48. Balade: «C’est mon talant, belle dame sans per»


Abbreviations: A: Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, MS 350; B: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 1727; C: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 1131; D: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 24440; E: Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya, MS 8, Catalan, 1420–30; F: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, fr. 2201; G: London, Westminster Abbey Library, MS 21, mid 15th century; H: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 833, c. 1500; J: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 1952; K: Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, IS 4254; L: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Rothschild MS I.I.9; M: Carpentras, Bibliothèque Inguimbertine, MS fr. 390; N: Brussels, Bibliothèque royale Albert 1er, MS 10961–10970, c. 1465; O: Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, MS 410, c. 1430; P: Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt Library, MS Codex 902 (formerly Fr. MS 15), 1395–1400; Q: Berne, Burgerbibliothek da la Bourgeoisie, MS 473, 1400–40; R: Turin, Archivio di Stato, MS J. b. IX. 10; S: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 24404; T: Besançon, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 556, 1826; V: Carpentras, Bibliothèque Inguimbertine, MS 411; W: Brussels, Bibliothèque royale Albert 1er, MS IV 541, 1564–81; Y: Turin, Biblioteca Nazionale e Universitaria, MS L.II.12.

For each poem, we provide the following:

Other editions: The location of the poem in the editions of Grenier-Winther (GW) and Piaget.

Base MS: The manuscript from which our text is taken, using the sigla listed on this page.

Other copies: The other manuscripts in which the poem appears, with the line numbers for excerpts.

Selected variants: Most of the notes record the editors’ emendations. A small number (for instance, regarding the titles) record alternative readings when we did not emend the base text. We do not, however, provide a complete list of variants, for which one may consult Grenier-Winther’s edition. Each note consists of a line number, a lemma (the reading from our text), the manuscript source for the reading that we have chosen, selected readings from other manuscripts; and the reading from the base manuscript when it was rejected. If no manuscript source is listed following the lemma, the adopted reading is the editors’ conjecture.

Other comments on the text, as required.

GW33, Piaget p. 328.
Base MS A. No other copies.

3 choisyr. A: choisy.

28 serez. A: sarez.

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48. Balade: «C’est mon talant, belle dame sans per»






48. Balade: «C’est mon talant, belle dame sans per»

Pour avoir plus de plaisir et de joye
Et pour estre du tout a mon vouloir,
En ce monde mieulx choisyr ne saroye
Que vous, ma dame, car a dire le voir,
Riche beaulté est en vostre pouoir,
Et d’autres biens avez si grant partie
Qui nuit et jour vous tienent compaignie,
Que Dieu a dame n’en devroit plus donner.
Si veul user en vous servant ma vye.
C’est mon talant, belle dame sans per.

Et s’il vous plaist que vostre servant soie,
Je renonce richesse et avoir;
Ne d’aultre bienz, en quelque lieu que soye,
Se non par vous, jamais ne quiers avoir.
Ains vueil mectre tout autre a nonchaloir,
Et puis serez seulle de moy servie.
Car d’autre amer, certez, je n’ay envie.
Et me vueillez, sy vous plaist, pardonner
Se j’en dy trop. Pour Dieu, ne vous annuie.
C’est mon talant, belle dame sans per.

Or est ainsy, combien que ne vous voie,
Ma volenté povez apersevoir,
Car estre aimé de vous mieulx aimeroye
Que de nule autre en bien, sans decevoir.
Mez penseez sont en vous main et soir
Par le vouloir d’Amours, qui me doctrine.
Espoir me dit qu’aray dame et amie
Et, par pitié, s’il vous plaist, le serez
Qui sur les cuers a toute seignorie.
C’est mon talant, belle dame sans per.
48. Ballade: “That is my wish, fair lady without peer”

In order to have more pleasure and joy
And to be entirely as I desire,
In this world I could not choose better
Than you, my lady, for to tell the truth,
Rich beauty is in your possession,
And you have so great a share of other virtues
Which night and day keep you company
That God should not give any lady more.
Thus I want to spend my life in serving you.
That is my wish, fair lady without peer.

And if it please you that I be your servant,
I renounce riches and possessions;
And other goods, wherever I might be,
Shall I never seek to have if not from you.
Rather I wish to set everything else aside,
And then you alone will be served by me.
For I certainly have no desire to love another.
And may you wish, if it please you, to pardon me
If I say too much. By God, may it not trouble you.
That is my wish, fair lady without peer.

Now it is such that, though I do not see you,
You are able to perceive my wish,
For I would much prefer to be loved by you
Than by any other in comfort, without a lie.
My thoughts are upon you both morning and night
By the wish of Love, who instructs me.
Hope tells me that I will have a lady and friend
And out of pity, if you please, it will be you
Who has complete lordship over hearts.
That is my wish, fair lady without peer.




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