LANQUAN LI JORN SON LONC EN MAI ... WHEN DAYS ARE GROWING LONG IN MAY ...
Jaufré Rudel trans. James H. Donalson (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 days are growing long in May
I like to hear the far-off birds
and then, when I have moved along,
I think about my far-off love.
My head is hung, I'm lost in thought,
so hawthorn-flower or songs of birds
please me no more than winter's freeze.

I really think the Lord is true,
through whom I'll see my far-off love,
but by the good that's come to me
I have two ills because she's far.
Oh! if I were a pilgrim there
then would my pilgrim-staff and robe
be looked on by her beauteous eyes.

It would be joy to ask of her,
for love of God, to shelter me:
then if she please, I'll be a guest
near her, however far away
and there will be fine interviews
when far-off love and close-at-hand
enjoy the solace of fine words.

Now sad and joyful, I must leave
if I would see my far-off love:
but when I'll see her, I don't know,
our homelands are too far apart,
though there are passages and roads,
so I can not foresee for sure,
but all will be as God may please!

I never will take joy in love
without the joy of this far love,
more gracious, better - I know none,
not anywhere, not near or far.
Her worth is pure and it is fine,
so for her I would be a slave
down in the land of Saracens.

God who made all that goes and comes,
since you have formed this far-off love,
give me the power (for I've the will)
for me to see this far-off love
and.truly, in such places as
the bedroom or a garden-spot
which will seeem palaces to me!

Who calls me eager tells the truth,
desirous of a far-off love,
no other joy would please so much
as joy that comes from far-off love
because my wish is barred from me
for my godfather said of me
that I would love and not be loved.

E
So what I wish is barred from me:
may my godfather be accursed,
for he foretold I'd not be loved!

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005





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