English translation [LP]
I. Sorrowfully I begin the lament in a
vers which brings grief to my heart; I feel sorrow and grief and sadness,
for I see Youth in decline: Wickedness rises and Joy dwindles now that the
Poitevin has died.
Italian translation [lb]
I. Comincio tristemente il compianto per
mezzo di un vers che mi fa il cuore dolente; provo dolore e pena e
tristezza, perché vedo la Gioventù in declino: l’Iniquità cresce e la Gioia
diminuisce ora che il Pittavino è morto.
Text: Tortoreto 1981. – Rialto 1.ix.2015.
Ms.: a1 369 (Sercamonz).
Critical editions: Jean-Marie-Lucien Dejeanne, «Le troubadour Cercamon», Annales du Midi, 17, 1905, pp. 27-62, p. 55; Alfred Jeanroy, Les poésies du troubadour Cercamon, Paris, 1922, p. 19; Valeria Tortoreto, Il trovatore Cercamon, Modena, 1981, p. 182; George Wolf and Roy Rosenstein, The Poetry of Cercamon and Jaufre Rudel, London, 1983, p. 32; Luciano Rossi, Cercamon: oeuvre poétique, Paris, 2009, p. 170.
Other editions: Giulio Bertoni, «Rime provenzali inedite», Studj di filología romanza, 8, 1901, p. 425 (diplomatic edition); Raymond T. Hill and Thomas G. Bergin, Anthology of the Provençal Troubadours, New Haven, 1941, p. 13 (2nd edition 1973, p. 29); Galileo Gentile, Antichi testi provenzali, Genova, 1947, p. 88; Francesco Piccolo, Primavera e fiore della lirica provenzale, Firenze, 1948, p. 12; Martín de Riquer, La lírica de los trovadores: antología comentada, Barcelona, 1948, p. 90; Los trovadores: historia literaria y textos, 3 voll., Barcelona, 1975, vol. I, p. 233.
Versification: a8 a8 a8 a8 a8 b8 (Frank 17:2); a: -en, -au, -anh, -am, -ic, -iu, -eis, -es, -o; b: -is; 9 coblas singulars. Richard the Lionheart’s song Ja nus hons pris ne diroit sa raison (RS 1891 = BdT 420.2) has the same rhyme-scheme and the ‘b’ rhyme in -is, with line lengths of 10 and 6: see Charmaine Lee’s edition on www.warwick.ac.uk/crusadelyrics/texts/of/rs1891.
Notes: The planh was composed in honour of Duke William X of Aquitaine, VIII Count of Poitou, who died suddenly on 9 April 1137 during a journey to Santiago de Compostela. His death was followed in July by the wedding of his daughter Eleanor of Aquitaine to the future Louis VII, whom William had designated as his heir. A few days later Louis’ effective rule of France began, and through his marriage he temporarily extended the Capetian lands to the Pyrenees. William had been patron to the troubadours Cercamon, Marcabru and a certain Guillelmi with whom Cercamon exchanged a tenso (BdT 112.1, see Ruth Harvey and Linda Paterson, The Troubadour Tensos and Partimens: A Critical Edition, 3 voll., Cambridge, 2010, vol. I, p. 246). Both planh and tenso bear witness to the anxieties provoked by the loss of a patron and the change of regime. – Line 9: the identity of the Barrau is uncertain: see Tortoreto’s note on p. 187. – Line 11: Tortoreto ‘il nobile di cui faccio menzione’, but see PD ‘vanter, célébrer’ and SW, V, 202, 2 ‘rühmend nennen, verkünden, preisen, rühmen’. – Line 18: Tortoreto ‘erano soliti varcare i confini del’. – Line 32: Dejeanne ‘vous avez perdu la suprématie’, Tortoreto ‘avete perso il Signore’, but see Marcabru, BdT 293.22, 55-57 Mas Franssa Peitau e Beiriu / aclin’a un sol seignoriu, / veign’a Dieu sai son fieu servir! (‘Since France subjects Poitou and Berry to a single jurisdiction, let him come here to God to earn his fief!’; Simon Gaunt, Ruth Harvey and Linda Paterson, Marcabru: a Critical Edition, Woodbridge, 2000, p. 312 and the note on p. 318). – Line 36: n’Anfos may refer to King Alfonso VIII of Castile and León, or else Count Alfons Jordan of Toulouse: see Tortoreto’s note on p. 192. – Lines 37-42: we take lo reis in v. 38 to refer to Louis VI and the creis in 39 to his son and heir, the future Louis VII: ‘Normans and French mourn for him (the dead William X), and the king (Louis VI) and his offspring (the future Louis VII) to whom he (William X) left the land certainly ought to mourn for him (William X); since he (William X) enlarges his (the future Louis VII’s) great domain so much for him, it will not look well if he (the future Louis VII) is not seen to ride against the Saracens. – Dejeanne (also Jeanroy) corrects to honors (v. 40) which he takes as the subject of creis: ‘Puisque son domaine s’accroît si grandement’. Rossi retains honor but translates as Dejeanne. Tortoreto ‘poiché tanto grande feudo gli accresce’ («honor del ms. va inteso come accusativo retto da creis nel senso attivo di “accrescere”»), though she does not spell out who is the subject of creis. As Marcabru in BdT 293.22, Cercamon is saying that at a time when there is a window of opportunity for everyone to join together to fight the Saracens in Spain, the new lord has to crusade there if he is any good – if only because he is now heir to earlier crusaders like William IX, his new subjects, ‘Gascons’, are repopulating lands reconquered from Moors, and his new lands have been involved in the crusades before (see Ruth Harvey, «À propos de la date de la première “chanson de croisade”: Emperaire, per mi mezeis de Marcabru (PC 292.22)», Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, 42, 1999, pp. 55-60). – Lines 43-44: Rossi (pp. 209-210) suggests that Limosi refers to to Viscount Aimar III of Limoges, who had been taken prisoner two years earlier by Eble II, and Engolmes to William Taillefer, son of Count Vulgrin of Angoulême. – Line 49: Aunis (in the present-day Poitou-Charente region) was part of the Poitevin domains: see Jane Martindale, «Cavalaria et orgueill», in Christopher Harper-Bill and Ruth Harvey, The Ideals and Practice of Medieval Knighthood. 2, Papers from the third Strawberry Hill conference, Woodbridge, 1988, pp. 87-116, pp. 95 and 100. – Line 52: those of ‘Spain and Aragon’ must be the Gascon settlers in those lands: see the note to v. 40. – Lines 53-54: William was buried in front of the altar of the cathedral of Santiago: see The ecclesiastical history of Orderic Vitalis, ed. and transl. by Marjorie Chibnall, 6 voll., Oxford, 1969-1980, VI, xiii, § 30.