QUAN LO RIUS DE LA FONTANA ... WHEN THE STREAMS FLOW ...
Jaufré Rudel trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
Quan lo rius de la fontana
S'esclarzis, si cum far sol.
E par la flors aiglentina,
E·'l rossinholetz e; ram
Volf e refranh ez aplana
Son dous chantar et afina,
Dreitz es qu'ieu lo mieu refranha.

Amors de terra lonhdana,
Per vos totz lo cors mi dol;
E no·n puesc trobar mezina
Si non au vostre reclam
Ab atraich d'amor doussana
Dinz vergier o stoz cortina
Ab dezirada companha.

Pus totz jorns m'en falh aizina,
No·m meravilh s'ieu n'aflam,
Quar and genser crestiana
Non fo, ni Dieus non la vol,
Juzeva ni Sarrazina;
Ben es selh pagutz de mana,
Qui ren de s'amor guazanha!

De dezir mos cors no fina
Vas selha ren qu'ieu pus am;
E cre quye volers m'enguana
Si cobezeza la·m tol;
Que pus es ponhens qu'espina
La dolors que ab joi sana;
Don ja non vuelh qu'om m'en planha.

Senes breu de parguamina
Tramet to vers, que chantam
En plana lengua romana,
A·n Hugo Bru per Filhol;
Bo·m sap quar gens Peitavina
De Berri e de Guïana
S'esgau per lui e Bretanha.
When the streams flow from their sources
clearer, as they're wont to do
and the wild rose is in flower
and the nightingales in trees
trill again with modulation,
all their sweetest songs attuning
it is right for me to join them.

Love that's from a far-off country,
my whole heart's in pain for you
and I cannot find a treatment
if I don't heed your appeal,
for sweet Love's closer attraction
in the garden or a shelter
with my long-desired companion.

Since my power's ever failing,
I am not surprised to burn:
this can't happen to a Christian
or a Saracen or Jew,
for God doesn't want it that way:
everyone is fed on manna
getting something from his lover.

In my heart, desire's unending
for the one I love the most;
but I think my will deceives me
if she's taken off by yearning;
for the pain pricks more than thorns do:
pain that's cured by joy of loving
so I don't want sympathizing.

Without any parchment letter
I send verses we can sing
in our common romance language,
Filhol, take it to Hugh Brown;
I'd like all Poitou to sing it,
Aquitaine and Berry also,
Brittany in joyful chorus.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005


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