DOMNA, TANT VOS AI PREGADA ...MY LADY, I HAVE PLEADED SO ...
Raimbaut de Vaqueirastrans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal/Genoese)
Domna, tant vos ai pregada,
si·us platz, qu'amar me voillatz,
qu'eu sui vostr'endomeniatz;
quar es pros et enseinhada
e totz bos pretz autreiatz;
per que·m plai vostr'amistatz.
quar es en totz faitz corteza,
s'es mos cors en vos fermatz
plus qu'en nuilla Genoesa,
per qu'er merces si m'amatz;
e pois serai meills pagatz
que s'era mia·l ciutatz
ab l'aver qu'es aiostatz
dels Genoes.

Jujar, voi no se' corteso
qui me chaideiai de zò,
que negota no·n farò
ance fossi voi apesso,
vostr'amia non serò
certo, ia ve scanerò,
Proenzal mal aurao;
tal enojo ve dirò:
sozo, mozo, escalvao!
ni la voi non amerò,
qu'eu chù bello marì ò
que vol no se', ben lo sò.
andai via, frare·n tempo
millorado!

Domna genta et essernida,
gaia e pros e conoissens,
vailla·m vostr'enseinnhamenz,
quar jois e jovens vis guida,
cortesia e pretz e sens
e totz bos captenemenz;
per que·us sui fidels amaire
senes totz retenemenz,
francs, humils emerceiaire;
tant fort me destreing e·m venz
vostr'amors, que m'es plazens;
per que sera chauzimenz,
s'ieu sui vostre benvolenz
e vostr'amics.

Jujar, voi semellai mato,
qui cotal rason tegnei;
mal vignai e mal andei!
non avei sen per un gato.
per que trop me deschasei?
que mala cosa parei;
ni no volio questa cosa
si fossi fillol de rei .
credì voi qu'e' sia mosa?
mia fè, no m'averei!
si per m'amor ve chevei,
oguano morrei de frei.
tropo son de mala lei
li Proensal.

Domna, no·m siatz tant fera,
que no·s cove ni s'eschai;
anz taing ben, si a vos plai,
que de mo sen vos enquera
e que·us am ab cor verai,
e vos que·m gitetz d'esmai,
qu'eu vos sui hom e servire,
quar vei e conosc e sai,
quant vostra beutat remire
fresca cum rosa en mai,
qu'el mont plus bella no·n sai,
per qu'ie·us am e·us amarai;
e si bona fes mi trai,
sera peccatz.

Jujar, to proensalesco,
s'eu aja gauzo de mi,
non preso un genoì.
no t'entend plui d'un Toesco
o Sardo o Barbarì
ni non ò cura de ti.
voi t'acavillar comego?
si·l saverà me' marì,
mal plait averai consego.
bel messer, ver e' ve dì:
no volo questo latì,
fraello, zo ve afì
Proenzal, va, mal vestì,
largai me star!

E1
Domna, en estraing cossire
m'avetz mes et en esmai;
mas enquera·us preiarai
que voillatz qu'eu vos essai,
si com Provenzals o fai,
quant es poiatz.

E2
Jujar, no serò contego;
possa sì te cal de mi,
meill varà, per Sant Martì,
s'andai a ser Opetì,
que dar?v'à fors' un ronci,
car sei jujar.

My lady, I have pleaded so
for you to share your love with me,
because you've dominated me:
you're learned, and so well you know
all the good values to a tee,
and so your friendship pleases me;
and you are courtly in all ways
and so my heart is set to see
just you alone of Genoese;
therefore have mercy, loving me;
that's better for rewarding me
than if the care were given me
of all the fabled treasury
of Genoa.

Sir minstrel, courtly you are not,
how dare you to address me so;
for not a bit of that will go:
not if you were that hung and hot,
I will not be your lover, no!
I'd sooner kill myself, you know,
ill-omened Provençalish colt!
now my annoyance overflows,
you dirty dumbbell, icy dolt!
so I will never love you, no!
I have a handsome husband, so,
I don't know you, that well I know,
so, brother, get along and go
with all good luck.

My lady, gentle, edified,
joyous, smart and erudite,
let your manners serve me right:
with joy and youth to be your guide,
you're witty, noble and polite
and your habits all are right:
this makes me your faithful beau.
I'm frank, with no restraint in sight,
and humble, thankful, as you know;
your love so overcomes by right
that it is pleasing in my sight,
so it will be, by your insight
if you let me wish well tonight
and be your friend.

Sir minstrel, I think that you're drunk,
proposing such indecency,
now, come and go, but evilly:
you have less sense than does a skunk
for you've displeased me terribly
and you seem really bad to me,
but I would never be so bad,
not even were you royalty.
Perhaps you think that I am mad?
By my faith, you'll not have me:
if for my love you're pledged to me
this year, you'll die of cold, you see.
You Provençals must surely be
of evil laws.

My lady, don't be cruel to me,
it isn't fitting or refined:
I'm suitable, if you don't mind,
but I should ask, it seems to me:
you'll see I love you, heart and mind,
but you would put me out of mind,
for I'm your man, and I will serve;
I see and know within my mind
and I admire you, you'll observe.
Fresh as the rose of May, I find:
none prettier in the bush you'll find.
So I'll love you, and I'll love blind,
and if good faith is undermined,
that is a sin.

Sir minstrel, for your Provençal,
unless my mind takes leave of me,
a copper groat's a princely fee:
for me, it's like a German's drawl,
Sardinian or Barbary
and you've no interest I can see.
You wish to have it out with me?
And if my husband hears your scheme
you'll have to go through him to me:
fine sir, I tell you verily
your speech does not a thing for me:
brother, on that we must agree;
now, ragged Provençal, leave me,
and let me be.

E1
My lady, it's a strange concern
you've put me in, and great dismay;
but once more, I have this to pray:
to let me tempt you just today
to do it the Provençal way,
when you mount up.

E2
Sir minstrel, I'll not go with you;
if you will just be still, I trow
that, by Saint Martin, you should go
on down to see Sir Obizzo:
no doubt a horse he can bestow
for minstrelsy.


In the original, stanzas alternate between Provençal and Genoese.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2003


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