NO SAP CHANTAR QUI SO NON DI ... ONE CANNOT SING WITHOUT A TUNE ...
Jaufré Rudel trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
No sap chantar qui so non di,
Ni vers trobar qui motz no fa,
Ni conois de rima co's va
Si razo non enten en si.
Mas lo mieus chans comens' aissi
Com plus l'auziretz, mais valra, a! a!

Nuils hom no·s meravill de mi
S'ieu am so que ja no·m veira,
Que'l cor joi d'autr'amor non ha
Mas de cela qu'ieu anc no vi,
Ni per nuill joi aitan no ri,
E no sai quals bes m'en venra, a! a!

Colps de joi me fer, que m'ausi,
Et ponha d'amor que·m sostra
La carn, don lo cors magrira;
Et anc mais tan greu no·m feri,
Ni per nuill colp tan no langui,
Quar no cove ni no s'esca, a! a!

Anc tan suau no m'adurmi
Mos esperitz tost no fos la,
Ni tan d'ira non ac de sa
Mos cors ades no fos aqui;
E quan mi resveill al mati
Totz mos bos sabers mi desva, a! a!

Ben sai c'anc de lei no·m jauzi,
Ni ja de mi no's jauzira,
Ni per son amic no·m tenra
Ni coven no·m fara de si'
Anc no·m dis ver ni no·m menti
E no sai ja s'o fara, a! a!

Bos es lo vers, qu'anc no·i falhi,
Et tot so que·i es ben esta;
E sel que de mi l'apenra
Gart se no·l franha ni·l pessi;
Car si l'auran en Caersi
En Bertrans e·l coms en Tolza, a! a!

E
Bos es lo vers, e faran hi
Calque re don hom chantara, a! a!
One cannot sing without a tune,
or versify without a word,
one cannot understand a verse
if he can't understand himself;
but this, my song, starts out like so:
the more you hear the more you'll like: aha!

Let no-one be amazed at me
that I love one who won't see me:
my heart enjoys no other love
than that for her I haven't seen,
nor does it laugh for other joys,
and I don't know what good may come: aha!

Joy's striking me a fatal blow,
the stings of love dry up my flesh
and my whole body's getting thin;
I've never been so hurt before:
No other blow has whelmed me so;
it doesn't suit and will not go: aha!

I've never calmly gone to sleep
but that my spirit followed soon,
nor have I ever been so sad
without my heart attending fast
and when by morning I wake up,
then all my sweetness gets away: aha!

I know I've not enjoyed her yet
and me she never will enjoy,
nor will she hold me as a friend,
and she won't promise me a thing;
she never tells me truth or lies
and I don't think she ever will: aha!

The verse is good, I've never failed
and all that's there is in its place,
and he who'd like to learn from me:
be careful not to break it up
so Bertrand in Quercy will hear
the same as the count of Toulouse: aha!

E
The verse is good, and they'll make there
something for them to sing upon: aha!

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005


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