TANT AI MO COR PLE DE JOYA ... MY HEART IS NOW SO FULL OF JOY ...
Bernart de Ventadorn trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
Tant ai mo cor ple de joya,
tot me desnatura.
flor blancha, vermelh' e groya
me par la freyura,
c'ab lo ven e ab la ploya
me creis l'aventura,
per que mos pretz mont' e poya
e mos chans melhura.
tan ai al cor d'amor,
de joi e de doussor,
per que·l gels me sembla flor
e la neus verdura.

Anar posc ses vestidura,
nutz en ma chamiza,
car fin amors m'asegura
de la freya biza.
mas es fols qui·s desmezura,
e no·s te de guiza,
per qu'eu ai pres de me cura,
deis c'agui enquiza
la plus bela d'amor,
don aten tan d'onor,
car en loc de sa ricor
no volh aver Piza.

De s'amistat me reciza!
mas be n'ai fiansa,
que sivals eu n'ai conquiza
la bela semblansa;
et ai ne a ma deviza
tan de benanansa,
que ia·l jorn que l'aurai viza
non aurai pezansa.
mo cor ai pres d'amor,
que l'esperitz lai cor,
mas lo cors es sai, alhor,
lonh de leis, en Fransa.

Eu n'ai la bon'esperanza.
mas petit m'aonda,
c'atressi·m ten en balansa
com la naus en fonda
del mal pes que·m desenansa,
no sai on m'esconda.
tota noih me vir' e·m lansa
desobre l'esponda:
plus trac pena d'amor
de Tristan l'amador,
que·n sofri manhta dolor
per Izeut la blonda.

Ai Deus! car no sui ironda,
que voles per l'aire
e vengues de moih prionda
lai dins so repaire?
bona domna jauzionda,
mor se·l vostr' amaire!
paor ai que·l cors me fonda,
s'aissi·m dura gaire.
domna, per vostr' amor
jonh las mas ed ador!
gens cors ab frescha color,
gran mal me faitz traire!

Qu'el mon non a nul afaire
don eu tan cossire,
can de leis au re retraire,
que mo cor no'i vire
e mo semblan no·m n'esclaire,
que que·m n'auiatz dire,
si c'ades vos er veyaire
c'ai talan de rire.
tan l'am de bon'amor
que manhtas vetz en plor
per o que melhor sabor
m'en an li sospire.

E
Messatgers, vai e cor,
e di·m a la sensor
la pen' e la dolor
que·n trac, e·l martire.
My heart is now so full of joy
.........it's caught me off my guard.
Flow'rs of yellow, red and white
.........the cold prepares for me;
for with the wind and with the rain
.........adventure grown for me
for which my praises mount and soar
.........and all my songs improve:
my heart has turned to love
.........to joy and sweetness too,
and so the ice is like a flow'r to me
.........and snow is greenery.

And I can walk about unclothed
.........in nightshirt or quite nude
for my fine love protects me from
.........the cold and northern wind:
it's folly, but I'm overboard
.........and I don't want a guide;
therefore I soon will have a care
.........as soon as I've inquired:
most beautiful in love
.........she greatly honors me;
I wouldn't trade her riches for
.........all Pisa's golden store.

And from her friendship I'm cut off
.........or, rather, have no tie:
I haven't even won as yet
.........the beauty of her face
and I don't claim that I dispose
.........of so much happiness,
for on a day when I see her
.........then nothing bothers me;
my heart's as close to love
.........as body is to soul,
my heart, however's elsewhere now
.........and far from her, in France.

I do not have the best of hopes
.........but just a little helps,
for otherwise I would be rocked
.........like ships upon the waves:
and from the burden maddening me
.........I don't know where to hide
and every night I toss and turn
.........until the bedframe's weak;
love brings me greater grief
.........than even Tristram had
who underwent such sorrow for
.........the blonde Isolda's cause.

Oh, would I were a swallow, God,
.........to fly up in the air,
to come by right out of the deep
.........down where I'm living now;
my fair and cheerful lady friend,
.........I'll die without your love:
I have a fear my heart will burst;
.........it scarcely holds its own,
my lady, for your love
.........hands joined, I worship you,
lithe body, fresh complexion too,
.........have brought injustice here!

The world, you see, has no affairs
.........to worry me for long;
when I hear her reproaching me
.........my heart must not turn back:
my aspect must not brighten up
.........from what she has to say
so you're a hasty judge, I see,
.........for I've an urge to laugh;
I've had as much good love
.........as all the times I've wept:
for that which tastes the best of all
.........is what I'm sighing for.

E
Go, messengers, and run,
.........and tell the people of
the pain and sorrow that it brings
.........and final martyrdom.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2004


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