46. Balade: «Ma belle dame et ma loyal amie»

GRANSON, 46. BALADE:«MA BELLE DAME ET MA LOYAL AMIE»: 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.

1–5 Je vous mercy . . . grant doulçour. For the use of anaphora compare 17 and 28.

4 flour. One expects “flower” in the translation, certainly the more common meaning at the time, but “flour” is also attested from at least the twelfth century (see Rey, Dictionnaire historique) and appears to be more suited to the context here.

10–11 Ma belle dame et ma loyal amie, / Se plus souvent n’oyez de moy nouvelle. This is one of the very few clear examples in Granson’s shorter poems in which the sentence continues from one stanza to the next, something that is normally prevented in the ballades by the closure that is created by the refrain. The lack of semantic weight in the refrain to this poem opens the way to the exception. For an example in a rondeau, see 6.12–13. Such enjambment is also rare in Granson’s longer stanza forms: for the few examples, see 75.32–33, 76.96–97 and 144–45. It is more common in the lyrics included in Le Livre Messire Ode: see 78.276–77 and 286–87 (two successive stanzas); 773–74; 1565–66; and 1906–7, 1916–17, and 1926–27 (three stanzas in a row); and in rondeaux, 7 8.343–44, 1443–44, 1451–52, and 2497–98 (the very last lyric in the poem).

21–26 For the personifications see the note to 21 above.


GRANSON, 46. BALADE: «MA BELLE DAME ET MA LOYAL AMIE»: 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.

GW14, Piaget p. 301.
Base MS P. Other copies: A.


 
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46. Balade: «Ma belle dame et ma loyal amie»







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46. Balade: «Ma belle dame et ma loyal amie»

Je vous mercy, des belles la plus belle;
Je vous mercy, de bonnes la meillour;
Je vous mercy, jeune, fresche, nouvelle;
Je vous mercy, trop plus blanche que flour.
Je vous mercy quant, par vo grant doulçour,
Il vous a pleu recevoir en bon gré
Le petit don que vous ay envoyé
Par mon ami en qui du tout me fie.
Et me vueilliez tenir pour excusé,
Ma belle dame et ma loyal amie,

Se plus souvent n’oyez de moy nouvelle.
Car par ma foy j’en ay mainte dolour
En mon las cuer, combien que je le celle,
Par plusieurs fois, et de nuit et de jour,
Ne je ne quier fors a trouver le tour
Que veoir puisse vostre belle beaulté,
Car il m’en vient une telle santé
Que gary sui de toute maladie
Quant de vos yeulx puis estre regardé,
Ma belle dame et ma loyal amie.

Pour ce, Pitié, tresdoulce damoiselle,
Vueilliez tantost venir a mon secour,
Car a toute heure contre moy renouvelle
Dangier le fel un moult cruel estour,
Et avec lui sont Reffus et Paour,
Qui desja mont tresdurement navré.
Mais s’il vous plaist que soye conforté
Du nom d’ami, vous sauveriez ma vie.
Or en soit a vostre voulenté,
Ma belle dame et ma loyal amie.
 
46. Ballade: “My beautiful lady and my loyal love”

I thank you, the fairest of the fair;
I thank you, the best of the good;
I thank you, who are young, fresh, new;
I thank you, who are much whiter than flour.
I thank you when, out of your great gentleness,
It pleased you to accept in good will
The little gift that I sent to you
By way of my friend in whom I fully trust.
And please hold me excused,
My beautiful lady and my loyal love,

If you don’t hear tidings of me more often.
For by my faith, I have many a sorrow
In my weary heart, however much I hide it,
Oftentimes, by both night and day,
And all I seek is to find a way
That I might look upon your fair beauty,
For from it comes to me such well-being
That I am healed of every malady
When I can be beheld by your eyes,
My beautiful lady and my loyal love.

Therefore, Pity, my sweet damsel,
Please come quickly to my aid,
For at every hour, the felon Danger
Renews a cruel battle against me,
And with it are Rejection and Fear,
Which have already hurt me very badly.
But if it pleases you that I be comforted
With the name of lover, you will save my life.
Now may it be according to your will,
My beautiful lady and my loyal love.
 


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