Le Lay de Plour (translation)

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Le Lay de Plour (translation)









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Ci commence le lay de plour

                    I

Qui bien aimme a tart oublie,
Et cuers qui oublie a tart
Ressamble le feu qui art
Qui de legier n’esteint mie.
Aussi qui ha maladie
Qui plaist envis se depart.
En ce point, se Dieus me gart,
Me tient Amours et maistrie,
Quar plaisence si me lie
Que jamais l’amoureus dart
N’iert hors trait, a tiers n’a quart,
De mon cuer, quoy que nuls die,
Car tant m’a fait compaignie
Que c’est niant dou depart,
Ne que jamais, par nul art,
Soit sa pointure garie.


                    II

Qu’envis puet on desraciner
Un grant arbre sans demourer
               De la racine,
Qu’on voit puis flourir et porter
Et ses branches croistre et geter
               En brief termine.
Certes, einsi est il d’amer.
Car quant uns cuers se vuet enter
               En amour fine,
Envis puet s’amour oublier;
Einsois adés par ramembrer
               A li s’encline.


                    III

Car l’iaue qui chiet desseure
La racine qui demeure
Fait rennverdir et florir
               Et porter fruit.
Tout einsi mes cuers, qui pleure
Parfondement a toute heure,
A croistre mon souvenir
               Fait jour et nuit.
Et c’est ce qui me deveure.
C’est ce qui mon vis espleure.
C’est ce pour quoi je soupir.
               A ce me duit,
Vraie Amour, qui me court seure,
Et Bonté, qui l’assaveure,
Qu’en moy ne puissent venir.
               Ce me destruit.


                    IV

Raisons et Droiture,
Plaisence et Nature
Font par leur pooir
Toute creature
De volenté pure
Tendre a mieus valoir.
Et je m’asseüre
Que, tant com je dure,
Ne porray veoir
Amour si seüre,
Bonté si meüre,
N’a tant de savoir.


                    V

Aussi voit on clerement
Qui le cuer qui loyaument
               Et sans folour
Aimment de tres fine amour,
               Cuident souvent
Qu’en milleur et en plus gent
               Aient sejour.
Car plaisence et sa rigour
               Ce leur aprent.
Or say je certeinnement
Que mienne estoit ligement
               La droite flour
De ceaus qui ont plus d’onnour,
               Quar toute gent
Disoient communement,
               Et li millour,
Qu’il avoit toute valour
               Entierement.


                    VI

Et quant si bon ne millour ne plus cointe
N’est, ne si bel, ne d’onneur si acointe,
               A droit jugier,
               Merveillier
               Ne se doit
Nulz se ne vueil par l’amoureuse pointe
Nouvellement d’autre amour estre pointe.
               Pour ce changier
               Ne me quier,
               Et j’ay droit.
Qu’en mon cuer est si tres ferme et si jointe
L’amour de li qu’estre n’en puet desjointe.
               Car cuer entier
               Qui trichier
               Ne saroit
Par souvenir vuet que dou tout m’apointe
Si qu’autre amour n’entrepreingne, n’acointe,
               Qu’autre acointier
               Empirier
               Me feroit.


                    VII

               Dont le bon recort
               Que de li recort
               Fait qu’a ce m’acort
Que ja ne soie en acort
               D’avoir autre amy.
               Mais en desconfort
               Sans nul reconfort
               De tout mon effort
Vueil pleindre et plourer sa mort,
               En disant einsi:
               “Amis, mi confort,
               Mi joieus deport,
               Ma pais, mi ressort,
Et tuit mi amoureus sort
               Estoient en ty.
               Or ay un remort
               De toy qui me mort
               Et point si tres fort
Que o toy sont tuit mi bien mort
               Et ensevely.


                    VIII

Dous amis, tant fort me dueil,
                    Tant te plaint,
               Tant te complaint
               Le cuer de moy,
Tant ay grief que, par ma foy,
               Tout mal recueil:
               Dont mi oueil
               Que souvent mueil,
               Et cuer estreint,
Viaire pali et taint,
               Garni d’effroy
               Et d’anoy,
               Sans esbanoy
               Moustrent mon dueil.
Dous amis, seur ton sarcueil
               Sont mi plaint
               Et mi complaint.
               La m’esbanoy;
Par pensee la te voy;
               Plus que ne sueil
               La me vueil;
               La sont mi vueil;
               La mes cuers maint.
Le mort pri que la me maint,
               Car la m’ottroy.
               La, ce croy,
               De la mort doy
               Passer le sueil.


                    IX

               La souspire,
               La s’aïre
Mes cuers qui tant a martyre
               Et de mortel peinne
               Et tant de ire,
               Qu’avoir dire
Son mal ne porroit descrire
               Creature humeinne.
               La se empire
               Tire a tire;
La ne fait que fondre et frire;
               La son dueil demeinne;
               La sans rire
               Se martire;
La se mourdrist; la desire
               Qu’il ait mort procheinne.


                    X

Dous amis, tant ay grevence,
               Tant ay grief souffrance,
Tant ay dueil, tant ay pensence,
Quant jamais ne te verray
Que doleur me point et lance
               De si mortel lance
Au cuer qu’en desesperence
Pour toy mes jours fineray.
En toy estoit m’esperance
               Toute et ma fiancé,
Ma joie, ma soustenance.
Lassette! Or perdu les ay.
Bien pert a ma continence
               Et a ma loquence,
Car maniere ne puissance
N’ay, tant me dueil et esmay.


                    XI

               A cuer pensis
Regret et devis
               Ton haut pris
               Que tant pris.
Einsi le couvient.
               Et vis a vis
Te voy, ce m’est vis,
               Dous amis,
               Et toudis
De toy me souvient.
               Mes esperis
Et mes paradis
               Estient mis
               Et assis
En toy; s’apartient
               Que soit fenis
Mes cuers et peris,
               Qu’est chetis
               Et remis,
Quant vie le tient.


                    XII

Amis, je fusse moult lie
S’eüsses cuer plus couart;
Mieux vausist a mon esgart
Que volenté si hardie.
Mais honneur, chevalerie,
Et tes renons qui s’espart
Par le monde en mainte part
Ont fait de nous departie.
Ta mort tant me contralie
Et tant de maus me repart,
Amis, que lie cuers me part.
Mais einsois que je devie,
Humblement mes cuers supplie
Au vray Dieu qu’il nous regart
De si amoureux regart
Qu’en livre soiens de vie.”

Explicit le Lay de Plour

 
Here begins The Lay de Plour

                    I

Whoever loves well forgets slowly,
And the heart that slowly forgets
Is like the fire that burns
But cannot easily be put out.
And whoever suffers an illness
That pleases unwillingly recovers.
In such a state, so God give me help,
Love restrains and commands me,
For Pleasure has me so snared
That the arrow of loving
Will never be drawn out, not even a little,
From my heart, whatever anyone might say,
For it’s been in me so long
That there’s no question of its leaving,
Nor ever, by any art,
Will that wound be healed.


                    II

A huge tree can hardly be
Uprooted without leaving behind
               Some of its roots,
And so in a short time it is seen
Bearing flowers and fruit, its branches
               Growing and spreading.
Surely, it’s the same with love,
For when a heart’s bent on
               A noble love affair,
It can hardly forget its loved one,
Rather, always, through memory
               Inclines toward him.


                    III

For the water flowing down
To the root that remains
Makes it green again and flourish,
               Bearing fruit:
Just the same, my heart, weeping
Bitterly all the time,
Makes my memory grow
               Both day and night.
And this drives me mad;
This covers my face in tears;
This is the reason I cry out;
               True Love
Drives me to it, assaulting me,
And Goodness finds it sweet:
But they cannot enter me,
               And I am destroyed.


                    IV

Reason and Justice,
Pleasure and Nature,
Create by their power
All that lives
Through pure will
To incline toward greater worthiness.
And I console myself,
For, as long as I endure,
I’ll never see
A love so certain,
A goodness so well grown,
Nor so much wisdom.


                    V

And more, it is obvious
That the hearts which loyally
               And without madness
Love with a quite noble love
               Often think
To find a relief that’s better
               And more noble;
For pleasure in its insistence
               Suggests this to them:
Now I know for sure
That my lover, without doubt,
               Was the rightful flower
Of those men with the greatest honor:
               For everyone
Says this everywhere,
               And the best people in fact,
That his alone was complete
               Worthiness.


                    VI

And since there’s none better, more genteel,
None more handsome, so familiar with honor,
               No one,
               To judge truly,
               Should wonder
If I don’t wish to be wounded
By the shaft from another lover.
               I don’t want
               To change this,
               And I’m right;
For my love for him is so implanted, so firm
In my heart it cannot be removed;
               For a heart undivided
               Which cannot
               Be false
Intends that I spur myself on through memory
To never undertake a new love, or meet with one;
               For to take up with some other man
               Would do
               Me harm.


                    VII

               For the beautiful memory
               That recalls him to me
               Makes me determined
Never to agree
               To have another lover;
               Rather in misery,
               With no relief,
               But with all my strength
I intend to lament and weep over his death,
               Saying this:
               “Lover, my comfort,
               My joyous pleasure,
               My peace, my refuge,
And all my loving destiny
               Were in you.
               Oh I’ll have pain again
               To tear at me on your account,
               Wounding me so terribly,
For all my goods died with you
               And were put in the ground.


                    VIII

Sweet love, I grieve so hard;
                    My heart
               Mourns you so much,
               Laments you so much,
My grief’s so great, by my faith,
               I reap all ills;
                    Thus my eyes
               Are very often wet,
               My heart quite anguished,
My face pale, tear-stained,
               Wracked by troubles,
                    And pain,
               Lacking comfort;
               These show my sorrow.
Sweet lover, on your bier
                    Lie my laments,
               And all my weeping;
               There I find pleasure,
Seeing you in my thoughts;
               More than I was wont
                    I wish to be there.
               There lie my desires.
               My heart remains there.
I beg for the death that leads me there.
               For there I offer myself.
                    There, I believe,
               I ought pass over
               Death’s threshold.


                    IX

                    My heart
                    Sighs there
Grows angry there, there suffers martyrdom.
               Feels such deadly pain
                    And so much regret,
                    That to tell the truth
No person alive could even
                    Describe it.
                    There my heart grows worse
                    Without stopping;
There it can only tremble and burst;
               There it manifests grief;
                    There, hardly laughing,
                    It suffers;
There it kills itself; there it wishes for
               A death that’s on its way.


                    X

Sweet lover, my grief’s so great,
               My suffering so terrible,
I feel such pain, worrying so much,
Since I never will see you,
And so sorrow stabs and wounds me
               With such a deadly lance
In the heart that despairing
For you I’ll end my days.
All my hope was in
               You, my trust as well,
My joy, my nourishment.
Sorrowful one! Now I’ve lost them.
It’s readily apparent in my look
               And in my speech,
For I’ve no strength or direction,
So much do I sorrow and grieve.


                    XI

               With a heavy heart
I mourn and recall
                    Your great worthiness
                    Which I prized so much.
It must be so;
               And I see you
Face to face, so I think,
                    Sweet lover,
                    And always
I remember you.
               My soul
And my paradise
               Were placed
               And set
In you; and so it follows
               That my heart
Is finished and done for,
                    For it is wretched
                    And brought to nothing,
While life clings to it.


                    XII

Lover, I would have been quite happy
If you had had more the coward’s heart;
This would have been worth more to me
Than a will so hardy.
But honor, chivalry,
And your renown, spreading
Throughout the world in many places,
Have brought us to an end.
Your death does trouble me so much,
And so much ill comes upon me,
Lover, that the heart goes out of me;
But before I do die,
My heart humbly begs
The True God to look upon us
With such a loving countenance
That in a book we’ll find life.”

Here ends The Lay de Plour

 


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