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Bernard de Ventadorn

(1150 - 1195)

Era.m conseillatz


Era.m cosselhatz, senhor,
vos c'avetz saber e sen:
una domna.m det s'amor,
c'ai amada lonjamen;
mas eras sai de vertat
qu'ilh a autr'amic privat,
ni anc de nul companho
companha tan greus no.m fo.

D'una re sui en error
e.n estau en pensamen:
que m'alonje ma dolor,
s'eu aquest plai li cossen,
e s'aissi.l dic mon pessat,
vei mon damnatge doblat.
Cal que.n fassa o cal que no,
re no posc far de mo pro.

E s'eu l'am a dezonor,
esquerns er a tota gen;
e tenran m'en li pluzor
per cornut e per sofren.
E s'aissi pert s'amistat,
be.m tenh per dezeretat
d'amor, e ja Deus no.m do
mais faire vers ni chanso.

Pois voutz sui en la folor,
be serai fols, s'eu no pren
d'aquestz dos mals lo menor;
que mais val, mo essien,
qu'eu ay' en leis la meitat
que.l tot perda per foldat,
car anc a nul drut felo
d'amor non vi far so pro.

Pois vol autre amador
ma domn', eu non lo.lh defen;
e lais m'en mais per paor
que per autre chauzimen;
e s'anc om dec aver grat
de nul servizi forsat,
be dei aver guizerdo
eu, que tan gran tort perdo.

De l'aiga que dels olhs plor,
escriu salutz mais de cen,
que tramet a la gensor
et a la plus avinen.
Mantas vetz m'es pois membrat
de so que.m fetz al comjat:
que.lh vi cobrir sa faisso,
c'anc no.m poc dir oc ni no.

Garsio, ara.m chantat
ma chanso, et la.m portat
a mo Messager, qu'i fo,
q'elh quer cosselh qu'el me do.

(Now give me counsel, Lords, you who are wise and intelligent. A lady, whom I long loved, gave me her love. But now I know for sure that she has another lover in secret, and never the company of another companion was so hard to bear.
One thing makes me out of sorts and pensive: that I prolong my suffering if I agree to this case. And if I say what I think, I see my injuries doubled. Whatever I do, or don't do, I can't accomplish for my own good.

And if I love her in dishonor, I shall be scorned by all; and the majority will consider me a passive cuckold. But if I lose her friendship, I hold myself disinherited by love, and may God never permit me again to compose verses and songs.

Since I am involved in madness, I should be mad if I did not chose the lesser of these two evils. for it is better, in my opinion, to have half of her than to loose everything through folly; for I have never seen an unfaithful lover win out for himself in love.

Since you want another lover, my lady, I shall not forbid it. And I agree more from fear than from anything else. And if ever someone should be grateful for forced labor, I should be rewarded, who have pardoned so great a wrong.

With the water that flows from my eyes, I send greetings, more than a hundred, that I transmit to the most fair and noble one. Often do I remember what she would do on parting -- how she would cover her face, so that she would be saying neither yes nor no.

Garsio, now go and sing my song, and bring it to my Messenger, who was there, and to whom I demand what counsel he [she] would give.)

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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