LANQUAN LI JORN SON LONC EN MAI ... WHEN THE DAYS ARE LONG, IN MAY ...
Jaufré Rudel trans. A.S.Kline (from Provençal)

Lanquan li jorn son lonc en mai
M'es be;hs dous chans d'auzelhs de lonh,
E quan mi sui partitz de lai
Remembra·m d'un' amor de lonh:
Vau de talan embroncx e clis
Si que chans ni flors d'albespis
No·m platz plus que l'iverns gelatz.

Be tenc to Senhor per vreai
Per qu'ieu veirai l'amor de lonh;
Mas per un ben que m'en eschay
N'ai dos mals, quar tan m'es de lonh:
Ai! car me fos lai pelegris,
Si que mos fustz e mos tapis
Fos pels sieus belhs huelhs remiratz!

Be·m parra jois quan li querray,
Per amor Dieu, 1'alberc de lonh:
E, si's lieis platz, alberguarai
Pres de lieis, si be·m sui de lonh:
Adoncs parra·l parlamens fis
Quan drutz lonhdas et tan vezis
Qu'ab bels digs jauzira solatz.

Iratz e gauzens m'en partrai,
S'ieu je la vei, l'amor de lonh;
Mas non sai quoras la veyrai,
Car trop son nostras terras lonh:
Assatz hi a pas e camis,
E per aisso no'n sui devis ...
Mas tot sia cum a Dieu platz!

Ja mais d'amor no'm jauzirai
Si no'm jau d'est'amor de lonh;
Que gensor ni melhor no·n sai
Ves nulha part, ni pres ni lonh;
Tant es sos pretz verais e fis
Que lai el reng dels Sarrazis
Fos hieu per lieis chaitius clamatz!

Dieus que fetz tot quant ve ni vai
E formet sest'amor de lonh
Mi don poder, que cor ieu n'ai,
Qu'ieu veya sest'amor de lonh,
Verayamen, en tals aizis,
Si que la cambra e·l jardis
Mi resembles tos temps palatz!

Ver ditz qui m'apella lechai
Ni deziron d'amor de lonh,
Car nulhs autres jois tan no·m plai
Cum jauzimens d'amor de lonh.
Mas so qu'ieu vuelh m'es atahis,
Qu'enaissi·m fadet mos pairis
Qu'ieu ames e nos fos amatz!

E
Mas so q'ieu vuoill m'es atahis
Totz sia mauditz lo pairis
Qe'm fadet q'ieu non fos amatz!

When the days are long, in May,
Sweet the songs of birds afar,
And when I choose from there to stray,
I bring to mind a love thatís far.
I walk face lowered, and I glower,
And neither song nor hawthorn flower,
Can please me more than winterís ice.

I hold the Lord for truth always
By whom was formed this love afar,
But for each good that comes my way
Two ills I find, since sheís so far.
Would I were a pilgrim at this hour,
So staff and cloak from her tower,
Sheíd gaze on with her lovely eyes!

What joy it will be to seek that day,
For love of God, that inn afar,
And, if she wishes, rest, I say,
Near her, though I come from afar,
For words fall in a pleasant shower
When distant lover has the power,
With gentle heart, joy to realise.
Sad, in pain, would I go away,
Should I not see that love afar.
For I donít know when I may
See her, the distance is so far.
So many the roads and ways lower,
That indeed I can say no more,
But let all things be as she likes.

The delights of love I never may
Enjoy, if not joy of my love afar,
No finer, nobler comes my way,
From any quarter: near or far.
So rich and high is her dower,
That there in the Saracenís tower
For her sake I would be their prize.

God that made all that goes or stays
And formed this love from afar
Grant me the power to hope one day
Iíll see this love of mine afar,
Truly, and in a pleasant hour,
So that her chamber and her bower,
Might seem a palace to my eyes.

Who calls me covetous, truth to say,
Is right, I long for a love afar,
For no other joy pleases me today
Like the joy in my love from afar.
Yet what I wish is not in my power,
It is my godfatherís curse, so sour,
That I love, yet love should be denied
. †
†E
For what I wish is not in my power,
Cursed my godfatherís word so sour,
Who has ruled my love should be denied.

Click here 1 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2009


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