55. Balade: «De mieulx en mieulx serviray ma maistresse»

GRANSON, 55. BALADE:«DE MIEULX EN MIEULX SERVIRAY MA MAISTRESSE»: 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.

GRANSON, 55. BALADE: «DE MIEULX EN MIEULX SERVIRAY MA MAISTRESSE»: 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.

GW79, Piaget p. 207.
Base MS F. Other copies: G.

Title Balade. F, G: lacks.

1 Amours Amours. So G. F: Amours.


 
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55. Balade: «De mieulx en mieulx serviray ma maistresse»

Amours, Amours, puisque c’est vo plaisance
Du tout en tout moy ainsy deserter
Et forbanir de toute esperance,
A tousjours maiz, sanz mercy recouvrer,
Dont la griefté me convient endurer,
De par moy je vous faiz assavoir,
Se jamais bien je n’en devoye avoir,
Que, se mourir devoye de tristesse,
De cuer, de corps, a mon loyal pouoir,
De mieulx en mieulx serviray ma maistresse.

Amours, de vous un jour ay alegence,
Autresfoiz je suiz a commancier.
Quant de vous cuide avoir l’acointance
Lors m’y faites devenir estrangier.
A grant paine me dangniez regarder.
Quant je me mis du tout en vo pouoir,
Pas ne cuidoye si dur guerredon avoir.
Maiz puis qu’ainsy vo vouloir s’adresse,
Tresloyaument, tousdiz en bon espoir,
De mieulx en mieulx serviray ma maistresse.

Amours, je croy vous feistes ordonnance,
Quant je me volz en vostre court bouter,
Que avoir devoye a ma gouvernance
Trestouz les maulx que vous povez donner.
Mieulx m’eust valu avoir esté bergier
Et demourer es champs en un manoir,
Boire de l’eaue et mengier du pain noir,
Que de souffrir la douleur qui me blesse.
Mais nonpourquant, sanz changier mon vouloir,
De mieulx en mieulx serviray ma maistresse.
 
55. Ballade: “Better and better will I serve my mistress”   

Love, Love, since it is your pleasure
Completely to desert me in this way
And to banish me from every hope
Forever more, without obtaining mercy,
For which I am forced to endure the grief,
For my part, I wish to have you know,
If I am never to have any reward,
That, if I am obliged to die of sadness,
In heart, in body, with all my loyal power,
Better and better will I serve my mistress.

Love, one day from you I have relief,
And then I am back again where I began.
When I think that I have your friendship,
Then you make me become a stranger again.
Hardly do you deign to look at me.
When I put myself fully in your power,
I didn’t expect to have so harsh a reward.
But since that is where your will is directed,
Most loyally, and always in good hope,
Better and better will I serve my mistress.

Love, I believe that you gave the order,
When I wished to place myself in your court,
That I was always to have at my disposition
All the pains that you are able to give.
It would have been better for me to be a shepherd
And to live in a dwelling in the fields,
Drinking water and eating black bread,
Than to endure the sorrow that afflicts me.
But nonetheless, without changing my wish,
Better and better will I serve my mistress.
 
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«Car le couroux n’y vault pas une maille»