|EU CHANT, QUE·L REIS M'EN A PREGAT ...||I SING, BECAUSE THE KING HAS ASKED ...|
|Bertrans de Born||trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)|
Eu chant, que·l reis m'en a pregat|
A l'auzen de mon menassat
E sabrem, quan l'auran jogat,
Tost l'agra·l reis joves matat,
Si·l corns no·l agues ensenhat;
E tot Saintonge desliurat
Si·l coms pot far sa voluntat,
Que no·l vendan cist afiat,
Qual l'an brochat ni l'an chassat,
De monsenhor lo rei annat
Conosc que an sei filh pechat,
De totz lo tenc per enganat,
Li Guizan se son acordat
Entr' els e ves lui revelat
Per rei que per comte forsat:
Aquest joc tenc per gazanhat
Deves nos e per envidat,
Que tuit n'aneron esfredat
En Lemozi fo comensat,
Mas delai lor er afinat,
Volh qu'en aujan cridar: Arat!
Lo sen vencerem ab foudat
Nos Lemozi e envezat
E dizon si·s n'eran tornat,
Lo rei tenc per mal conselhat
De Fransa e per peis guizat
E si no val a son conhat,
Frances, si com etz abdurat
Sobre totz e li plus prezat,
Que jamais no seretz prezat
Lo ducs de Bergonha a mandat
Quel nos ajudara l'ostat
Que quan tuit serem ajustat,
Reis qui per son dreit si combat
A melhz dreit en sa eretat,
Qu'ab trebalh e ab largetat
Senher Rassa, aquest comtat
De Burcs trosqu'en Alamanha.
I sing, because the king has asked|
on hearing of my battle-song
on the progress of this war,
to hear what I see on the board;
then we will know when they have played
which of the sons has won the land.
Too soon the Young King will be checked
unless the Count has taught him now,
but thus they've locked and so shut in
what Angouleme took back by force
delivering all Saintogne by now
as far on out as Finisterre.
And if the Count can have his way,
then they won't sell what's pacified
nor will it be released at all:
nor was there seen an angrier boar
that has been hunted down and speared,
than he was, but his course was right.
As for my lord the older King,
I know he sinned against his son,
for on his trip to England now
it's been two years that he's away
and all think that he's been betrayed.
by all except John Lackland now.
The men of Guienne have all agreed
amongst themselves and risen up
as those of Lombardy have done,
but they prefer a King to lead,
to being driven by a count,
and he has guaranteed them that.
Consider that this game is won
against us and by volunteers,
for we have cleared the chessboard of
all the pawns from La Valée;
for all of them were frightened off
and without leave from your behalf.
In Limousin it all began,
but finished for them far away
between the Normans and the French,
beside Gisors and Neufmarché,
you'd hear them cry: Arras!
Montjoy and Diez aïe!
Our Limousins have overcome
good sense with folly and a laugh,
and we expect that all will laugh
as Normans are annoyed at that,
and say that they would not go back
if you would not go back for them.
The King thinks that it's ill-advised
for France and for ill-guided feet:
he sees that all his peers are tinned
when they'd be worth more to him gilt;
if he won't help his brother-in-law,
he fears he lacks both sense and worth.
Frenchmen, if you are so brave,
above all things, and valiant too,
don't let it seem that you remain
in company the king has sent,
for you will never be approved
if you are not in the mellay.
The Duke of Burgundy sent word
that he would help to win the day,
and help would come too, from Champagne,
which sends five hundred men-at-arms,
and when all have been arrayed,
don't let Poitiers complain of that.
A king who fights to have his rights
has more in his own heritage,
but ever since Charles conquered Spain
we always speak about the fact
that with good work and with largesse
a valiant king wins his reward.
Sir Rassa, may this county then
with Brittany, promote you king;
the Young King now has given worth
from Burgos up to Germany.
Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2003