ARA PAREISSON LL'AUBRE SEC ... NOW ALL THE TREES APPEAR DRIED UP ...
Alegret trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
Ara pareisson ll'aubre sec
E brunisson li elemen,
E vai li clardatz del temps gen,
E vei la bruma qi fuma,
Don desconortz ven pel mon a las gentz,
E sobretotz al ausells q'en son mec
Per lo freg temps qi si lur es presentz.

A per poc que totz vius non sec
D'un fran mal qi·m fer malamen,
Qan mi soven de l'avol gen
Cui mal'Escaseditz bruma.
Mas qe men val precs ni castiamentz?
Q'anc albres secs frut ni flor non redec,
Ni malvatz hom no poc esser jausentz.

Joven vei fals e flac e sec,
C'a pauc de cobeitat no·m fen;
Qi pros fon ara s'en repen
Ez es ben d'avols escuma,
Q'anc Proeza un dia non fon senz,
E sel bos fatz a la fin non parec,
Tot qant ha fag le seinhers es nientz.

Li gentz se planh d'un gran mal sec
Q'a penas au ni vei ni sen,
Ez es tan cregutz soptamen
Q'a mes lo pel e la pluma
Escassedatz, una vertitz tenenz,
Qe creis aitan entrells plus rics e crec
Q'uns per oc dir non aus' aibrir las denz.

Aqill son dinz e defor sec,
Escas de fag e larc de ven,
E pagan home de mien,
Qes aitals es lur costuma,
Ez enujos volpilz e recrezentz
Q'entre mil un non vei ses qalqe dec,
Mas lo seinhor de cui es Occidenz.

Qel non ha cors ges flac ni sec
Con an pel mon poestatz cen,
Q'en lui s'apila e s'apen
Proesa, sivals ab pluma,
Per tal vola sos pretz entre·ls valentz
Sobre trastotz e aug o dir a qec
Q'ell es le miells de·ls reis plus conoissentz.

Pells maritz drutz vei tornan sec
Donnei qar l'uns l'autre con sen,
E qi·ll sieu laissa e l'autrui pren,
E·l fron llen sors un'estruma
Qe lli er jase, mentre viva, parventz,
E coven se q'ab l'enap ab qe·ll bec
Fai le cogos beva lai le sufrenz.

Ar fenirai mon vers sec,
E parra fals al non saben
Si noi dobla entendemen,
Q'ieu sui cell qe·lls motz escuma
E sai triar los fals de·ls avinentz;
E si·l fals ditz q'aisi esser non dec,
Traga s'enan, q'Alegres n'es guirentz.

E
Si deguns es del vers contradizentz,
No·t failhira, vers, de dir per q·em lec
De metr'en tu tres motz de divers sens.
Now all the trees appear dried up,
the elements are turning brown,
the brightness of the summer flees,
we see the smoking mists roll in;
discomfort comes to all and everywhere,
especially the birds here in our midst
in this cold time that's present to them now.

Now. almost all of life's dried up,
from illness that's afflicting me,
when I remember poorer folk
in their poor, gloomy hiding place.
What do I care for pleas or reprimands?
Dry trees can't yield their fruit or flowers again,
nor can an evil man rejoice with us.

I see a false, thin, dry young man:
a little greed won't turn away,
though good men would regret it now,
yours is perhaps of trifling foam;
for even prowess one day won't make sense,
and if good deeds do not appear at last
all that the Lord has done has been in vain.

Dry sickness now is the complaint,
it's scarcely heard or seen or felt,
but it's so suddenly believed
that it made fur and feather too
a hiding-place that is a turning-place
that grows apace among the rich and grows
so some don't dare to say so much as yes.

And those are dry within, without,
who're short on deeds and long on wind,
and pay a man for just a thought
for this is what their custom is:
annoying cowards and surrenderers
among a thousand, not one's limited,
except the Lord whose is the Occident,

whose body's neither thin nor dry
as he has many worldly powers
depending on him for support,
and prowess, at least with the pen,
by which his praise spreads with the valiant souls
above all others, you will hear them say,
that he's the best of kings who knows the most.

Afflicted lovers will dry out:
take one another for a sign,
and leaving his, take other men's:
his thought will slowly raise a horn;
and he lies while he lives, apparently:
it's fitting that with cup and chirping beak
he makes the cuckoo drink there where he hurts.

Now I will finish my dry verse;
it will, to outsiders, seem false,
unless they double meanings here,
for I'm the one with foaming words:
I separate the false from fitting folk,
and if the false say that it isn't right
come on, Alegret's not a guarantor.

E
If no one wants to contradict this verse
then, verse, don't fail to say for whom I choose
to put in you three words of differing sense.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005


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