Le Châtelain de Coucy

(1170 - 1203 / Provence)

Biography of Le Châtelain de Coucy

French trouvire of the 12th century. He is probably the Guy de Couci who was castellan of the castle of that name from 1186 to 1203. Some twenty-six songs are attributed to him, and about fifteen or sixteen are undoubtedly authentic. They are modelled very closely on Provençal originals, but are saved from the category of mere imitations by a grace and simplicity peculiar to the author. The legend of the love of the Chhtelain de Coucy and the Lady of Fayel, in which there figures a jealous husband who makes his wife eat the heart of her lover, has no historical basis, and dates from a late 13th century romance by Jakemon Sakesep. It is worth noting that the story, which seems to be Breton in origin, has been also told of a Provençal troubadour, Guilhem de Cabestaing, and of the minnesinger Reinmar von Brennenberg. Pierre de Belloy, who wrote some account of the family of Couci, made the story the subject of his tragedy Gabrielle de Vergy.

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Chanson d’Amour

I thought to live without true love
All my life through to be at peace,
But this heart, once again, would prove
Its folly from which I had won free.
Greater the folly is in me
Than child crying foolishly
To possess the lovely star
He sees shining clear and far.

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