COMPANHO, TANT AI AGUTZ D'AVOLS
CONRES ...
FRIENDS, SO MISERABLY I'VE
FARED ...
William IX, Duke of Aquitaine trans. Leonard Cottrell (from Provençal)
Companho, tant ai agutz d'avols conres
qu'ieu non puesc mudar non chan e que no·m pes;
Enpero no vueill c'om sapcha
mon afar de maintas res.

E dirai vos m'entendensa de que es:
no m'azauta cons gardatz ni gorcs se peis,
ni gabars de malvatz homes
com de lor faitz non agues.

Senher Dieus, quez es del mon capdels e reis,
qui anc premiers gardet con com non esteis?
C'anc no fo mestiers ni garda
c'a si dons estes sordeis.

Pero dirai vos de con - cals es sa leis,
com sel hom que mal n'a fait e peitz n'a pres:
si c'autra res en merma
qui·n pana e cons en creis.

E silh qui no volran creire mos casteis
anho vezer pres lo bosc en un deveis:
per un albre c'om hi tailla
n'i naison dos ho treis.

E quam lo bocx es taillatz nais plus espes
E·l senher no·n pert son comte ni sos ses
A revers planh hom la tala,
si·l dampnatges no·i es.
Friends, so miserably I've fared
I can't resist the urge to sing.
Instead of every little thing
that vexes me in my affairs,

I'll tell the crux: I am not fond
of guarded cunt, or fishless ponds,
or listening to lively cracks
from those who talk but never act.

Great Ruler of the world! Oh Lord,
why didn't you destroy the first
who ordered cunt kept under guard? -
for no man served his lady worse!

Despite my recent poor success
I'll cite the bottom line on grooves:
While other goods by use grow less,
the supple opening improves!

And anyone who fails to see
can try this country metaphor:
Where skillful woodsmen fell the tree
there always spring up several more.

As trees are logged, so grow the woods.
The owner gets his revenues,
so why complain? How does he lose
when he can show no damaged goods?

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

For more of this translator's work see: http://planck.com/rhymedtranslations/versetrans.htm

Trans. Copyright © Leonard Cottrell 2001


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