Thibaut de Champagne

(1201 - 1253 / France)

Love I have served, for such length of time


Love I have served, for such length of time
If I forsake Him no man should blame me,
Now I go, and commend him to God in rhyme,
Man shouldn’t give his whole life to folly.
And he’s a fool who can’t keep from loving,
And can’t see in it all these torments of mine.
I’d be thought a child if I furthered the crime,
There’s a season for everything in being.

I’ve never been like those other men
Who having loved, seek to decry him,
And speak of him with boorish intent:
A man shouldn’t sell his loyalty towards him
Nor slander his Lord nor turn against him:
Let whoever renounces avoid dissent.
For myself, my wishes are all well meant.
May lovers have joy, now I’m free again.

Love has been good to me until now,
For he made me love with nobility
The loveliest and the best I vow,
That in my opinion’s ever been seen.
Love wishes it and my Lady begs me
To leave off loving, I thank her and bow,
Since it pleases my lady I do allow
No better reason than that for me.

No other reward from Love I received
Long though I served him faithfully:
But God in his mercy has rescued me,
And released me from his mastery.
Since I’ve escaped with my life, I see
This as the best hour of life, set free,
And I’ll still write many an elegy,
And many a sonnet and eulogy.

A man at the outset should always take care
To aim at something modest to win,
Though Love won’t always let us beware
What we choose as object, or what we think.
We fall for a stranger, and in we sink,
Who lives so far off we can’t travel there,
Rather than with one who’s always near:
And that shows the folly Love traps us in.

Now God save me from love, and loving again,
Except love of Her whom we should love here,
Through whom every man’s redeemed from sin.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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