CAN LA FREJ' AURA VENTA ... WHEN FRESH BREEZES GATHER ...
Bernart de Ventadorn trans. A.S.Kline (from Provençal)

Can la frej' aura venta
deves vostre pšis,
vejaire m'es qu'eu senta
un ven de paradis
per amor de la genta
vas cui eu sui aclis,
on ai meza m'ententa
e mo coratg' assis,
car de totas partis
per leis, tan m'atalenta!

Sol lo be que·m prezenta
sos bels olhs e·l francs vis,
que ja plus no·m cossenta,
me deu aver conquis.
no sai per que·us en menta,
car de re no·n sui fis;
mas greu m'es que·m repenta,
qued una vetz me dis
que pros om s'afortis
e malvatz s'espaventa.

De domnas m'es vejaire
que gran falhimen fan
per so car no son gaire
amat li fin aman.
eu no·n dei ges retraire
mas so qu'elas volran,
mas greu m'es c'us trichaire
a d'amor ab enjan
o plus o atretan
com cel qu'es fis amaire.

Domna, que cujatz faire
de me que vos am tan,
c'aissi·m vezets mal traire
e morir de talan?
ai! francha de bon aire,
fezetz m'un bel semblan,
tal don mos cors s'esclaire!
que mout trac gran afan,
e no·i dei aver dan,
car no m'en posc estraire.

Si no fos gens vilana
e lauzenger savai,
eu agr' amor certana;
mas so en reire·m trai.
de solatz m'es umana
can locs es ni s'eschai,
per qu'eu sai c'a sotzmana
n'aurai encara mai,
c' "astrucs sojorn e jai
e malastrucs s'afana."

Cel sui que no soana
lo be que Deus li fai,
qu'en aquella setmana
can eu parti de lai,
me dis en razo plana
que mos chantars li plai.
tot' arma crestiana
volgra agues tal jai
com eu agui et ai,
car sol d'aitan se vana.

E
Si d'aisso m'essertana
d'autra vetz la·n creirai;
o si que no, ja mai
no creirai crestiana.

When fresh breezes gather,
That from your country rise,
I seem to feel no other
Air but that of Paradise,
Through love of a lover
Who binds me with loveís ties,
Where my will I tether,
And my true heart lies,
All others I despise,
But her who draws me ever!

If of her beauty present
Her clear face and sweet eyes,
Iíd seen that merest content,
Iíd still feel this surprise.
Deceitís not my intent,
For Iíve naught to realise;
Yet why should I repent,
For once she said, with sighs,
ĎOn the true man love relies,
While the weak twig is bentí.

Women it seems to me
Make a great mistake,
By which true love is rarely
Returned for true loveís sake.
I ought to speak out freely
With words though that will take,
For it can scarcely please me
When the tricksters rake
More love in than is at stake
For the lover who loves truly.

Lady what will you do
With me who loves you so?
Would you treat me so ill I too
Die of longing? Oh,
Good and noble, you,
Your face should sweeter show,
Light my heart through and through!
Great pain I suffer and woe,
Yet merit no hurt, ah no,
For I canít turn from you.

If there were none to annoy,
No vile slanderer, or thief,
Then love I might employ
But they cast it in my teeth:
Itís human to care and not be coy,
On occasion, and seek relief,
But itís privately my belief
Pain has no other alloy
Than ĎGood luck lives in joy,
And bad luck lives in grief.í

I am not one to disdain
The good that God may do,
For in that week, the very same
That I came away, itís true,
She said clearly, saying my name,
That my songs please her too.
Would all Christians plain
Could have such joy anew,
As I felt, and feel all through,
For all else but this is vain.

E
Iíll believe her again
If she assures me itís true;
But if itís not, Iíll disdain
To trust her, and you, and you.

See also Translator's website at: Poetry in Translation

Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2010


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