Folquet de Lunel










Al bon rei qu’es reis de pretz car,



reis de Castela e de Leo,



reis d’aculhir e reis d’onrar,



reis de rendre bon guiardo,



reis de valor e reis de cortezia,



reis a cui platz jois e solatz tot l’an,



qui vol saber de far bos faitz s’en an,



qu’en luec del mon tan be no·ls apenria.









Quar el ten cort on fadiar



no·s pot nulhs hom bos en son do,



e cort ses tolr’e ses forsar,



e cort on escot’om razo:



cort ses erguelh e cort ses vilania,



e cort on a cent donadors que fan



d’aitan ricx dos, mantas vetz, ses deman,



cum de tals reis, qu’ieu sai, qui·l lor queria.









Mais un rei no·l sai contrapar



de largueza, s’agues tan bo



poder, cum elh a, de donar:



so es lo francx reis d’Arago,



qu’a tan son cor en valor, qu’elh faria



pauc tot lo mon, a complir lo talan



qu’a en donar; e dari’atretan



cum hom del mon don Peire, s’o avia.









Mas d’aisso·m fan meravilhar



l’Eligidor, qu’eligit so,



que puescon emperador far,



cum no·l meto en tenezo



de l’emperi, selh a cuy tanheria:



lo valen rei n’Anfos, qu’a pretz prezan;



qu’om del mon miels non tenc cort ab boban



creissen de pretz e d’onor tota via.









Qu’entre·ls lombartz auzi contar



que l’alaman e·l bramanso



e·l roman, ses tot contrastar,



volon a lui la lectio



de l’emperi; e Milan e Pavia,



Cremona ez Ast e ginoes an gran



cor que·l bon rei castelan recebran



a gran honor, si ven en Lombardia.









E qui·l papa pogues citar



a major de se, fora bo,



quar del rei n’Anfos no vol far,



e del rei Carle, bon perdo;



e qu’om rendes n’Enric, qu’ora seria,



e l’emperi non estes pus vacan,



e pueis, ab totz los reis que baptism’an,



anes venjar Jhezu Crist en Suria.









Reis castelas, vostra valor se tria



part las valors que tug l’autre rei an,



e mielhs sabetz gardar home de dan,



que venh’a vos, qu’autre reis qu’el mun sia.









Mon sirventesc, Bernat, leu, ses fadia,



en Castela portatz, a don Ferran;



e digatz li que·s tenh’ades denan



qui es ni d’on, e fara bona via.



English translation [LP]

I. To the good King who is King of distinguished reputation, King of Castile and León, King of hospitality and king of graciousness, King of granting good rewards, King of worth and king of courtliness, King perpetually delighting in joy and sociability: let anyone who wants to know how to perform good deeds go to him, for nowhere in the world could he learn these so well.
II. He holds a court where no gentleman can wait in vain for his gift, a court without extortion or violence, a court where people listen to reason: a court without pride and a court without baseness, a court where there are a hundred donors who often make unsolicited gifts as rich as solicited ones from certain kings I know.
III. I know but one king who would equal him in munificence, if he had the same possibility of giving as he has: namely, the noble King of Aragon, who so devotes himself to worth as to dwarf everyone else in satisfying his desire to give; and Lord Pere would give as much as any man in the world, if he had it.
IV. But I am amazed that the Electors, who are elected so that they can appoint the emperor, do not grant possession of the Empire to the appropriate person: the worthy King Alfonso, who has outstanding merit: for no man in the world has better held court with a splendour continually increasing in merit and honour.
V. Indeed, I have heard it said among the Lombards that the Germans, Brabantines and Romans unanimously support his election to the Empire; and Milan and Pavia, Cremona and Asti and the Genoese are eager to receive the good Castilian King with great honour, if he comes to Lombardy.
VI. And if anyone could summon the Pope to appear before a superior authority this would be a good thing, for he is unwilling to come to a good agreement with respect to King Alfonso and King Charles; and [it would be good] if Lord Enrique were liberated, for would be the right time, and if the Empire were no longer vacant, and then, along with all the kings who are baptised, he were to go to avenge Jesus Christ in Syria.
VII. Castilian King, your worth distinguishes itself above the worthy qualities that all the other kings possess, and you know how to preserve from harm any man who turns to you, better than any other king in the world.
VIII. Bernat, bear my sirventes quickly and tirelessly to Castile, to Lord Fernando; and tell him that he should always be mindful of who he is and from where he comes, and he will stay on the right path.




Text: Tavani 2004 (with modifications). – Rialto 29.xi.2012.

Notes: Tavani date the sirventes from 1272-1273. The list of Alfonso X’s supporters in his claim to the imperial throne (vv. 33-40) suggests the period after 1271, when the Marquis Guglielmo V of Monferrat and the communes of Pavia, Parma, Piacenza, Tortona, Novara and Lodi allied with the Ghibellines of Milan in 1271, and in the following year with Genoa, in support of Alfonso I of Castile’s candidature for the position of Holy Roman Emperor. The following stanza refers to Pope Gregory X’s refusal to acknowledge Alfonso’s claims to a Castilian delegation on 16 September 1272. The piece cannot be later than 1 October 1273, when Rudolf of Habsburg was elected Holy Roman Emperor. The allusion in v. 40 to a possible visit to Italy by the King offers a further chronological indication, since Guglielmo had been pressing him to come at the beginning of 1273. – The King of Aragon (v. 20) is Jaume I the Conqueror; Lord Pere (v. 24), Jaume’s son who would later become King Pere III el Gran of Aragon; the Pope (v. 41), Teobaldi Visconti, elected Gregory X in September 1271; King Charles, Charles of Anjou, King of Sicily; Lord Enrique (v. 45), Enrique of Castile, captured by Charles at the battle of Tagliacozzo on 23 August 1268; and Lord Fernando (v. 54), Fernando de la Cerda, eldest son of Alfonso X of Castile and heir to the throne, born 1255, who pre-deceased his father in 1275.

[LP, lb]


BdT    Folquet de Lunel

Songs referring to the crusades