Bernart de Ventadorn trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
Lancan folhon bosc e jarric,
e·lh flors pareis e·lh verdura
pels vergers totz, e pels pratz,
e·lh auzel, c'an estat enic,
son gai desotz los folhatz,
autresi·m chant e m'esbaudei
e reflorisc e reverdei
e folh segon ma natura.

Ges d'un' amor no·m tolh ni·m gic,
don sui en bon' aventura
segon mon esper entratz,
car sui tengutz per fin amic
lai on es ma volontatz;
que re mais sotz cel no·n envei
ni ves autra part no soplei
ni d'autra no sui en cura.

Ben a mauvais cor e mendic
qui ama e no·s melhura;
qu'eu sui d'aitan melhuratz
c'ome de me no vei plus ric.
car sai c'am e sui amatz
per la gensor qued anc Deus fei
ni que sia el mon, so crei,
tan can te terra ni dura.

Anc no fetz semblan vair ni pic
la bela ni forfachura,
ni fui' per leis galiatz,
ni no·m crei c'om tan la chastic,
tan es fina s'amistatz,
qu'ela ja·s biais ni·s vairei
ni per autre guerpisca mei,
segon que mos cors s'augura.

Midons prec, no·m lais per chastic
ni per gelos folatura,
que no·m sent' entre sos bratz;
car eu sui seus plus qu'eu no dic,
e serai tostems, si·lh platz;
que per leis m'es bel tot can vei,
e port et cor, on que m'estei,
sa beutat e sa fachura.

Anc no vitz ome tan antic,
si a bon' amor ni pura
e per sidons si' amatz
no sia gais, neis sers e bric,
si's de joi pres e liatz;
que de fol cove que folei
e de savi que chabalei,
que pretz li·n creis e·lh melura.
When woods and thickets put on leaves,
when flowers appear and greenery
in gardens and in meadows too,
the bird that formerly was vexed
is happy under leafy boughs;
then I sing and an merry too,
and I too flower and green again
and sprout the leaves my nature gives.

I neither leave nor fail a love
when fortune's going well for me,
according as my hopes are placed
and I'm considered a good friend
and my good will precedes me there,
and under heaven, I want naught else
and I don't want to travel on,
and other ladies don't concern.

He must have a wretched heart
who loves and yet does not improve,
for I have been improved so much
I find no man more rich than I:
I know I love and I am loved
and by the fairest God has made
or in the world exists, I think,
so far as earth extends or lasts.

This beauty with the shining face
has never done a thing that's wrong
nor have I been deceived by her,
nor do I think it's been believed:
that's how fine her friendship is;
and she wouldn't turn or swerve
or leave me for another love,
or this is what my heart predicts.

I've asked my lady not to leave
because of jealous foolishness:
to take me into her two arms,
for I'm more hers than I have said
and always will be, if she's pleased.
Through her, all's beauty that I see
and where I go my heart will bear
her beauty and her loveliness.

I've never seen a man so hard
that, having love that's true and pure,
and, having all his lady's love,
though he's in humble state, is less
than happy, and held fast by joy
which the fool thinks foolishness
and the wise think cleverness
for his worth improves with this.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2004

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