Sunday, June 05, 2005

Lanquan li jorn

by Jaufré Rudel

Lanquan li jorn son lonc en may
M’es belhs dous chans d’auzelhs de lonh,
Et quan mi suy partitz de lay
Remembra.m d’un’ amor de lonh:
Vau de talan embroncx e clis
Si que chans ni flors d’albespis
No.m platz plus que l’yverns gelatz.

(During May, when the days are long,
I admire the song of the birds from far away
and when I have gone away from there
I remember a love far away.
I go scowling, with my head down
so much that songs and hawthorn flowers
aren't better, to me, than the frozen Winter.)

Be tenc lo senhor per veray
Per qu’ieu veirai l’amor de lonh;
Mas per un ben que m’en eschay
N’ai dos mals, quar tant m’es de lonh.
Ai! car me fos lai pelegris,
Si que mos fustz e mos tapis
Fos pels sieus belhs huelhs remiratz!

(I trust the Lord's fairness
in having formed this faraway love,
but for each consolation I achieve
I get two ills, because I am so far away.
Ah! Why didn't I go there as a pilgrim,
so that my staff and hooded cloak
would be beheld by her beautiful eyes!)

Be.m parra joys quan li querray,
Per amor Dieu, l’aberc de lonh:
E, s’a lieys platz, alberguarai
Pres de lieys, si be.m suy de lonh:
Adonc parra.l parlamens fis
Quan drutz lonhdas er tan vezis
Qu’ab bels digz jauzira solatz.

(It will certainly feel like joy when I ask her,
for the love of God, [the lodging-place far away];
and, if she likes it, I shall lodge
near her, although I come from far away.
Conversation is so pleasant
when the faraway lover is so close
that he would long to be welcome with kind intentions.)

*Translation (slightly altered) from here.

* * *

I dedicate this troubadour song to Meredith of Basia Me, Catholica Sum, to whom I've sung it at least once, I think. (If your mother could get me a better translation, I'd be forever indebted.)

According to the story, Rudel never saw the lady, who was the Countess of Tripoli, but he fell in love with her just from hearing about her loveliness.

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