,
Et aprendetz lo, chantador!
E sapchatz tug cominalmen
Qu'ie·m tenc per ric e per manen
Car soi descargatz de fol fais.
I like the summer with its flowers
with hiding birds to sing beneath,
but I find winter better still
for that's when more joy comes my way
and when a man comes by his joy
it's right and it's advisable
for him to be more jovial.

Now I'm accepted and I'm glad
and I'm restored in all my worth
and I will never go elsewhere
nor seek another's conquests now;
for now I know that it is true
that he is wise who only waits
and he's a fool, who angers fast.

And now for long I've lived in pain
despondent at the way things are:
I never slept so deep before
that fear would fail to waken me,
but now I see and think and feel
that I've passed through this torment now
and never will return to it.

And I am greatly honored now
by those advisors I've obeyed
because my joy has been restored;
so praise to her and God and them:
they've what they want and their reward;
whatever I may want to say,
I stay and I'm delighted there.

And since I feel my worth's increased
I don't believe cajolers now,
for I was never far from love
and now I have been saved and cured.
Mistakes are made by wiser men,
but I know now and certainly:
a noble love will not betray.

It's better fully clothed in bed
than undressed under coverlets,
and I can give in evidence
the night when I was thus assailed.
My heart's still aching all the time:
I hear them laugh as they went off
and still I sigh and I feel crushed.

But I'm in error on one point;
a thing that has my heart confused:
for all the brother may deny
I hear the sister grant to me;
and no man has so good a mind
or that which we call common sense,
that he has not made some mistake.

The month of April and the Spring,
when birds send up their sweetest cries,
is when I'd have my songs be heard,
so learn them then, you singers, all!
And I would that you all could know
I hold me rich and fortunate,
unburdened of this silly load.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005


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