Arnaut Danieltrans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
En cest sonet coind'e leri
fauc motz e capuig e doli,
e serant verai e cert
quan n'aurai passat la lima;
qu'Amors marves plan'e daura
mon chantar que de lieis mueu
qui pretz manten e governa.

Tot jorn meilhur et esmeri
car la gensor serv e col i
del mon, so·us dic en apert;
sieus sui del pe tro qu'al cima,
e si tot venta·ilh freid'aura
l'amors qu'inzel cor mi pleu
mi ten chaut on plus iverna.

Mil messas n'aug e'n proferi
e'n art lum de cer' e d'oli
que Dieus m'en don bon acert
de lieis on no·m val escrima;
e quan remir sa crin saura
e·l cors qu'a graile e nueu
mais l'am que qui·m des Luserna.

Tant l'am de cor e la queri
qu'ab trop voler cug la·m toli,
s'om ren per trop amar pert
qu'el sieus cors sobretrasima
lo mieu tot e non s'eisaura:
tant n'a de ver fait renueu
qu'obrador n'ai' e taverna.

No vueilh de Roma l'emperi
ni qu'om m'en fassa postoli,
qu'en lieis non aia revert
per cui mart lo cors e·m rima;
e si·l maltrait no·m restaura
ab un baisar anz d'annueu
mi auci e si enferna.

Ges pel maltrag qu'ieu soferi
de ben amar no·m destoli
si tot me ten en desert,
per lieis fatz lo son e·l rima;
pieitz tratz aman qu'om que laura,
qu'anc non amet plus d'un hueu
cel de Moncli n'Audierna.

Ieu sui Arnautz qu'amas l'aura
e chatz la lebre ab lo bueu
e nadi contra suberna.

All with a gleeful, happy tune
I write the words and polish them,
and they'll be true and certain too,
when I have taken file to them,
and Love at once will plane and gild
my song that emanates from her
whose value stays and rules the day.

Each day I must improve myself
to cultivate the noblest love:
on earth I'll tell you openly
I'm hers from foot up to the head,
and even if the cold wind blows,
the love that rains within the heart
will warm me up as it chills down.

A thousand masses I've endowed
with lights of wax and oil to burn
that God might grant success to me
with her with whom I cannot fence,
and when I see her dark blonde hair,
her body, lean and fresh; I love
her more than if she held Lucene.

I have such heartfelt love for her:
I think I tried too hard and lost
if one can lose by too much love
because her heart can overcome
my heart and doesn't take its rest
so she can just relate to me
as taverns do to studios.

I don't want to be Emperor
of Rome, nor to be chosen Pope
if I could not return to her;
for her my heart burns, and I rhyme;
unless she will correct the wrong
with just a kiss before year's end,
she'll kill me and she'll damn herself.

I suffer from mistreatment, still,
but do not swerve from loving well
and if she has deserted me ...
For her I write both tune and rhyme
so loving's worse than laboring
because the lover from Moncli
loved Hodierna less than figs.

I am Arnaut; I hoard the air
with oxen yoked I hunt the hare,
and swim against the flood - so there!

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2003

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