L'AUTRIER JOST' UNA SEBISSA ... THE OTHER DAY, ALONG A
...............................HEDGEROW ...
Marcabru
trans. James H. Donalson
(from Provençal)

I
L'autrier jost' una sebissa
Trobei pastora mestissa,
De joi e de sen massissa,
Si cum filha de vilana,
Cap' e gonel' e pelissa
Vest e camiza treslissa,
Sotlars e caussas de lana.
II
Ves lieis vine per la planissa:
"Toza, fi•m ieu, res faitissa,
Dol ai car lo freitz vos fissa."
- "Seinher, so•m dis la vilana,
Merce Dieu e ma noirissa,
Pauc m'o pretz si•l vens m'erissa,
Qu'alegreta sui e sana."
III
"Toza, fi•m ieu, cauza pia,
Destors me sui de la via
Per far a vos compainhia;
Quar aitals toza vilana
No deu ses pareilh paria
Pastorgar tanta bestia
En airal terra, soldana."
IV
"Don, fetz ela, qui que•m sia,
Ben conosc sen e folia;
La vostra pareilharia,
Seinher, so•m dis la vilana,
Lai on se tang si s'estia,
Que tals la cuid' en bailia
Tener, no•n a mas l'ufana."
V
"Toza de gentil afaire,
Cavaliers fon vostre paire
Que•us engenret en la maire,
Car fon corteza vilana.
Con plus vos gart, m'etz belaire,
E per vostre joi m'esclaire,
Si•m fossetz un pauc humana!"
VI
"Don, tot mon linh e mon aire
Vei revertir e retraire
Al vezoig et a l'araire,
Seinher, so•m dia la vilana;
Mas tals se fai cavalgaire
C'atrestal deuria faire
Los seis jorns de la setmana."
VII
"Toza, fi•m ieu, gentils fada,
Vos adastret, quam fos nada,
D'una beutat esmerada
Sobre tot' autra vilana;
E seria•us ben doblada,
Si•m vezi' una vegada,
Sobira e vos sotrana."
VIII
"Senher, tan m'avetz lauzada,
Que tota•n sui enojada;
Pois en pretz m'avetz levada,
Seinher, so•m dis la vilana,
Per so n'auretz per soudada
Al partir: bada, fols, bada,
E la muz'a meliana,"
IX
- "Toz', estrainh cor e salvatge
Adomesg' om per uzatge.
Ben conosc al trespassatge
Qu'ab aital toza vilana
Pot hom far ric compainhatge
Ab amistat de coratge,
Si l'us l'autre non engana."
X
- "Don, hom coitatz de folhatge
Jur' e pliu e promet gatge:
Si•m fariatz homenatge,
Seinher, so•m dis la vilana;
Mas ieu, per un pauc d'intratge,
Non vuoil ges mon piucelhatge,
Camjar per nom de putana."
XI
"Toza, tota creatura
Revertis a sa natura:
Pareilhar pareilhadura
Devem, ieu e vos, vilana,
A l'abric lonh la pastura,
Car plus n'estaretz segura
Per far la cauza doussana."
XII
"Don, oc; mas segon dreitura
Cerca fols sa folhatura,
Cortes cortez' aventura,
E•il vilans ab la vilana;
En tal loc fai sens fraitura
On hom non garda mezura,
So ditz la gens anciana."
XIII(T)
"Toza, de vostra figura
Non vi autra plus tafura
Ni de son cor plus trefana."
(T2)
"Don, lo cavecs vos ahura,
Que tals bad' en la peintura
Qu'autre n'espera la mana."
T3
Gies non gard a la pintura
Cel c'en espera la mana.

I
The other day, along a hedgerow,
I met a shepherdess who's classy,
and she was full of wit, and happy
the daughter of a village woman,
who wore pelisse, gonel and cover:
with these she wore a shirt of meshwork
with shoes and stockings that were woollen.
II
I went across the plains to meet her,
and said: "My girl, you're an enchantress;
I'm sorry that this wind assails you."
The village-girl then said to me: - "Sir,
thanks to my God and my old nursemaid,
I little care when wind dishevels,
for I've my joys and I am healthy."
III
I said: - "My girl, you're quite a charmer:
so I've turned off the road I followed
so we'd be company together
for such a country-girl as you are
who is without a male companion,
cannot take all these beasts to pasture
in such a place alone and lonesome."
IV
She says: - "However I may be, sir,
I know what's sense and what is folly,
but as for these associations,
O sir, this country-woman tells me
you'd better save them for when needed:
you think you have them in possession
but you have just a semblance of them."
V
- "My girl, since you've a noble bearing
perhaps a cavalier's your father,
he who begot you on your mother,
while she was, too, a well-bred peasant.
The more I look, the more your beauty
and by your joy I am enlightened.
If only you'd treat me humanely!"
VI
"My lineage, sir, and all my family
all in my mind's eye are returning
back to the shovel and the plowshare.
O sir," that country-girl is saying;
but she's so good when she goes riding
that she must practise, sport and labor,
for six days out of every seven.
VII
"My girl, when first you saw the daylight,
a fate that's kind then gave you (said I)
a beauty rarely found in peasants
and in no other village-women.
But all your beauty would be doubled
if just for once we could be neighbors
with me on top and you on bottom."
VIII
"Sir, you have praised me, in a manner
that I find really quite annoying
since you've exalted now my praises,
sir," the village-girl is saying,
"I must tell you this, for wages,
so: 'gape, fool, gape,' on your departure,
and our whole afternoon is wasted."
IX
"My girl, a heart that's cruel and savage
we can domesticate by usage
and I know by our brief discussion
that such a country-girl as you are
can make a man a good companion
if they're of one mind and like-hearted
and neither one deceives the other."
X
"Sir, when a man is pleased by folly
he swears and guarantees and warrants
in such a way as you've paid homage,
O Sir," the country-girl is saying,
"but for so little compensation
I'd not exchange the name of virgin
for any term reputing whoredom."
XI
"My girl, now every single gesture
always goes back unto its nature,
so you and I, my girl, had ought to
make up a couple of our own selves
so far as all these fields continue:
for just so far you could be certain
that this, your way, is yet the sweetest."
XII
"O yes, sir, but our reason tells us
a fool will run in search of folly,
and courtiers go to find adventure,
while country-men want country-women.
In places where all wisdom's lacking
no one will hold within the measure,
and this is what our elders tell us."
Tl
"My girl, I'd say of your appearance
I know no other quite so sexy
nor with a heart that is so mocking."
T2
"O sir, your owl's an evil augur,
and some will gawk before a painting
while others wait to see real manna."
(T3)
Now some don't care to see the painting:
they are the ones who wait for manna.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2008


next
vb63index
Other index