72. Complainte de Saint Valentin

GRANSON, 72. «COMPLAINTE DE SAINT VALENTIN»: 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.

On the Valentine’s Day setting (which is invoked only in the title to this poem and in only two of the three manuscripts in which it appears), see the Introduction, pp. 32–34. The complainte was not a fixed genre metrically. This poem on the lover’s separation from his lady contains fifteen 8-line stanzas rhyming ababbcbc (as in 70 and 76), the form that Granson used for more than a third of his ballades. They occur in five groups of three stanzas, each group using identical rhymes, and thus the poem might be seen as a sequence of five ballades without refrains.

25 Hors du pais me fault aler. Braddy takes this line as a reference to Granson’s forced exile in 1391 (Braddy, p. 73). Cartier agrees, but notes that if that is so, then Granson’s lady must be a Savoyarde, not the Spanish princess who Braddy identifies as Granson’s “Isabel” (“Messire,” p. 14). Even if there is an autobiographical reference here, there were many instances in the life of the poet when he might have had to leave a lady friend behind.

48 paradis des amoureux. Piaget (“Oton de Grandson,” p. 422) suggests a possible allusion to Froissart’s PA.

GRANSON, 72. :«COMPLAINTE DE SAINT VALENTIN»: 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; 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.

GW20, Piaget p. 221.
Base MS A. Other copies: F, K.

Title Complainte de Saint Valentin. So F. K: Cy apres s’ensuit la complainte Saint Vallentin. A: lacks.

16 En. So F, K. A: Et.

32 Vostre. So F, K. A: Vrostre.

65 amez. So F, K. A: avez.

70 monstrez. So F, K. A: monstrer.


 
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72. Complainte de Saint Valentin

Je vous vueil plus tousdis servir
Sans jamais guardon recevoir
Que par autre tout mon plaisir
A souhait en guerdon avoir.
Faictes de moy vostre vouloir,
Je prens bien en gré ma doulour,
Car vous estez, a dire voir,
Des bonnes toute la meilleur.

Vostre grace sans plus desir.
Autre ne me puist riens valoir.
Je vueil bien grant peinne souffrir
Pour monstrer mon loial devoir.
Nulle durté n’a le pouoir
Pour esloingnier de vous m’amour.
Mes fais le vous feront sçavoir
En la fin de mon derrenier jour.

Humblement vous vueil requerir
Que panser vueilliez et veoir
En quel doubte cuer doit languir
Qui bien aime sans desepvoir;
Et lors pourrez aparcevoir
Que mes plaintez et ma clamour
Me fait bien aimer esmouvoir
Qui ne puit estre sans paour.

Hors du pais me fault aler;
Et quoy qu’il soit du revenir,
Il convient mon cuer demourer
A vous, sans jamais departir;
Ce n’est vie que pour languir,
Car jamais ne sera joieux
Tant que je puisse reveir
Vostre plaisant corps gracieux.

Le cuer de vous ne puit penser,
Croire, deviser ne sentir
Comme le mien le scet aimer
Tousdis plus fort sans repantir.
Pour mez souhais tous acomplir
Je ne demenderoie mieulx
Que vostre doulce vois oyr
Et le regart de voz beaulx ieulx.

Or me fauldra mon dueil celer
Et mon mal mucier et couvrir,
Et pour mez souspirs mieulx embler,
Plains de lermez mez ieulx ouvrir.
Se pour estre d’Amours martir
Doit nulz aimans avoir le mieulx,
J’ay esperance de venir
Ou paradis des amoureux.

Certez, ma tresfine clarté,
Le jour que je ne vous verray
Mes ieulx seront en obscurté,
Et en tenebres languiray.
Helas! jamais joie n’auray
Se je fais de vous loing demour;
Et pour ce mon cuer vous larray,
Qui fera haster le retour.

La façon de vostre beaulté
Pour souvenir enporteray,
Et les fais de vostre bonté
En mon penser tousdiz auray.
Ja pour doubtance n’obliray
Le bien de vous et la valour,
Mais loing et prés vous en feray
Service, plaisir et honnour.

Belle qui amez loiaulté
Trop plus fort que dire ne sçay,
Aiés d’un loial cuer pitié
Que loiaulment donné vous ay,
Et pour loial le maintiendray;
Et si monstrez vostre doulçour,
Car le corps est en tel esmay
Que vivre ne scet a nul tour.

Bonne, belle, doulce, plaisant,
Gracieuse en faiz et en dis,
Je suis vostre loial servant,
Et loial vous seray toudiz.
Ne me vueillez vouloir le pis
Se mon cuer vous aime trop fort,
Car Amours l’a en vous assis
Pour aimer jusques a la mort.

Et se je ne suis cognoissant,
Saige, courtois et bien apris,
Je me repens, et suis doulant
Se j’ay de riens vers vous mespris.
Mon cuer qui est d’amour souspris
Juige souvent du droit le tort,
Et puit faillir sur son advis
Aucune fois quant raison dort.

Le Dieu d’Amours me soit garant,
Qui m’a de sa livree mis.
C’est un seigneur si tres puissant
Qu’il veult estre des sien serviz
En pleurs, en plains, en jeux, en ris,
En desespoir et en confort,
Des cuers joieulx, dez cuers marris,
Et de chascun prent son deport.

Je ne plaindroie nullement
Les maulx que j’ay a endurer
Se je vous veisse souvent.
Plus ne voulsisse demander
Que seullement le regarder.
Vostre doulx visaige bien fait
Me fait mes peinnes oblier,
Tant l’aime et si bien me plaist.

Mes or me va trop malement
Quant il me convient deporter
Maulgré mes deus si longuement
De vous veoir n’a vous parler.
Le dur temps que j’ay a passer
Me semble sy noir et sy lait
Que de paour me fait trambler
Mon cuer que toute joie lait.

Et non obstant tout ce tourment
En un propoux vueil demourer:
C’est de vous servir loiaulment
Et moy en vous bien affier,
Et vous aimer et desirer
De plain vouloir non contrefait,
Et vostre grace demender
En tout ce qui ne vous desplait.
 
72. Saint Valentine’s Complaint

I would rather serve you always
Without ever receiving a reward
Than to have every pleasure from another
According to my wish as my reward.
Do with me just as you wish,
I willingly accept my grief.
For to tell the truth, you are
Of all good women the very best.

I desire your grace and nothing more.
Nothing else can have any worth for me.
I am very willing to suffer great pain
In order to demonstrate my loyal duty.
No harshness has the power
To separate my love from you.
My actions will make it known to you
At the end of my very last day.

Humbly do I wish to ask you
That you please consider and see
In what fear a heart must languish
That loves well without deceit;
And then will you be able to see
That loving well makes me arouse
All my plaints and my crying,
And that it cannot be without fear.

I am obliged to leave the country;
And whatever may happen with my return,
My heart is compelled to remain
With you, without ever leaving;
Languishing is its only life,
For never will it be joyful
Until I am able to see again
Your charming gracious self.

Your heart cannot think,
Believe, imagine, or feel
How mine is able to love it
Always more strongly, without regret.
In order to fulfill all my wishes,
I would not ask for more
Than to hear your sweet voice
And a glance from your beautiful eyes.

But I will have to hide my grief
And conceal and cover up my pain,
And in order better to hide my sighs,
To open my eyes full of tears.
If in order to be Love’s martyr
No lover must have any better,
Then I have hope of coming
Into the paradise of lovers.

Truly, my fine brightness,
The day that I do not see you
My eyes will be in darkness
And I will languish in the shadows.
Alas, I will never have joy
If I stay away from you long,
And therefore I will leave you my heart,
Which will hasten my return.

I will carry away as a memory
The image of your beauty,
And the features of your goodness
I will always have in my thought.
Never out of uncertainty will I forget
Your virtue and your worth,
But far and near I will do for you
Service, pleasure, and honor.

Beautiful lady, who loves loyalty
Much more strongly than I can say,
Have pity on a loyal heart
Which I have given to you loyally,
And I will keep it loyal.
And also show it your gentleness,
For the body is in such distress
That it cannot live in any way.

Good lady, beautiful, gentle, charming,
Gracious in deeds and words,
I am your loyal servant,
And I will be loyal to you always.
Please do not wish the worst for me
If my heart loves you too strongly,
For love has fixed it upon you
To love until its death.

And if I am not perceptive,
Wise, courteous, and well taught,
I am sorry, and I am sad
If I have wronged you in any way.
My heart, which is overcome by love,
Often judges the wrong to be right,
And it can err in its counsel
On occasion, when reason sleeps.

May the God of Love be my pledge,
Who has placed me in his livery.
He is so very powerful a lord
That he wishes to be served by his followers
In tears, in laments, in play, in laughter,
In despair and in comfort,
By joyous hearts, by sorrowful hearts,
And he takes pleasure in each one.

I would not complain at all
About the pains I must endure
If I were to see you often.
I would not ask for anything else
Except only to look at you.
Your sweet well-formed face
Makes me forget all my pains,
I love it so, and so much does it please me.

But now it goes very badly for me,
When I am forced to refrain,
Despite my sorrows, for such a long time,
From seeing you and speaking to you.
The harsh times that I must endure
Seem to me so dark and ugly
That my heart, which leaves behind all joy,
Makes me tremble in fear.

And despite all of this torment,
I wish to adhere to one purpose:
It is to serve you loyally
And to place my trust in you,
And to love you and desire you
With complete and unfeigned will,
And to ask for your grace
In everything that does not displease you.
 
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