French translation [RA/GG]
I. Quand je me propose de chanter, je gémis et je
pleure de ce que je vois arriver, car peu s’en faut que je ne meure
de douleur lorsqu’en mon cœur je songe et réfléchis à la perte et au
grand dommage qu’ont subis courtoisie et divertissement : si vous
vous mêlez de service d’amour ou si vous vous donnez de
l’allégresse, on dira que vous êtes fou prouvé, à moins que vous ne
renonciez à toute joie.
English translation [LP]
I. When I think to sing I lament and weep for what I
see happening, and almost die of grief when I reflect and ponder in
my heart on the loss and huge damage suffered by courtliness and
good company; for if you involve yourself in service or make
yourself happy, people say you are a proven fool unless you abandon
Italian translation [lb]
I. Quando penso di cantare, gemo e piango per quello
che vedo accadere, e poco manca che muoia di dolore quando nel mio
cuore penso e rifletto alla perdita e al grande danno che hanno
subito la cortesia e la buona compagnia; se v’implicate nel servizio
d’amore o se vivete nell’allegria diranno che siete un pazzo
completo, a meno che non rinunciate ad ogni gioia.
Text: Arveiller-Gouiran 1987. – Rialto 16.ix.2013.
Mss.: C 229r, M 238v, R 52v, T 183v, c 18r, and containing stanza IV only, P 62r, Q 50v, Sg 95r.
Critical editions: Emil Levy, Guilhem Figueira, ein provenzalischer Troubadour, Berlin 1880, p. 71 (mss. MTc); Rudolph Zenker, Die Gedichte des Folquet von Romans, Halle 1896, p. 59 (excluding mss. PQ); Adolf Kolsen, Zwei provenzalische Sirventese nebst einer Anzahl Einzelstrophen, Halle 1919, p. 14 (st. IV only); Raymond Arveiller and Gérard Gouiran, L’œuvre poétique de Falquet de Romans, troubadour, Aix-en-Provence 1987, p. 88 (French translation).
Other editions: François-Juste-Marie Raynouard, Choix des poésies originales des troubadours, 6 voll., Paris 1816-1821, vol. IV, p. 128 (stanzas I, V, VII, VIII); Carl August Friedrich Mahn, Die Werke des Troubadours in provenzalischer Sprache, 4 voll., Berlin 1846-1853, vol. III, p. 106; Vincenzo de Bartholomaeis, Poesie provenzali storiche relative all’Italia, 2 voll., Roma 1931, vol. II, p. 86 (text Zenker, Italian translation); Gerardo Larghi, Rialto 18.xii.2009 [www.rialto.unina.it/FqRom/156.11(Larghi).htm].
Versification: a8 b8 a8 b8 c6’ d8 d8 c6’ d8 d8 (Frank 424:4), -or, -ir, -atge, -atz; six coblas unissonans and two five-line tornadas. This is one of 11 pieces with identical versification and rhyme-endings, apparently deriving ultimately from BdT 242.51, a canso of Giraut de Borneil.
Notes: The sirventes was composed after Frederick II Hohenstaufen was crowned emperor on 22 November 1220 and before he set out for the Holy Land on 28 June 1228 (vv. 41-42), and most probably between March 1227 and June 1228. – The material contained in the different mss. is as follows:
As Arveiller-Gouiran suggest (p. 97, note), there appear to be two main versions of the song. The (P)Tc version is the basis for their edition, containing the second tornada (stanza VIII) and reading si com fai prior (-s P) et (e P) abaz (Ansi com peior abatç T) in v. 40 (stanza IV). The majority version of that line instead gives si cum fan Lombart poestatz, a historically interesting reference providing further information on dating. – The majority version (CMRQSg) is the basis for Larghi’s edition on Rialto which, questionably, includes stanza VI and the second tornada, both of which are absent from that side of the tradition. Arveiller-Gouiran explain the postulated double edition as follows: «en effet, si la comparaison avec les Lombards était intéressante pour un public occitan, elle n’offrait assurément rien de neuf au public d’Italie du Nord. De plus, la comparaison de PTc paraît plus exacte: si les podestatz ne sont élus, en principe, que pour un an, il n’en va pas de même pour les prieurs et les abbés, qui, comme Falquet souhaitait qu’on fît pour les malvatz rics, peuvent être déposés en cas d’indignité». (For the yearly change of podestà see David Abulafia, Frederick II: a Medieval Emperor, London 1988, p. 156). Accepting the double version hypothesis Larghi («Poesia, politica e podestà in Provenza», Comunicazione e propaganda nei secoli XII e XIII. Atti del convegno internazionale (Messina, 24-26 maggio 2007), ed. R. Castano, F. Latella and T. Sorrenti, Rome 2007, pp. 397-411, on p. 408) suggests that the song was first diffused in Provence and then modified and transmitted to Liguria to Othon del Carret, podestà in Genoa from 1194. While this is plausible, it is not out of the question that Falquet first composed the (P)Tc version with the intention of sending it to Italy in response to news from there, and then (perhaps virtually simultaneously) adapted it to a local Provençal audience. – The second tornada clearly shows that the (P)Tc version was composed in Provence, and if one accepts Arveiller-Gouiran’s argument that the reference to the Lombards in v. 40 of the majority version would be of interest in Provence but not in Italy, then it seems confirmed that the majority version must also have been composed in Provence. – Larghi argues on the basis of the song’s political content, and particularly of v. 40 in the majority reading, that the piece was conceived in 1225-1226, immediately after the spread of measures taken by the Emperor to limit the autonomy of the Provençal communes (see his more detailed discussion in his «Poesia», especially his conclusions on p. 408). If De Bartholomaeis is correct in stating that Falquet returned to Provence in March 1226 («Poesia», p. 90) then this would exclude 1225. However, the evidence for this is not apparent: the only reference he cites is Zenker, p. 71, which bears no relation to this sirventes or date; in fact on p. 30 Zenker states that after 1220 or perhaps 1221 Falquet was no longer in Italy but in France. De Bartholomaeis’s claim has sown some confusion. Larghi (commentary to his version of BdT 156.2 on Rialto) says BdT 156.11 proves Falquet was back in Provence in 1226; Arveiller-Gouiran, p. 85 (and compare pp. 6 and 59) date the piece to between March 1226 and 28 June 1228, but in the discussion of BdT 156.12 (p. 99) have their doubts (De Bartholomaeis «précise, peut-être imprudemment, le terminus a quo, mars 1226, date du retour de Falquet en Provence»). – I suspect that the identification of March 1226 as a time when Falquet was clearly back in Provence is a mistake originating with De Bartholomaeis. The significant event of that month from the Emperor’s point of view was a meeting in Mantua of representatives from Milan, Brescia, Mantua, Padua, Treviso and Bologna to discuss Frederick’s proclamation of the Diet of Cremona, which the Emperor had called for Easter 1226 primarily to discuss his forthcoming crusade. At Mantua the cities acted immediately to re-form the rebellious Lombard League. In late March, through the conciliation of Pope Honorius III, the cities accepted terms. Abulafia (pp. 154-164) explains these events in terms of Honorius’s policy of conciliation and co-operation, especially with the new Emperor, which the Pope saw as the road to peace in Europe and the best hope for the crusade. With Honorius’s death in 1227 «there ended a golden era in papal-imperial collaboration» (p. 162). The new pope, Gregory IX, immediately adopted an antagonistic approach to Frederick which led to the Emperor’s excommunication in September 1227, when Frederick set out for the East but had to turn back because of illness. The outbreak of papal-imperial hostilities dates from this time, and it is the evocation of these hostilities in vv. 13-17 of the present piece, combined with the evidence that it was composed in Provence, that shows that Falquet was back there in late 1227 rather than the red herring of March 1226. I would therefore date the piece to between mid-March 1227 (the death of Honorius and accession of Gregory IX) and Frederick’s departure for the Holy Land on 28 June 1228. – Abulafia (pp. 162-163) observes that the new situation under Gregory IX saw a generation of aggressive propagandists emerging from the University of Naples which Frederick had founded in 1224. It must be wondered to what extent Falquet’s pieces in support of Frederick’s crusade, particularly BdT 156.11 and BdT 156.12, are part of a propaganda drive directed by the Emperor himself. – Lines 13-16: the allusion here is likely to target Pope Gregory IX, who unlike his predecessor Honorius III had adopted a confrontational attitude towards the Emperor (see Abulafia, Frederick II, pp. 164-167). – Lines 18-19: Arveiller-Gouiran (p. 96) understand al primer passage to refer to the Fourth Crusade (which had been suggested by De Bartholomaeis, Poesie, II, p. 87, «il primo passaggio è forse non la prima crociata, secondo che qualche critico ha opinato, bensì la crociata precedente, cioè la quarta), and translate «je voudrais avoir fait le voyage d’outremer lors de la première traversée». Larghi, however, is surely right to follow Gianfelice Peron, «Temi e motivi politico-religiosi della poesia trobadorica in Italia prima metà del Duecento», Storia e cultura a Padova nell’età di sant’Antonio. Convegno internazionale di studi, 1-4 ottobre 1981 Padova-Monselice, Padova 1985, pp. 255-299, on p. 278, who argues that if we take esser passatz as a passive present infinitive with the sense of ‘to be transported, to be taken overseas’ (for passar ‘to transport’ see LR, IV, 442 and SW, VI, 119-120, 17), rather than as the facilior active past infinitive, the reference would indicate the forthcoming rather a past crusade. Peron notes that the formula is analogous to those such as in primo passagio meaning «alla prossima crociata» in contemporary documents concerning crusading recruitment, which he cites in n. 57. Moreover it is implausible that in the 1220s Falquet would be saying he wished he had been on the Fourth Crusade and at the sack of Constantinople as part of an expedition which never even reached «the land where God chose to die». – Line 43: this line may allude to the fact that Frederick had set out from Brindisi in September 1227 but had had to turn back because of genuine illness – a reason ignored by Gregory IX who excommunicated him without even admitting into his presence the ambassadors who had arrived to explain the delay. Falquet appears to look forward to the Emperor’s departure once (now that?) he has recovered his health. – Lines 64-65: Larghi, hom dira vos etz coronatz / de pretz sobre totz e renhatz, = «people will say you are crowned with worth and reign over all».