CAN PAR LA FLORS JOSTA.L
..........................VERT FOLH ...
WHEN FLOWERS ARE IN THE
...................LEAVES GREEN ...
Bernart de Ventadorn trans. A.S.Kline (from Provençal)

Can par la flors josta.l vert folh
E vei lo tems clar e sere
E.l doutz chans dels auzels pel brolh
M'adousa lo cor e.m reve,
Pos l'auzel chanton a lor for,
Eu, c'ai mais de joi en mo cor,
Dei be chantar, pois tuih li mei jornal
Son joi e chan, qu'eu no pes de ren al.

Cela del mon qued eu plus volh,
E mais l'am de cor e de fe,
Au de joi mos dihz e.ls acolh
E mos precs escout' e rete.
E s'om ja per ben amar mor,
Eu en morrai, qu'ins en mo cor
Li port amor tan fin' e natural
Que tuih son faus vas me li plus leyal.

Be sai la noih, can me despolh,
El leih qu'eu no dormirai re.
Lo dormir pert, car eu lo.m tolh
Per vos, domna, don me sove!
Que lai on om a so tezor,
Vol om ades tener so cor.
S'eu no vos vei, domna, don plus me cal,
Negus vezers mo bel pesar no val.

Can me membra com amar solh
La fausa de mala merce,
Sapchatz que tal ira me colh,
Per pauc vius de joi no.m recre.
Domna, per cui chan e demor,
Per la bocha.m feretz al cor
D'un doutz baizar de fin' amor coral,
Que.m torn en joi e.m get d'ira mortal

Tals n'i a qued an mais d'orgolh,
Can grans jois ni grans bes lor ve!
Mas eu sui de melhor escolh
E plus francs, can Deus me fai be.
C'ora qu'eu fos d'amor a l'or,
Eu sui de l'or vengutz al cor.
Merce, domna non ai par ni engal.
Res no.m sofranh, sol que Deus vos me sol

Domna, si no.us vezon mei olh,
Be sapchatz que mos cors vos ve!
E no.us dolhatz plus qu'eu me dolh.
Qu'eu sai c'om vos destrenh per me.
Mas, si.l gelos vos bat' de for,
Gardatz qu'el no vos bat'al cor.
Si'us fai enoi, e vos lui atretal,
E ja ab vos no gazanh be per mal

Mo Bel-Vezer gart Deus d'ir' e de mal,
S'eu sui de lonh, e de pres atretal
Sol Deus midons e mo Bel-Vezer sal,
Tot ai can volh, qu'eu no deman ren al
.
When flowers are in the leaves green
And the skyís serene and clear,
And the song of birds rings keen,
Sweetening my heart, as I wake here,
Then since birds sing with their art
I who have greater joy at heart,
Must sing true, since my daily bread
Is joy and song, all thatís in my head.

She whom I want most on this earth,
And love the more with heart and faith,
She joys to hear and keep my words,
Gathers and stores my pleas always.
And if men die by true loveís art,
Then I must die, since in my heart
I bear her love, so true and fine,
All are false to one whom sheíll loyal find.

I know when I retire at night
That I shall barely sleep a wink.
My sleep I lose, forego it quite
For you, my lady, as I think!
And where a man hides his treasure
There will his heart reside forever.
Lady I canít leave, if I see you not,
No sight is worth the beauty of my thought.

When I recall how I loved so
One who was false, without mercy,
I tell you such sorrow I did know
There was no path to joy for me.
Lady, for whom I sing and more,
Your lips wounded me to the core,
With a sweet kiss of love heart-true,
Grant joy, save me from mortal sorrow too.

Such as the proudest hearts may feel
When great joy or great good they see!
But I a finer spirit reveal,
And truer when God is good to me.
For when Iím on the fringes of love,
From fringe to centre then I move.
Thanks, lady: no one equals me.
I lack not, if God saves you for me.

Lady, if I should see you not,
Do not grieve more than I grieve,
Know well I see you in my heart!
He strikes at you because of me.
But if he strikes through jealousy,
Take care the heart he cannot reach.
If he vex you, annoy him too,
Then heíll not win good for ill from you.

God, guard my Sweet-Sight from harm
Whether Iím near to her or far.
God, my lady and Sweet-Sight save,
Thatís all I wish, no more I crave.

Note: Pound adapts the last lines of verse 3 ĎSíeu no vos vei, domna, don plus me cal,
Negus vezers mo bel pesar no valí as ĎAnd if I see her not ... no sight is worth the
beauty of my thoughtí in Canto XX.


  See also Translator's website at: Poetry in Translation


Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2010


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