Guillaume de Machaut

Virelais

Œuvres poétiques de Guillaume de Machaut, folio 1.

Œuvres poétiques de Guillaume de Machaut, folio 1 - Wikimedia Commons

Translated by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.


Contents


Introduction

Guillaume de Machaut receiving Nature and three of her children.

De Machaut and his lady's messenger - Wikimedia Commons

Guillaume de Machaut (c1300-1377) is regarded as the last and greatest of the French 14th century poet-composers. A member of the ars nova movement in music, he developed the motet, and various secular forms including the rondel and the ballade. Educated in Reims, he became a secretary to John I, Count of Luxembourg and King of Bohemia, who died at Crécy in 1346, and was later employed by members of the family, including Jean, Duc de Berry. Machaut also became a canon, ultimately of Reims (in 1337) where he spent the latter part of his life, writing and composing, and supervising the compilation of his manuscripts and scores. A prolific, disciplined and talented poet and composer, he also penned several prose works and narrative poems, including a treatise on poetry, the Prologue, and Le Livre du Voir Dit: The Book of the True Poem, the tale of his real or fictional correspondence with a young female poet, Péronne d’Armentières. His work influenced many other musicians, and major poets including Christine de Pisan and Chaucer. The virelai verse form (Machaut calls his virelais ‘chansons balladées’) was one of the three ‘formes fixes’, the other two being the ballade and the rondeau, popular from the 13th to the 15th century, and often set to music. Rhyme schemes have been variously altered, to achieve workable verse translations, while retaining the meaning and flavour of the original.


Virelais

1: Ah! Lady, of the brave glance (Hé, Dame de vaillance)

Ah! Lady, of the brave glance,

How your truly sweet semblance,

Has seized me, in its advance,

Defenceless, without a lance,

And wounded me, sorely.

For your soft, smiling, blue-grey eyes,

And your straightforward manner,

Your most gracious welcome, likewise,

And your pleasant demeanour,

Have, by their sovereign power,

Made my love and hope, this hour,

My joy, and my good cheer,

And all my trust, appear

To rest in you, solely.

Ah! Lady, of the brave glance,

How your truly sweet semblance,

Has seized me, in its advance,

Defenceless, without a lance,

And wounded me, sorely.

Of my desire, there is no other

Means to speak at all, dear lady,

For when to you I would discover

My love and plea, completely,

Fear will not let me say

What pain I feel this day,

Disdain within you grows,

Resistance; those two foes,

Your presence, deny me.

Ah! Lady, of the brave glance,

How your truly sweet semblance,

Has seized me, in its advance,

Defenceless, without a lance,

And wounded me, sorely.

So, most lovely lady, without pride,

Whom I love with a love entire,

Such woe, through you, doth in me abide,

When with fierce harshness you conspire,

That fear and hesitation,

Threaten sheer desperation,

Life hangs in the balance,

Unless you should, perchance,

Seek my ease, shortly,

Ah! Lady, of the brave glance,

How your truly sweet semblance,

Has seized me, in its advance,

Defenceless, without a lance,

And wounded me, sorely.

2: Loyalty would have me e’er sustain (Loyauté vueil tous jours maintenir)

Loyalty would have me e’er sustain,

Serve well, and maintain,

My noble lady.

I would devote my every pain,

Heart, soul, unchangeably,

To her, and ne’er part from her again,

Rather I would see

Her sweet wishes done, and ne’er complain,

And so, lovingly,

Obey her, without stain.

Loyalty would have me e’er sustain,

Serve well, and maintain,

My noble lady.

And yet love makes my heart languish so,

Being so contrary,

That she will not deign to cure my woe,

Nor I please, I see,

The beauty I love, long for also,

Who may be, to me,

My blessing or my bane.

Loyalty would have me e’er sustain,

Serve well, and maintain,

My noble lady.

Alas, I know not what I’ll become,

Nor where I should flee,

Since I cannot find a way to come

To that place, where she

Dwells, who would see me dead and undone;

I hear naught, woe’s me,

Nor sight of her do gain.

Loyalty would have me e’er sustain,

Serve well, and maintain,

My noble lady.

3: Ah me! Worthy lady (Ay mi, dame de valour)

Ah me! Worthy lady,

I love, and long for,

Through you, this misery,

Makes me languish more.

Creature so lovely,

How can your noble sweetness

Treat me so harshly,

When my heart, body, love no less,

I e’er granted you, sans cesse,

Nor repentance wore,

Yet you keep me in sadness,

Thus, of death I’m sure.

Ah me! Worthy lady,

I love, and long for,

Through you, this misery,

Makes me languish more.

For now, beyond all measure

Fair lady, full of honour,

I am made to suffer,

Who never sought dishonour,

Toward you, rather, ever,

Worked your sweet pleasure

And shall, without error,

Till I am no more.

Ah me! Worthy lady,

I love, and long for,

Through you, this misery,

Makes me languish more.

Your sweet face and figure

Your rare beauty I adore,

Every noble feature

Pleasant manner to the fore,

Keep my heart evermore

Joyless to the core,

Thus, it lives on in dolour,

No healing in store.

Ah me! Worthy lady,

I love, and long for,

Through you, this misery,

Makes me languish more.

4: Sweet pretty lady (Douce dame jolie)

Sweet pretty lady

By God, think not, of me,

That any commands me

Except yourself alone.

Ever with honesty

Most humbly,

I’ve cherished you, I own,

All my days have served you

Proved true,

With ne’er a base thought known.

Alas! None comforts me,

Robbed of all hope am I,

Unless your pity’s nigh,

Lacking all joy, I moan.

But you, with sweet demand,

Command

My heart so harshly

That torment it doth find,

You bind

It with love, so surely,

It asks naught, for its part,

But to yield to your art,

And yet no ease your heart

Grants it, your heart of stone.

And since my malady,

I see,

Cannot be cured, unless

By you, my enemy,

Happy

Witness to my distress,

With clasped hands, I pray

That your heart soon slay

One languishing alone,

Who great neglect has known.

5: However far from me (Comment qu’ay moy lonteinne)

However far from me

Noble lady, you are,

You’re in my memory,

Night and day, never far,

Memory thus guides me,

Constant, resting never;

All your sovereign beauty,

And your gracious manner,

Your noble certainty,

And your vibrant colour,

Neither pale nor waxy,

I gaze on, now and ever.

However far from me

Noble lady, you are,

You’re in my memory,

Night and day, never far.

Lady, of grace, now you,

Through your supreme worth,

Your sovereign goodness too,

Pure sweetness here on earth,

So hold me, in your power,

My love but rests the more,

Free of base thought or sour,

In you, whom I adore.

However far from me

Noble lady, you are,

You’re in my memory,

Night and day, never far.

Yet Desire even so

Will work, at every breath,

To keep my heart in woe,

And painful fear of death,

If God brings not the hour

When I’ll return to you,

Who are the very flower

Of earthly flowers I view.

However far from me

Noble lady, you are,

You’re in my memory,

Night and day, never far.

6: If my lady has left me (Se ma dame m’a guerpi)

If my lady has left me,

Grants her love, now, I see,

To some other lover,

I must yield, since tis her pleasure.

Yet never would I have thought,

She’d have sought

To change towards me thus,

And sad separation brought,

So swiftly,

Between the two of us.

Yet she did, and as she

Now suddenly bars me

From seeing her forever,

I must yield, since tis her pleasure.

If my lady has left me,

Grants her love, now, I see,

To some other lover,

I must yield, since tis her pleasure.

I’ve served her most readily,

Loyally,

Nor have I ever failed her,

Now she deals me, wretchedly

Agony;

As her heart slays me ever,

Playing the traitorous friend

While seeking still my end,

Granting mercy at leisure,

I must yield, since tis her pleasure.

If my lady has left me,

Grants her love, now, I see,

To some other lover,

I must yield, since tis her pleasure.

And so, with no remedy,

Most humbly,

Dying of love, I languish,

While Desire who doth inflame me,

Assaults me,

Bitterly, so I lack relish,

And often crying ‘ah, me’,

On account of my lady,

In doleful measure,

I must yield, since tis her pleasure.

If my lady has left me,

Grants her love, now, I see,

To some other lover,

I must yield, since tis her pleasure.

7: Since my deep sadness she enjoys (Puis que ma dolour agree)

Since my deep sadness she enjoys

She who was born to know life’s joys,

Whom, rightly, they ever call

The flower of all,

Surely a noble destiny,

That day and hour, was fixed for me,

When such sweet bitterness and gall,

To me did fall.

So, I moan not at wretchedness

For it seems to me but sweetness,

Pure and twice-refined,

Since her gracious self once more

And her beauty, I must adore,

All sweet to the mind,

While the hue of her blushing face

Truly blessed with beauty and grace,

Where bright sweetness leaves its fair trace,

Amazes no less,

Since pure loveliness she wears,

So assured, in whate’er she dares,

That ever the crown she bears

Of all worthiness.

Since my deep sadness she enjoys

She who was born to know life’s joys,

Whom, rightly, they ever call

The flower of all,

Surely a noble destiny,

That day and hour, was fixed for me,

When such sweet bitterness and gall,

To me did fall.

Many a sweet assault I endure

When her beauty, that I adore,

Provokes my wonder,

A thing in the heart to savour

Where perfect love, by her favour,

Takes root forever.

And so, she’ll be praised and served,

And all honour, in silence, preserved,

Loved perfectly, as she’s deserved,

Free of foolishness,

In hopes that my loving ardour

My true beloved might water

With the sweet dew, hereafter,

Of mercy, and bless.

Since my deep sadness she enjoys

She who was born to know life’s joys,

Whom, rightly, they ever call

The flower of all,

Surely a noble destiny,

That day and hour, was fixed for me,

When such sweet bitterness and gall,

To me did fall.

But Desire that both day and night

Doth assault me, with all his might,

Inflames so strongly

That my colour shows my distress,

All diminished my joyfulness,

Savaged endlessly.

And yet so well-mannered is she,

Sweet, humble, honest, discreet,

Loyal, pleasant whene’er we meet,

My honoured lady,

Joy is doubled in the seeing,

The pure ardour of my being,

For all my sadness, receiving

My guerdon fully.

Since my deep sadness she enjoys

She who was born to know life’s joys,

Whom, rightly, they ever call

The flower of all,

Surely a noble destiny,

That day and hour, was fixed for me,

When such sweet bitterness and gall,

To me did fall.

8: For the ill that lastingly (Dou mal qui m’a longuement)

For the ill that lastingly

Makes me languish pleasantly

I thank most deeply

My fair lady,

For whose sake right joyfully

I’d suffer the malady

Whose torment doth lovingly

Multiply daily, nightly,

For I love her ceaselessly

And purely too, and finely,

Serving her humbly,

Free of folly.

For the ill that lastingly

Makes me languish pleasantly

I thank most deeply

My fair lady.

For I’m so devotedly

Subject to her seignory

That I’d never seek to see

Rescue, or aid, or pity.

Unless she gave it truly,

She who most graciously

Slays me and sweetly,

Without mercy.

For the ill that lastingly

Makes me languish pleasantly

I thank most deeply

My fair lady.

And if my pleasant lady,

So full of love entirely,

Knew that she, amorously,

Slew me, and so smilingly,

For serving her faithfully,

Then I would deem it highly

Rewarded, truly,

My misery.

For the ill that lastingly

Makes me languish pleasantly

I thank most deeply

My fair lady.

9: Lady, I’d suffer still (Dame, je vueil endurer)

Lady, I would suffer,

As long as I may, still

Thinking nothing ill,

Such ardour.

Wise, sweet, loyal, pleasant,

Of goodness without peer,

To serve you I’m content,

My whole life through, tis clear,

Nor would I ask one thing

To set your heart thinking

Tis harsh to endure

My ardour.

Lady, I would suffer,

As long as I may, still

Thinking nothing ill,

Such ardour.

Tis right that your noble face,

Darting many a sweet glance,

Makes me to dwell, of your grace,

In most joyful circumstance,

And such good there I savour

That I need ask no favour,

Save that it lasts ever

My ardour.

Lady, I would suffer,

As long as I may, still

Thinking nothing ill,

Such ardour.

So, joyfully I would respect,

Humbly, with a heart that’s true,

Your noble self, serve, protect;

For all in my power I’d do.

Far better that death I sought

Than that any know my thought,

Or for whom endure

My ardour.

Lady, I would suffer,

As long as I may, still

Thinking nothing ill,

Such ardour.

10: With goodness, with worthiness (De bonté, de valour)

With goodness, with worthiness,

With beauty, and rare sweetness,

My lady is crowned,

Manners, fair address,

Wisdom and grace, in her, are found.

Lady, much desired,

Right richly attired

In splendour,

With learning withal,

Thus, rightly, praised by all

Who savour,

Youth without folly,

And true simplicity,

Born in fortunate hour,

And perfect in honour,

There’s none compares with you.

With goodness, with worthiness,

With beauty, and rare sweetness,

My lady is crowned,

Manner, fair address,

Wisdom and grace, in her, are found.

For loyal, discrete

Amidst the fair elite,

Ever true,

Frank, yet pure in mind,

Delicate and refined,

Finest too,

Of all, the flower,

Free of ill, dishonour,

They call you, who prove

Yourself, thus, the holder

Of my devotion, heart, and love.

With goodness, with worthiness,

With beauty, and rare sweetness,

My lady is crowned,

Manner, fair address,

Wisdom and grace in her are found.

And if you’ll agree,

Noble honoured lady

I adore,

That doubled in me,

Should be, endlessly,

My languor,

Then would I so endure

The ardour and dolour

Of love within me

Day and night, forever,

That no less loved will you e’er be.

With goodness, with worthiness,

With beauty, and rare sweetness,

My lady is crowned,

Manner, fair address,

Wisdom and grace in her are found.

11: Ah! Noble lady (Hé, Dame de valour)

Ah! Noble lady,

Whom I love faithfully,

This dolour doth agree

With me, that sweetly

You’d have me feel, most humbly.

Sweet lady with virtue

Filled, and of pleasing manner,

With sense, honour, beauty too,

Who grant me reward ever,

From folly dissevered

I desire you in honour,

And so serve you in fear

Of death, and in languor,

If there’s no pity here.

Ah! Noble lady,

Whom I love faithfully,

This dolour doth agree

With me, that sweetly

You’d have me feel, most humbly.

Yet nor through pain or misery

Through joy nor through sadness,

Will I fail, in loyalty,

But serve you without rest.

To my heart, now in distress,

You yet could bring true happiness,

Nor feel dishonour near,

That heart with vigour bless,

And ease its pain and fear.

Ah! Noble lady,

Whom I love faithfully,

This dolour doth agree

With me, that sweetly

You’d have me feel, most humbly.

And so, I pray that, of pity,

You may grant me joy alway,

And if you do so, willingly

I’d serve you night and day.

Yet so none think, or say,

I adore you, each hour,

As the finest, entire,

Of all I see; the flower

Of that beauty I desire.

Ah! Noble lady,

Whom I love faithfully,

This dolour doth agree

With me, that sweetly

You’d have me feel, most humbly.

12: Lady, to whom (Dame, a qui)

Lady, to whom,

My Self I gave,

With no ill thought, completely,

Yet I sought not to presume,

A slave

Truly,

Such that your heart would hate me,

Sad, since I love it so.

For with a most faithful love

Each day

I have both loved and served you,

And yet your heart untouched doth prove,

Alway,

By these tears that slay anew.

I so sigh

And cry

That it proves unjust my lot,

Who am forever forgot,

Tears my heart

Apart,

By this ardour split in two,

Dear, if tis thus with you.

Lady, to whom,

My Self I gave,

With no ill thought, completely,

Yet I sought not to presume,

A slave

Truly,

Such that your heart would hate me,

Sad, since I love it so.

Alas, I now, ceaselessly,

Adore

Your fair and gentle face,

Yet sweetness therein I see

No more,

And a foe in its place,

Tremble so,

Ah, woe!

And in lasting misery

Languish, dolorously,

Yet merit,

For it,

Either hope or acceptance,

Though neither doth advance.

Lady, to whom,

My Self I gave,

With no ill thought, completely,

Yet I sought not to presume,

A slave

Truly,

Such that your heart would hate me,

Sad, since I love it so.

Lovely, good, free of folly,

With honour

Has God so enriched you,

That you are, of all worthy,

The flower,

So, I hold you dear, tis true.

Now grant me

Mercy

That of your pure grace, you,

Might name me you lover, too,

And, swiftly,

Cure me

Of the ills I must needs endure

Since first your sweet face I saw.

Lady, to whom,

My Self I gave,

With no ill thought, completely,

Yet I sought not to presume,

A slave

Truly,

Such that your heart would hate me,

Sad, since I love it so.

13: When from seeing my lady (Quant je suis mi au retour)

When from seeing my lady

I must return,

Neither pain nor misery

From that I earn.

My God! Tis so, with pure love I burn,

For her, faithfully.

Her beauty, her great sweetness,

Sets me aflame,

Kindling Memory’s endless

Sweet amorous flame.

When from seeing my lady

I must return,

Neither pain nor misery

From that I earn.

My God! Tis so, with pure love I burn,

For her, faithfully.

And when her true perfection

Assails my pure heart,

I’d serve her with all my art,

And thought, constantly.

When from seeing my lady

I must return,

Neither pain nor misery

From that I earn.

My God! Tis so, with pure love I burn,

For her, faithfully.

14: I love, free of dolour (J’aim sans penser laidure)

I love, free of dolour,

And have loved, to excess,

She whom God, and Nature,

Did with such virtue bless,

That she in honour

Exceeds all, I confess.

Now harshness

Sans measure,

Since she’s no pity

For the ardour

I must endure,

Because of her great beauty.

Her calm assured manner,

Sweet and honest, to my eye,

And each rich feature

Of her pleasing beauty nigh,

With many a dart

Conquer and slay my heart.

Now harshness

Sans measure,

For she’s no pity

On the ardour

I must endure,

Because of her great beauty.

And yet tis not right, I’m sure,

That thus for loyalty

I must feel discomfiture,

For I lack all falsity,

My lady sweet and pure,

I serve honourably;

Now harshness

Sans measure,

For she’s no pity

On the ardour

I must endure,

Because of her great beauty.

15: If slanderers thus agree (Se mesdisans en acort)

If slanderers thus agree

To wrong me, unjustly,

Tis from mere envy,

Tis all undeserved by me,

And so, in their falsity

I mock them, gladly.

To confound such folk alway,

More than ever shall I stay

Happy and joyous,

A cheerful heart will show,

As one who’s in the know,

Free of foolishness.

Thus, I’ll change their sorry sport

Into discomfort, ill-fraught,

From my love, I say

I’ll have friendship, and know still,

Faithfulness, with which I will,

Until death, be served alway.

And I’ll make light, each day,

Of whatever they might say,

Never let my heart

Succumb to melancholy,

Since I know that I am free

Of all they impart.

Nor should a heart that’s true

E’er fear their jaundiced view,

Full of treachery,

For never a day has aught

With baseness filled my thought

Nor afflicted me.

So naught now doth me dismay

For I’ll put my trust alway

In pure loyalty,

And, whate’er any might say,

Be true, and do right each day,

Nor fear their deceit,

That stings, insidiously.

Whene’er they speak of me,

All that’s most untrue,

The happier I shall be,

For in God I trust, and He

Knows all that I do.

16: Tis so, such I would wish (C’est force, faire le veil)

Tis so, such I would wish;

All my desire

To offer myself, entire,

In your service,

Dear lady, as you require,

Do your sweet wish.

For I evermore obtain,

Must feel again,

As your smiling glance holds me,

This, so sweet to bear, the pain

That I maintain

Humbly, and shall, God help me.

Yet often tears fill my eyes

When memory

Of your fair form comes to me,

Naught my face dries.

Many a tale of misery

From my heart sighs.

Tis so, such I would wish;

All my desire

To offer myself, entire,

In your service,

Dear lady, as you require,

Do your sweet wish.

Nor can I, indeed, refrain

From sighs of pain,

Secretly, dwelling apart,

In fear that you might not deign,

Despite my pain,

To receive my labouring heart,

That seeks to serve without woe;

If it makes me

Shiver and tremble, palely,

Far more so

Than ever, and toil gladly,

To that I’d go.

Tis so, such I would wish;

All my desire

To offer myself, entire,

In your service,

Dear lady, as you require,

Do your sweet wish.

17: Lady, your face so fair (Dame, vostre dous viaire)

Lady, your face so fair,

Debonair,

Your knowing manner too,

Wins me to serve you there,

No mean affair,

In good faith, and love true.

Lady, I must serve well,

And dispel,

Pain, woe, annoy, obstinacy,

From your service, pell-mell,

Such repel,

That naught may go ill with me,

Thus, pleasing I’ll ever be,

Ceaselessly,

And toiling, with every care,

For you are so debonair,

A model there,

Of virtue in you I see.

Tis so, such I would wish;

All my desire

To offer myself, entire,

In your service,

Dear lady, as you require

Do your sweet wish.

When I regard your manner,

Sweet order,

Where reason e’er seeks to stay,

And your glance calm, as ever,

Forever,

Delight lights my heart alway;

For my heart knows, for its part

That sweet dart

That you impart, and I suffer.

Only refrain from slaying

That poor thing,

Lady, right humbly I pray.

Lady, your face so fair,

Debonair,

Your knowing manner too,

Wins me to serve you there,

No mean affair,

In good faith, and love true.

18: Alas, how I may enjoy (Helas! Et comment aroie)

Alas! How may I enjoy

Good or joy,

Or yet obtain happiness,

Without means to listen to

You, or view,

Lady, all your sweetness?

By my soul, an’ I know not;

My sad lot

Is to be far from you, love,

And, here and now, instantly,

I foresee,

All forms of pain I must prove;

Since, far from you, woe again,

Will maintain

My heart in deepest sorrow.

And thus, I shall die, tis plain,

If I remain,

Filled, long while, with ardour so.

Alas! How may I enjoy

Good or joy,

Or yet obtain happiness,

Without means to listen to

You, or view,

Lady, all your sweetness?

While I live, I’ll, nonetheless,

Be no less

Faithful, and free of folly,

And your noble person serve,

With reserve,

Humbly, and honourably.

Although I may not endure,

As before,

If I lack aid from your valour,

Gainst Desire who wages war,

Gains, once more,

My heart, he holds in languor.

Alas! How may I enjoy

Good or joy,

Or yet obtain happiness,

Without means to listen to

You, or view,

Lady, all your sweetness?

Alas! He keeps my true heart,

With his art,

In such woe that I know not

Which ill, most troubles me

Of many,

Right eager to change my lot,

And return, true, honest lady.

Yet I see

No way; though the harshest ill

That Love could ever bring me

Is surely,

To be far from your face, still.

Alas! How may I enjoy

Good or joy,

Or yet obtain happiness,

Without means to listen to

You, or view,

Lady, all your sweetness?

19: God, Beauty, Sweetness, Nature (Diex, Biauté, Douceur, Nature)

God, Beauty, Sweetness, Nature

Perfected, beyond measure,

Your every sweet feature,

Beloved lady;

So pleasing, so fine ever,

Wise-mannered, fair of figure,

That no more noble creature

Did any e’er see.

Most truly do they compare

You, thus, to the springtime, fair,

Which has such power,

That we find in its sweetness,

Verdure, flower, fruit, true freshness,

Full pleasant its hour.

And thus, your rare beauty, there,

That doth joy, and fortune, share,

Fair graft, that all good doth bear,

Is beloved by all.

It cheers, transforms, each feature,

Heartening every creature;

From hidden woe to rapture,

Thought it doth recall.

God, Beauty, Sweetness, Nature

Perfected, beyond measure,

Your every sweet feature,

Beloved lady;

So pleasing, so fine ever,

Wise mannered, fair of figure,

That no more noble creature

Did any e’er see.

And, with this, was granted you

A noble destiny, too,

Such that, hereabout,

All grace, howe’er well refined,

When set before you, doth find

Its fair self in doubt,

Beauties hide themselves ever

Manner is void of measure,

Sweetness seems sour and bitter,

Never to be thus praised.

Joy proves only gaiety,

And, to consider truly,

All seems but raw work, merely

A loan, ill-appraised.  

God, Beauty, Sweetness, Nature

Perfected, beyond measure,

Your every sweet feature,

Beloved lady;

So pleasing, so fine ever,

Wise mannered, fair of figure,

That no more noble creature

Did any e’er see.

Good, fair and finely made,

Nobly, in renown, arrayed,

Death owes homage

To the paleness of your face,

‘Peerless’ they call its grace,

Indeed, war you wage,

Grant wounds without a lance,

With merely a simple glance,

Bloodless, and yet dire,

To be cured by none but you,

Sweetly pierce my body through,

While burning my heart anew,

Free of smoke or fire.

God, Beauty, Sweetness, Nature

Perfected, beyond measure,

Your every sweet feature,

Beloved lady;

So pleasing, so fine ever,

Wise mannered, fair of figure,

That no more noble creature

Did any e’er see.

20: If to repent of love I deigned (Se d’amer me repentoie)

If to repent of love I deigned,

Now, or feigned,

Against myself I’d strive,

For all my time I would but waste,

And ne’er taste

A good day while alive.

If I would love my lover

Everywhere, faithfully,

With a joyful heart, ever

Happy, and singing gaily,

Then not for aught I can see

Or that I hear,

Should I e’er forget that one,

For sought I the contrary

Death I’d fear,

With no blow struck, all undone.

If to repent of love I deigned,

Now, or feigned,

Against myself I’d strive,

For all my time I would but waste,

And ne’er taste

A good day while alive.

For a long while he’s served me,

So well I could seek no more,

Nor, in him, did I ever see

Aught to reprehend him for,

Mine more than his own honour,

Sought alway,

Discreet and faithful in this,

Such that, if I sought for more,

There’s no way,

For one better I could wish.

If to repent of love I deigned,

Now, or feigned,

Against myself I’d strive,

For all my time I would but waste,

And ne’er taste

A good day while alive.

All declare that it is he

Who best follows the true way,

To attain that favour, swiftly,

Nature grants her own alway,

Should I not love him, I say?

Mine would prove

A heart too strange and unfit,

Should he love, and I display

Trust nor love,

When he has so deserved it.

If to repent of love I deigned,

Now, or feigned,

Against myself I’d strive,

For all my time I would but waste,

And ne’er taste

A good day while alive.

21: Lady, sweet memory (Dame, le dous souvenir)

Lady, sweet memory

Brings, both night and day,

Perfect sweetness to me,

Longed for alway:

I languish joyfully,

Yet sorrows weigh.

For when I think most deeply

In sweet remembrance caught,

Here, at leisure,

Of how naught bitter, truly,

Is yours, all sweetest thought,

How, with pleasure,

All thus hold you, my lady,

But as the flower,

The best in this fair bower,

Naught can harm me;

Naught, in my sad joy, that hour,

Comes troubling me.  

Lady, sweet memory

Brings, both night and day,

Perfect sweetness to me,

Longed for alway:

I languish joyfully,

Yet sorrows weigh.

But when I, from this sweet thought,

Desiring, thus, your sweetness,

Must sometime part,

Longing quits me not and, fraught,

Makes me endure such harshness

Suffering apart,

Of what to do I know not aught,

Weeping, suspire,

And the ardour of desire

Seek to suppress,

That the strength of its fierce fire,

Might, thus, grow less.

Lady, sweet memory

Brings, both night and day,

Perfect sweetness to me,

Longed for alway:

I languish joyfully,

Yet sorrows weigh.

I can ne’er cease, nonetheless,

My weeping, from tenderness,

Nor ease the pain,

But as we with oil address

A fire, and the flames so bless

With life again,

So, do all my tears no less

Increase desire,

Oft deep pallor I acquire,

My fate unclear,

When you, to whom I aspire,

I see nor hear.

Lady, sweet memory

Brings, both night and day,

Perfect sweetness to me,

Longed for alway:

I languish joyfully,

Yet sorrows weigh.

22: If Loyalty is my friend (Se Loyauté m’est amie)

If Loyalty is my friend,

I can depend

On dolour now and sadness;

And if tis my enemy,

Then no less

My trouble, nor shall I see

Cure, or redress.

For, now, the ardour grows,

That arose

In me, and will not depart,

If the lady, blessed with valour,

Whom I honour,

Yields not to me her heart,

So her love might, by Love’s art,

Equal be

To that binding me; I weep

In doubt that she yet doth keep

My memory,

While, joy lessens, and my ill

Plagues me still.

If Loyalty is my friend,

I can depend

On dolour now and sadness;

And if tis my enemy,

Then no less

My trouble, nor shall I see

Cure, or redress.

When I first every feature,

Her manner,

Her sweetness and joy did see,

With all my heart I loved her,

Without demur,

Granting her the seigniory,

And since serve her lovingly,

Loyally,

Offering my heart and vigour,

Free from treachery, forever,

And folly,

While thinking of naught other

Than honour.

If Loyalty is my friend,

I can depend

On dolour now and sadness;

And if tis my enemy,

Then no less

My trouble, nor shall I see

Cure, or redress.

Alas! Now I live in fear

That my dear

Might offer her love elsewhere;

And were that so, then languor,

Through dolour,

Would slay me, and deep despair,

No joyous days would I share,

All would fail,

Ne’er a good hour would I see,

Nor joyful heart, nor amity;

Tearful, pale,

A life of melancholy

It would be.

If Loyalty is my friend,

I can depend

On dolour now and sadness;

And if tis my enemy,

Then no less

My trouble, nor shall I see

Cure, or redress.

23: I would live joyfully (Je vivroie liement)

I would live joyfully,

Gentle creature,

If you knew, with certainty,

That in you lies utterly

My sole cure.

A lady, fair in manner,

Pleasing, modest, pure

Often makes me murmur,

‘Alas, the pain I endure

For serving you loyally!’

And you may be sure

There’s never a way for me

To live, should this endlessly

Endure.

I would live joyfully,

Gentle creature,

If you knew, with certainty,

That in you lies utterly

My sole cure.

For you are right merciless,

Harsh, without pity,

Setting my heart, in distress,

Burning fiercely,

So, it must perish surely,

Die a death obscure,

If for its easement, mercy

Offers not to me swiftly

Its cure.

I would live joyfully,

Gentle creature,

If you knew, with certainty,

That in you lies utterly

My sole cure.

24: Their thoughts are full of folly (Cils a bien fole pensée)

Their thoughts are full of folly,

All those who’d have me believe,

I’d leave one who’s all to me,

And another love receive.

For it could not come about

I would leave

The one who is my treasure,

Nor that, I would ever tout

The pleasure

Of other love for, truly,

I am in love so firmly,

No other love may feature,

And for no living creature

Would I desert him ever.

Their thoughts are full of folly,

All those who’d have me believe,

I’d leave one who’s all to me,

And another love receive.

For my thoughts, my memory,

My desire,

And then my whole love, you see,

All concern him, endlessly,

That for me

There can be no joy elsewhere

For without him all seems bare,

Without him sweet seems bitter,

I seek his love, no other,

Whom I love loyally ever.

Their thoughts are full of folly,

All those who’d have me believe,

I’d leave one who’s all to me,

And another love receive.

No more than one could consume

The wide sea,

Or hold the waves motionless,

No more could one e’er presume

To suppress

Love, and stop me, loyally,

Loving him who pleases me.

So, to Love I grant praise, ever,

Since he who is my lover

Proves the best the world over.

Their thoughts are full of folly,

All those who’d have me believe,

I’d leave one who’s all to me,

And another love receive.

25: Trust to bear (Foy porter)

To trust in you,

Honour alway,

Peace e’er pursue,

And obey,

To serve, to fear

Honour you here,

Would I till death,

Lady sans peer.

For I love you so truly,

That, indeed, one could sooner

Drain the sea,

Or curb its deep salt-water,

Than that I should cease wholly

From loving you,

Holding true,

Since thought anew,

Memory too,

My pleasure,

Desire, ever,

Seek, endlessly,

One whom I could, never yet,

Leave, or forget.

To trust in you,

Honour alway,

Peace e’er pursue,

And obey,

To serve, to fear

Honour you here,

Would I till death,

Lady, sans peer.

There’s no delight or joy,

No pleasure we discover

Or dream ever,

That seems other than a toy,

When your sweetness you employ

Gainst bitterness.

I, no less,

Would adore you,

Praise and fear you,

Suffer all,

Accepting all,

Pain to excess,

Far more than I would applaud

Some mere reward.

To trust in you,

Honour alway,

Peace e’er pursue,

And obey,

To serve, to fear

Honour you here,

Would I till death,

Lady sans peer.

For you are the true sapphire,

That all of my ills can cure,

And health restore,

Fair emerald that brings cheer,

Ruby, that hearts renders clear,

And solaces.

Your address,

Your glance, no less,

Words you express

Make one flee,

Loathe, deeply,

And scorn, wholly,

All vice, and all good acquire,

And the desire

To trust in you,

Honour alway,

Peace e’er pursue,

And obey,

To serve, to fear

Honour you here,

Would I till death,

Lady sans peer.

26: Lady, fair and good, my eye (Tres bonne et belle, mi oueil)

Lady, fair and good, my eye

Finds sweet pasture

In your rare manner,

Modest, and free from pride;

And my heart, here inside,

Life in your welcome, nurture.

Regarding you, ever more

Confident and sure,

I bathe in honour’s pure glow,

And when your glance, also,

Smiling, as before,

Falls on me, all good I know,

For I gain my desire so,

My joy doth endure,

Of finer things doth assure,

And the fruit of hope, too,

I’ll gather, if I prove true

To you, lady, fine and pure.

Lady, fair and good, my eye

Finds sweet pasture

In your rare manner,

Modest, and free from pride;

And my heart, here inside,

Life in your welcome, nurture.

So, nothing that I suffer

Can irk me ever,

Since there’s no female creature,

Beneath the sun, that Nature

Chose to bless, here,

With like face, form or feature,

Thus, I’d serve you forever,

Without one base thought,

One who has no other sought,

Nor would love another,

But would prove humble rather,

Honest, true, beyond measure.

Lady, fair and good, my eye

Finds sweet pasture

In your rare manner,

Modest, and free from pride;

And my heart, here inside,

Life in your welcome, nurture.

If Love, with his sharp weapon,

Sees me thus smitten,

Far from you, face wet with tears,

Though hidden from my peers,

Lady, rightly done

All proves, naught wondrous appears,

Yet whene’er your favour cheers

My heart, as it seems,

Fresh pleasure thus fills my dreams,

I feel no sense of woe,

If slanderers chagrin know,

Tis but ruin to their schemes.

Lady, fair and good, my eye

Finds sweet pasture

In your rare manner,

Modest, and free from pride;

And my heart, here inside,

Life in your welcome, nurture.

27: In my heart there is discord (En mon cuer ha un descort)

In my heart there is discord,

And such pain it doth afford,

That, honestly,

If Love doth not soon agree

With my lady,

And establish some accord,

Tis death to me.

It is of Desire, no less,

Who would have me confess

The ills I bear,

And how I love and long for

My lady, and seek no more,

All sans repair.

Yet Fear counters, proves as strong,

And says that Desire is wrong

To ask such here,

Tis Refusal she doth dread

That sleeps never,

And Resistance, striking dead

The bold lover.

In my heart there is discord,

And such pain it doth afford,

That, honestly,

If Love doth not soon agree

With my lady,

And establish some accord,

Tis death to me.

I know not what will take place,

When I gaze on the noble face

Of my lady,

For Fear makes me shake alway,

And shiver, and go astray,

With grave counsel,

While Desire, without delay

Sees me pale, in disarray,

And makes me tremble,

Beauty comes to assail me,

Sweetness slays ever

Yet Love would all silently

Have me suffer.

In my heart there is discord,

And such pain it doth afford,

That, honestly,

If Love doth not soon agree

With my lady,

And establish some accord,

Tis death to me.

Alas, thus I must languish,

Complain, and weep with anguish,

Discomforted,

No joy but in memory, ever,

In sweet thought, and serving her,

There, I find ease,

There, solely, I seek pleasure,

There, my destiny measure,

All there doth please;

There, ever I’d live in grace,

And meet my death,

There, lies my true resting place,

Till my last breath.

In my heart there is discord,

And such pain it doth afford,

That, certainly,

If Love doth not soon agree

With my lady,

And establish some accord,

Tis death to me.

28: All my thought, now (Tuit mi penser)

All my thought, now,

Is ever, I vow,

On loving you,

And honouring you,

So very sweet a creature.

Nor am I sated, tis true,

With viewing,

And admiring,

Your noble portraiture,

Nor can my heart cease, ever,

Dreaming, in grace,

Of your bright face,

And your beauty, true and pure,

That doth conspire

To kindle fire,

Doubly inspire,

Through true desire,

All my amorous ardour.

All my thought, now,

Is ever, I vow,

On loving you,

And honouring you,

So very sweet a creature.

And yet, all that I can bear

I would now share,

A weight of care,

Humbly, and so endure.

Nor reward would I wish

Nor speak of this,

Nor claim that tis

Harshness I feel, or more;

For endless speech

Mere harm may preach,

Refusal teach

Ruin, with each

Blow that is dealt, tis sure.

All my thought, now,

Is ever, I vow,

On loving you,

And honouring you,

So very sweet a creature.

So that, lady without peer,

You who appear,

Beyond me, clear

Above all works of Nature,

None here should dare to blame me,

If memory,

Of error free,

Finds its every pleasure

In praising you,

Concealing you,

Protecting you,

Respecting you,

For all such doth nurture.

All my thought, now,

Is ever, I vow,

On loving you,

And honouring you,

So very sweet a creature.

29. I’m dead, if I see you not (Mors sui, se je ne vous voy)

I’m dead, if I see you not,

Lady of honour,

For such ardour,

Bringing dolour,

Is now my lot,

It slays me, on the spot,

Since you I adore.

So, I know not what to do.

For I hear naught that’s true

That can assuage

My sadness and annoy,

Nor did any e’er enjoy

Such outrage;

For I suffer and perceive

Such fear and pain,

I weep amain,

Alone again,

Myself relieve

In prayer, naught receive,

All food disdain.

I’m dead, if I see you not,

Lady of honour,

For such ardour,

Bringing dolour,

Is now my lot,

It slays me, on the spot,

Since you I adore.

Alas, and I know what why

Pity, Good Faith, here lie,

Asleep; with tears

Desire now slakes her thirst,

And Memory well-rehearsed,

Ever appears,

To show me your fair address,

Your courtliness,

Your true sweetness,

Your comeliness,

Your manner,

And makes me yield, in distress,

Sans dishonour.

I’m dead, if I see you not,

Lady of honour,

For such ardour,

Bringing dolour,

Is now my lot,

It slays me, on the spot,

Since you I adore.

Lady, I’m thus astray,

For serving you in this way,

Lacking the chance,

To see you, I meet, alas,

My death, am in such a pass,

That circumstance

Kills me; I lose, moreover,

All my colour,

My vigour,

Joyful nature,

Three that ensure

My heart, to you, I uncover.

I can no more.

I’m dead, if I see you not,

Lady of honour,

For such ardour,

Bringing dolour,

Is now my lot,

It slays me, on the spot,

Since you I adore.

30: Cheerfully unaware (Liement me deport)

Cheerfully unaware,

Seemingly, yet I bear

Joylessly, everywhere,

A deep wound within me,

Such that I near the gate

Of death, swift is my fate,

Lacking aught to save me.

For when each sweet feature

Of your face and figure,

Is recalled in my heart,

I’m seized by a burning,

Cruel, and bitter yearning,

Discordant from the start;

For Desire works fiercely

So as to harm me, deeply,

Yet my heart works strongly

To counter him once more.

So, I will ne’er despair,

Hope strengthening me there,

Who eases all my care,

Through your sweetness pure.

Cheerfully unaware,

Seemingly, yet I bear

Joylessly, everywhere,

A deep wound within me,

Such that I near the gate

Of death, swift is my fate,

Lacking aught to save me.

Thus, Hope doth reassure,

And dwells in me once more,

And counters wrong Desire,

Seeking, at his leisure,

My torment beyond measure;

He gnaws at me like fire,

Without remorse wholly,

He but seeks to slay me,

To wound me, betray me;

His bite sinks to the core.

My life would quickly fade,

His wondrous power displayed,

If I sought not the aid,

Of Hope who’s ever sure.

Cheerfully unaware,

Seemingly, yet I bear

Joylessly, everywhere,

A deep wound within me,

Such that I near the gate

Of death, swift is my fate,

Lacking aught to save me.

Yet, of all I endure,

Though the pain doth claw,

You’ll hear no ill report,

For that I’d deem forever

A grave, disloyal, error,

Towards one noble ever;

May Love be my witness.

If but your Pity bless

My longing nonetheless,

Joy would be mine once more.

Pray God’s counsel, swiftly,

Such that you might agree,

Fair one, to cherish me,

Above any creature.

Cheerfully unaware,

Seemingly, yet I bear

Joylessly, everywhere,

A deep wound within me,

Such that I near the gate

Of death, swift is my fate,

Lacking aught to save me.

31: Harder than a diamond (Plus dure qu’un dyamant)

Harder than a diamond

Or a piece of adamant,

Is your hardness,

Lady, of cruel harshness

Toward your lover,

Slaying one that seeks, ever,

Your sweet kindness.

Your beauty, that seems to me

To surpass all, my lady,

And your manner,

Plain, full of humility,

You grace us with so sweetly,

Smiling ever,

Greeting me right pleasantly,

Have, in welcome, wounded me,

Now, so deeply

That no joy shall I embrace

Until that date

That you grant me the grace,

Heart doth await.

Harder than a diamond

Or a piece of adamant,

Is your hardness,

Lady, of cruel harshness

Toward your lover,

Slaying one that seeks, ever,

Your sweet kindness.

I have endured most humbly

The ills of love, and bravely,

While awaiting

Your true will, I’ve found to be

A most painful thing to me,

And tormenting.

Though ever at your command,

Still, I strive to understand,

Why grace is banned,

Your goodness thus denies me,

When, yet sighing

I’ve sought for, sadly weeping,

Your sweet mercy.

Harder than a diamond

Or a piece of adamant,

Is your hardness,

Lady, of cruel harshness

Toward your lover,

Slaying one that seeks, ever,

Your sweet kindness.

Alas, you’ve failed, my lady,

While I grieve, to comfort me,

No more nor less,

Rather you’ve so distressed me

That I am distressed, entirely,

Yet nonetheless,

I’ll love more deeply again,

Than ever, and when tis plain

Death, in deep woe,

Your cruelty brings also

Harshly on me,

Why then, you will clearly see

My loyalty.

Harder than a diamond

Or a piece of adamant,

Is your hardness,

Lady, of cruel harshness

Toward your lover,

Slaying one that seeks, ever,

Your sweet kindness.

32: Lady, thus, you bear away (Dame, mon cuer emportez)

Lady, thus, you bear away

My heart, harming me this day,

Such that, truly,

I can endure no longer

If you display

No love, nor guard it, ever,

Right carefully.

For my heart’s so lovingly

Granted you and, loyally

Is yours also,

That your true honour, solely,

Employs my mind, entirely,

As you should know.

So that if you seek it not,

Lady, and wish it forgot,

(Right easily,

You’d know were truth mislaid)

You will slay me,

If you come not to my aid,

And instantly.

Lady, thus, you bear away

My heart, harming me this day,

Such that, truly,

I can endure no longer

If you display

No love, nor guard it, ever,

Right carefully.

And I weep, most tenderly,

Sighing, full long and deeply,

When you depart,

And find no way to tell you

That to God I commend you.

Within my heart,

There dwells despair, and madness,

And I know, there, such distress

Tormenting me,

Your leaving can but slay me,

You’ll hear it said,

If you do not forgive me

And completely.

Lady, thus, you bear away

My heart, harming me this day,

Such that, truly,

I can endure no longer

If you display

No love, nor guard it, ever,

Right carefully.

Lady your noble manner,

Sweet, loving, pleasing ever,

Is figured here,

Within my heart so truly,

That I may view it clearly;

And have no fear

That I am e’er aught but true,

Discreet, since my poor heart you

Own utterly,

And so, I now beg, humbly,

Do not forget,

The one who will love you yet

Most faithfully.

Lady, thus, you bear away

My heart, harming me this day,

Such that, truly,

I can endure no longer

If you display

No love, nor guard it, ever,

Right carefully.

33: If I sigh now most profoundly (Se je souspir parfondement)

If I sigh now most profoundly,

Most tenderly,

And weep, I own,

When all alone,

Tis because your fair self, lady,

I must bemoan,

Your sweet manner, honest and true,

Your beauty too,

Pleasing, courtly,

And your fearless bearing, anew,

All three, upon my view

Act so sweetly,

That to you, most amorously,

Every last part

Of my poor heart

I grant, knowing, when far from you,  

Joy dwells apart.

Lady, thus, you bear away

My heart, harming me this day,

Such that, truly,

I can endure no longer

If you display

No love, nor guard it, ever,

Right carefully.

And so, my deep sorrow is more

Than e’er before,

Borne secretly;

And yet, happily, I endure

All, I am sure,

And so humbly,

That the pain you might ease for me,

Most readily,

If you’d but give,

Mercy, thus I’d live

Like a king, yet more joyfully.

Lady, thus, you bear away

My heart, harming me this day,

Such that, truly,

I can endure no longer

If you display

No love, nor guard it, ever,

Right carefully.

Lady, you put me in this plight,

I see aright,

And yet, truly,

Time, thought, life, tis my delight

To grant outright,

And wholly;

And if I am far from happy,

And with scarcely

Mercy in sight,

I’ll not take fright,

For such honour is not, for me,

Destined of right.

Lady, thus, you bear away

My heart, harming me this day,

Such that, truly,

I can endure no longer

If you display

No love, nor guard it, ever,

Right carefully.

34: I could never feel weary (Je ne me puis saouler)

I could never feel weary

Of thinking, dreaming sweetly,

Of what I’ll say

Or do, what manner display

When, right clearly,

My peerless lady’s beauty

I see one day.

Sure, am I, I’ll be taken, so

Strongly that I’ll not know

What to utter,

Without cold, I’ll tremble though,

Without heat, I’ll sweat also,

Sighing ever,

And fail and falter,

Concealing my sighs from her;

I’ll find no way

To sound a word. Love must play

My part with her,

Who knows how, without error,

Love to display.

I could never feel weary

Of thinking, dreaming sweetly,

Of what I’ll say

Or do, what manner display

When, right clearly,

My peerless lady’s beauty

I see one day.

Ah! Lord, how to countenance

The ray of that loving glance,

The sight endure

Of those sweet eyes? Oh, what chance?

For ills enough, with the lance,

Pierce me, once more.

Such eyes I cannot, I’m sure,

Withstand; weakening blows, so sore,

I gaze askance.

If Hope, that my state doth know,

Comes not also

To comfort me, I must go,

While I’ve the chance.

I could never feel weary

Of thinking, dreaming sweetly,

Of what I’ll say

Or do, what manner display

When, right clearly,

My peerless lady’s beauty

I see one day.

I am troubled nonetheless,

For it pleases me, to excess,

To gaze upon

Her sweet eyes that, smiling, bless,

Like the rose in May’s, no less

Sweet, guerdon.

And if I dared hope that she

Might deign, indeed, to love me,

All wretchedness

I’d forget, my ills address

Through thought, purely;

So, I should not fear, so deeply,

Those I profess.

I could never feel weary

Of thinking, dreaming sweetly,

Of what I’ll say

Or do, what manner display

When, right clearly,

My peerless lady’s beauty

I see one day.

35: The eye that is Love’s true archer (L’ueil qui est li droit archier)

The eye that is Love’s true archer,

In drawing, and darting, ever

Gracefully,

Lacked power to wound, truly,

My heart with desire,

So, I love with true heart entire,

Most loyally.

This is why. Assuredly,

Ne’er her noble form did I see,

Attractive and light,

That which joyfully

Binds me, in her seignory,

And holds me tight,

Nor she mine, yet hold her so dear

That I would ever wish her near,

Not leave her be.

Though he can, with cruel intent,

Seek to threaten me

Yet I think naught of that, you see,

Here, at present.

The eye that is Love’s true archer,

In drawing, and darting, ever

Gracefully,

Lacked power to wound, truly,

My heart with desire,

So, I love with true heart entire,

Most loyally.

He’s ne’er made me a present

Of either joy or torment;

Nor could his menace,

In any way, prevent me

From living full joyously.

Yet ne’er, face to face,

Can I draw near her, in longing,

Nor she me, except when dreaming,

Wherein, often,

My loving thoughts imagine,

And I think, tis true,

That he might pierce me through,

And full sudden.

The eye that is Love’s true archer,

In drawing, and darting, ever

Gracefully,

Lacked power to wound, truly,

My heart with desire,

So, I love with true heart entire,

Most loyally.

Tis he who, very sweetly,

Captures a heart and, subtly,

Will bind it tight,

Constrains it so completely

He forces it, all humbly,

To yield outright.

He’s the amorous messenger,

Using his sovereign power,

So wisely,

That he knows how to, swiftly,

Entwine hearts truly;

And such ties one cannot free,

I think, readily.

The eye that is Love’s true archer,

In drawing, and darting, ever

Gracefully,

Lacked power to wound, truly,

My heart with desire,

So, I love with true heart entire,

Most loyally.

                                  

36: Brighter than daylight’s brightness (Plus bele que le biau jour)

Brighter than daylight’s brightness,

Sweeter than e’er was sweetness,

A form forever

Graced with a noble manner,

Thus, sans redress,

All your peerless loveliness

Captures me ever.

Yet I’ve heard so much of you,

Your fame flourishing anew,

Night, day, ever,

Such the excellence on view,

The flower, and the fruit too,

Of all honour,

And you are of such great worth

Above all who are on Earth,

That if thus my heart

I relinquished, for my part

Too great would be

The honour, if so sweetly

It dwelt apart.

Brighter than daylight’s brightness,

Sweeter than e’er was sweetness,

A form forever

Graced with a noble manner,

Thus, sans redress,

All your peerless loveliness

Captures me ever.

So, I wish not for mercy,

Indeed, you have so blessed me

That my tears prove,

And sighs, exhausted wholly,

Lady, I thank you, truly,

As I do Love,

Who’s put an end to sorrow,

And his pleasure in my woe,

And enriched me,

With consolation, so sweetly

The flavour

Of that solace I can savour;

Thus, he’s healed me.

Brighter than daylight’s brightness,

Sweeter than e’er was sweetness,

A form forever

Graced with a noble manner,

Thus, sans redress,

All your peerless loveliness

Captures me ever.

So, there’s no pain or worry,

Now nothing doth afflict me,

For my labour

Nourished, and nurtures, me,

In that stream, where hearts may be

Strengthened ever;

Tis bathed in the sweet odour,

Tis your goodness that forever

Ravished wholly,

My heart, that thus deserts me

For one better,

For a place superior,

With you, not me.

Brighter than daylight’s brightness,

Sweeter than e’er was sweetness,

A form forever

Graced with a noble manner,

Thus, sans redress,

All your peerless loveliness

Captures me ever.

37: In a brave hour born was I (Moult sui de bonne heure née)

In a brave hour born was I,

Since so truly loved am I,

By my own sweet love,

That all other love he scorns,

And his heart but me adorns,

His true love to prove.

So that Amour, endlessly,

I thank, in that he

With the flower, the excellence,

Of this world blessed me,

Sans deceit or severance;

Such is his renown, alway,

That all praise him night and day,

More than I can say,

Who has so played his part

That ne’er has woman’s heart

Been taken so this way.

In a brave hour born was I,

Since so truly loved am I,

By my own sweet love,

That all other love he scorns,

And his heart but me adorns,

His true love to prove.

Our hearts, nurtured thus by joy,

We do ne’er employ

In aught that might disagree,

Sans care, all sated are we

With sweetest mercy,

That is called sufficiency;

One desire, one thought, have we,

One heart, one soul fixed, wholly,

In us, where also

One will doth unite us so,

Ne’er was such sweet assembly,

By my faith, surely.

In a brave hour born was I,

Since so truly loved am I,

By my own sweet love,

That all other love he scorns,

And his heart but me adorns,

His true love to prove.

Nonetheless, I am forlorn,

Alone thus I mourn,

Full often with weeping face,

Since he is so far away,

Such longing’s in play,

Naught pleases me, in his place.

But Hope doth my heart embrace

And assures me, of her grace,

That I may not be

Forgot, now, by such as he,

So, my joy’s doubled, apace,

And all my ills flee.

In a brave hour born was I,

Since so truly loved am I,

By my own sweet love,

That all other love he scorns,

And his heart but me adorns,

His true love to prove.

38: I’m so comforted ever (De tout sui si confortée)

I’m so comforted ever,

That I have hosted never,

Sadness or dismay,

In my heart, delight, alway,

Sweet thought, I’d have rather,

Each and every day.

To do right, with joyful heart,

Is all; no more till I part

From this life, for me;

Cheerful and faithful I’ll be,

And seek out all contrary

To my destiny,

For, weary, discomforted,

Sad, tearful, the life I’ve led

Long time, you see.

Yet, I’ll comfort myself, and he,

Who well pleases me, instead,

I’ll love, joyfully.

I’m so comforted ever,

That I have hosted never,

Sadness or dismay,

In my heart, delight, alway,

Sweet thought, I’d have rather,

Each and every day.

So, I shall be blithe and gay,

Nor shall desert him, I say,

Any hour or day,

For in this state I shall die,

Save only to curse, defy

All this long delay;

His honour and his good name,

Above all, I’ll not defame,

But defend alway,

And beyond all creatures, more,

As long as I can endure,

Truly, him obey.

I’m so comforted ever,

That I have hosted never,

Sadness or dismay,

In my heart, delight, alway,

Sweet thought, I’d have rather,

Each and every day.

Thus, naught ill will I suffer,

Nor shall I ponder ever

What displeases me,

And disregard time, until

He returns, as soon he will,

From that far country,

He who more deeply loves me,

And protects, serves, honours me

Than all; twixt us two,

Peace and trust I’ll renew,

For I am his, completely,

With heart pure and true.

I’m so comforted ever,

That I have hosted never,

Sadness or dismay,

In my heart, delight, alway,

Sweet thought, I’d have rather,

Each and every day.

The End of the Virelais