57. Le Desert : «Fors que la mort prouchainement»

GRANSON, 57. LE DESERT:(«FORS QUE LA MORT PROUCHAINEMENT»): 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.

This is the only of Granson’s ballades to bear an actual title. A desert might be a desert or wasteland (as in 15.2); as an adjective, however, applied to humans, it can also mean “the one who has lost everything.” The latter appears to be the primary sense in this case, though the former might also be present, as the speaker’s place of exile, by implication. The need for the lover to depart from a lady from whom he has received much joy in love because of fear of slander (see the note to 22 above) distinguishes this poem from others in which Granson writes of the pains of separation; compare 16, 24, and 28.

GRANSON, 57. LE DESERT:(«FORS QUE LA MORT PROUCHAINEMENT»): 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.

GW85, Piaget p. 248.
Base MS F. No other copies.

9 pour. F: pas.

25 vous. F: me.


 
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57. Le Desert («Fors que la mort prouchainement»)

Las! je voy bien qu’il me fault eslongnier
Desoremaiz le pays gracieux
Ou je souloye tant de joye trouver,
Tant de douceur et de bien amoureux,
Qu’en ce monde ne vouldroye mieulx.
Et puis qu’ainsy me convient estrangier,
De tout en tout, sanz y plus revenir,
Et que souffrir il m’en convient a tant,
Je ne requier pour mes maulx alegier
Fors que la mort prouchainement.

Car jamais riens ne me puet conforter,
Et pour ce j’ameroye trop mieulx
Plus tost ennuit que demain trespasser
Pour brief garir de mes dolours.
Et se je suy de ma mort envieux,
Nulz ne m’en doit que saige tenir,
Car trop mieulx vault a un cop mourir
Que de languir en dueil et en torment.
Pour ce ne vueil autre bien requerir
Fors que la mort prouchainement.

Adieu, adieu, Belle qu’on doit loer,
Qui tant de foiz m’avez fait joyeux.
Doresenavant, pour vo bon los garder,
Mon cuer fondra en larmes et en pleurs,
Pour ce que plus ne vous verront mes yeulz
Dont me souloit ma grant joye venir.
Car quant je voy qu’il me convient fuir
De coste vous par paour du mesdisant,
En ce monde, par ma foy, ne desir,
Fors que la mort prouchainement.

Princesse des belles, jeune sanz per,
Vous qui povez desur moy ordonner
Et commander tousjours vo bon plaisir,
Savoir vous fait vostre loyal martir
Qu’il a pour vous des maulx largement,
Que riens ne vuelt pour son cuer resjoir
Fors que la mort prouchainement.
 
57. The Destitute One (“Except for death, immediately”)

Alas, I see well that from now on
I must take my leave of the gracious country
Where I was accustomed to find so much joy,
So much sweetness and so much good in love
That in this world I would not wish for better.
And since it is so, that I must depart
Completely, without ever returning,
And that I am compelled to suffer so much,
I don’t seek anything to relieve my pain
Except for death, immediately.

For never can anything comfort me,
And therefore I would much prefer
To die tonight rather than tomorrow
In order to quickly recover from my sorrows.
And if I am desirous of my death,
No one should consider me anything but wise,
For it is much better to die in one stroke
Than to languish in grief and in torment.
Thus I don’t want to seek any other good
Except for death, immediately.

Farewell, farewell, Beauty whom one must praise,
Who has made me joyful so many times.
From now on, to safeguard your good name,
My heart will melt in tears and in weeping,
Because my eyes will no longer see you
From whom my great joy used to come.
For when I see that I am forced to flee
From your side for fear of the slanderer,
In this world, by my faith, I desire nothing
Except for death, immediately.

Princess of beauties, youth without peer,
You who can rule over me
And always command your good pleasure,
Your loyal sufferer wishes you to know
That for you he bears pains abundantly,
That he wants nothing to rejoice his heart
Except for death, immediately.
 
 









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