60. Balade amoreuse: «Pardonnés moy, besoing le me fait faire»

GRANSON, 60. BALADE AMOREUSE:«PARDONNÉS MOY, BESOING LE ME FAIT FAIRE»(1): 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 first of two poems (with 61) that appear consecutively and with the same title, “Balade de Saint Valentin Double,” in manuscripts F and K. In manuscript E the two appear in sequence as a single poem, entitled simply “Granson.” Both poems appear in manuscript A, which we have used as our base, but separated by thirteen folios and five other poems and with the titles that we have printed here. The two poems have the same stanza form, the same rhyme scheme, and the same refrain, and while one is addressed to the lady and the other to Love, they complement one another. The significance of the specific day in 60.3 is explained by the reference to Saint Valentine and his feast in 61.1–2, and the statement about having chosen his lady “long ago” in 61.13–14 is consistent with the more specific reference to the seven and a half years that have passed in 60.1–2. For a very different pair of ballades see 49–50. For precedents for the balade double see the Introduction, p. 19. On Saint Valentine, see the Introduction, pp. 32–34. Wimsatt (FC, pp. 234–35) suggests that this may be the earliest of the surviving Saint Valentine poems on the basis of its appearance in manuscript E, but see the Introduction, note 40. He also observes that it contains “the most extensive reference . . . to the saint and his feast.”

1 Il a passé des ans sept et demy. See the note to 39.5 above.

GRANSON, 60. BALADE AMOREUSE:«PARDONNÉS MOY, BESOING LE ME FAIT FAIRE»(1): 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.

GW24, Piaget p. 256.
Base MS A. Other copies: E, F, G, K, V.

Balade amoreuse. So A (which also contains 61, but not immediately afterwards). F, K: Balade de saint valentin double (where it is followed by 61, bearing the same title). E: Granson (where it is immediately followed by 61 without a separate title). G: Balade (which does not contain 61).

16 l’avoient. So E, F, G, K, V. A: l’avoie.


 
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60. Balade amoreuse: «Pardonnés moy, besoing le me fait faire» (1)

Il a passé des ans sept et demy
Que je vous ay pour ma dame choisie,
Et au jour d’ui derrechief vous choisi
Pour une fois et pour toute ma vie.
Et si sçay bien que de vous ne doy mie
Estre choisy comme pour vostre per,
Ne je ne l’ose souhaidier ne penser,
Mais s’il vous plaist, belle, bonne et plesent,
Choissicés moy comme vostre servant,
Qui loiaulment vous veult servir et plaire.
Et si marcy vous requier trop avant,
Pardonnés moy, besoing le me fait faire.

Besoing me fait querir vostre mercy
Mais de l’avoir humblement je vous prie,
Car je say bien, plusieurs y ont failly
Qui mieulx de moy l’avoient desservie.
Et non pour tant, belle, quoy que je die,
Chascuns homs doit son meilleur desirer.
De l’autrui fait n’ay je riens a parler,
Fors que du mien, qui m’est le plus pesant.
Pour ce vien je devers vous a garant
Quar autre part ne me vueil ne doy traire.
Et se je dy trop en moy complaignant,
Pardonnés moy, besoing le me fait faire.

Vostre beaulté trespace si parmy/nobr>
Le cuer de moy, belle, je vous affie,
Qu’il ne lui chault ne de moy ne de lui
Fors que de vous, ou yl a s’estudie.
Tout ce qu’il voit devant mez ieulx oblie,
Mais nuit et jour lui fault ymaginer
De vous servir, obeir et doubter
Plus que celles toutes qui sont vivant.
Se mercy n’ay dont je suis desirant,
Tant le desir que je ne m’en puis taire.
C’est maulgré moy que je vous en dy tant;
Pardonnés moy, besoing le me fait faire.
 
60. Love Ballade: “Please pardon me; need makes me do it” (1)

Seven and a half years have gone by
Since I first chose you as my lady,
And today I choose you once again
For once and for all, for my entire life.
And yet I know well that I ought not
Be chosen by you as your equal,
Nor do I dare to wish it or to think it,
But if you please, fair, good, and charming one,
Choose me as your servant
Who wishes loyally to serve and please you.
And if I ask you too soon for your mercy,
Please pardon me; need makes me do it.

Need makes me ask you for your mercy,
But I pray you for it humbly,
For I know well, many have there failed
Who had deserved it more than I.
And nonetheless, fair one, whatever I say,
Each man must desire what is best for him.
Of another’s condition I have nothing to say,

Except of my own, which for me is most pressing.
Therefore I come before you in safety,
For elsewhere I neither want nor ought to go.
And if I say too much in presenting my plaint,
Please pardon me; need makes me do it.

Your beauty so pervades my heart,
Oh beautiful one, I promise you,
That it doesn’t care about me or itself
But only about you, on whom it is fixed.
All that it sees before my eyes it forgets,
But night and day it is compelled to imagine
Serving you, obeying and fearing you,
More than all other women who are alive.
If I don’t have the mercy that I desire,
So greatly do I desire it that I cannot be silent.
It is despite myself that I tell you as much.
Please pardon me; need makes me do it.

 
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