25. Balade: «Car de presant, je veul tout le contraire»

GRANSON, 25. BALADE: «CAR DE PRESANT, JE VEUL TOUT LE CONTRAIRE»: EXPLANATORY NOTES

ABBREVIATIONS: A: Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, MS 350; B: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, f. fr. 1727; C: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, f. fr. 1131; D: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, f. fr. 24440; E: Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya, MS 8, Catalan, 1420–30; F: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, f. fr. 2201; K: Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, IS 4254; N: Brussels, Bibliothèque royale Albert 1er, MS 10961–10970, c. 1465; P: Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt Library, MS Codex 902 (formerly Fr. MS 15), 1395–1400; 100B: Les Cent Ballades; Basso: “L’envol et l’ancrage”; BD: Chaucer, The Book of the Duchess; Berguerand: Berguerand, Duel; Boulton: Song; Braddy: Braddy, Chaucer and Graunson; Carden: “Le Livre Messire Ode d’Oton de Grandson; CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; DL: Guillaume de Machaut, Dit dou lyon; DLA: Guillaume de Machaut, Dit de l’alerion; FA: La fonteinne amoureuse; FC: Wimsatt, French Contemporaries; GW: Granson, Poésies, ed. Grenier-Winther; LGW: Chaucer, The Legend of Good Women; PA: Froissart, Paradis d’Amour; PF: Chaucer, The Parliament of Fowls; Piaget: Grandson, Vie et poésies, ed. Piaget; PL: Guillume de Machaut, Poésies Lyriques; Poirion: Poirion, Poète et prince; TC: Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; RR: Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, Le Roman de la rose; VD: Guillaume de Machaut, Le livre dou voir dit.

See 9 for a somewhat different take on aging. It is easy to suppose that Granson might have been thinking about his own experience in this poem, for it could hardly have been written by a poet who was young, but the juxtaposition with 9 suggests that we shouldn’t take either completely literally. It is more interesting to ponder the poet’s use of a lyric form for what is in effect a renunciation of his earlier poetry.

3 Et me tenoie liéz, jolis et gais. This is not, of course, the impression created by the vast majority of the poems to which he refers, another reminder not to take either this poem or those as a precise biographical record.

9–16 Berguerand (p. 137) (like Piaget, p. 142) sees in this stanza an allusion to the troubles of Granson’s final years, when he was forced to defend himself against a charge of complicity in the death of Count Amadeus VII, and more specifically a possible admission that he had blindly allowed himself to fall into the trap of a judicial duel laid by his adversaries. The third stanza of this ballade, however, is much less suggestive either of the circumstances or of the options that Granson faced as the duel approached. Compare 47.

17–19 For readers of the English poet John Gower, these lines will recall the conclusion of the CA, in which the narrator, forced into confrontation with his old age, is urged by Venus to make a “beau retret” (8.2416) and to “preie hierafter for the pes” (8.2913). However striking the verbal similarity, the two passages in Gower are five hundred lines apart, the sentiments are otherwise very different, and it is difficult to establish any direct connection between Granson and Gower, even in Gower’s lyric sequence, the Cinkante Balades. If there were a borrowing, it would be difficult to tell in which direction it went, since the CA may have been complete as early as 1390.

GRANSON, 25. BALADE: «CAR DE PRESANT, JE VEUL TOUT LE CONTRAIRE»: TEXTUAL NOTES


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; 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, 13th century (16th century addition); 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.

GW10, Piaget p. 304.
Base MS A. No other copies.

2 amours. A: amour.

7 tourné. A: tourner.

18 recours. A: recorps.


 
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25. Balade: «Car de presant, je veul tout le contraire»







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25. Balade: «Car de presant, je veul tout le contraire»

Je filz rondeaux, baladez, virelais,
Ou temps passé que j’amay par amours,
Et me tenoie liéz, jolis et gais,
Car bien cuidoie ainsy faire tousjours.
Festes queroie, dance, joustez, bouhors,
Ne voulsisse lors autre chose faire.
Or m’est ly temps bien tourné au rebours,
Car de presant, je veul tout le contraire.

Las! je voy bien que ne feray jamais
Fors enviellir, dont j’ay assez doulours.
De maint grant mal m’estuet porter le faiz,
Et cy ne treux qui me face secours.
Povre de bien, Fortune, de sez tours
M’a bien monstré, que trouvay debonnaire,
Quant perdoie le mien con folz et lours.
Car de present, je veul tout le contraire.

D’or en avant, veul prier pour la paix
Et Dieu servir, car s’est mon droit recours,
Et savoir veul ou sera mes retrais,
Quant court fauldra, pour demourer ailleurs,
Non pas toudis porter chapeaus de flours,
N’avoir ainsy robez plus de vingt paire.
Ainsy le fis, de quoy ce fut foulours,
Car de present, je veul tout le contraire.
 
25. Ballade: “For at present, I want exactly the opposite”

I made rondeaux, ballades, and virelais
In former times, when I was in love,
And I considered myself happy, jolly, and gay,
For I believed that I would be so always.
I sought out parties, dances, jousts, tourneys,
Nor did I did want to do anything else.
Now has time turned upside down for me,
For at present, I want exactly the opposite.

Alas, I see clearly that all that’s left for me
Is to grow old, for which I have great grief.
I must carry the burden of many a great pain,
And here I don’t find anyone who can help.
Poor of goods, Fortune, whom I used to find gracious,
Has well shown me some of her tricks
When I lost what was mine like a fool and imbecile.
For at present, I want exactly the opposite.

From now on, I want to pray for peace
And to serve God, for that’s my proper refuge,
And I want to know where my retreat will be
When soon, in order to dwell elsewhere,
I’ll have to give up wearing a chaplet of flowers
And also having more than twenty robes.
So I used to do, which was a folly,
For at present, I want exactly the opposite.
 



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