Gaucelm Faidit








Chant e deport, ioy, domney e solatz,


essenhamen, larguez’e cortezia,


honor e pretz e lyal drudairia


an si baissat enjans e malvestatz,


qu’a pauc d’ira no·m suy dezesperatz,


quar entre cent domnas ni preyadors


no·n vei una ni un, que be·s captenha


en ben amar, c’az autra part no·s feigna


ni sapcha dir qu’es devengud’amors:


gardatz cum es abayssada valors!






Mas drutz hi a e domnas, si·n parlatz,


que·s fenheran e diran tota via


qu’il son leyal et amon ses bauzia


e chascus d’els es cubertz e celatz,


e tricharan say e lay vas totz latz;


e las domnas, on pus an d’amadors,


et plus cuian qu’om a pretz lur o tenha,


mas aitals bes cum cove lur en venha,


qu’a quascuna es ant’e dezonors,


pus sofr’un drut, que pueys desrey’alhors.






Aissi cum es miels en dona beutatz,


gens aculhirs et avinens cunhdia


e genz parlars, pretz e doussa paria,


aissi deu miels gardar sas voluntatz;


que res no val cor de doas mitatz


ni non es fis, pus i vaira colors:


c’una sola amors tanh la destrenha!


Non dic ieu ges qu’a domna descovenha


s’om la preya ni a entendedors,


mas non deu ges en dos luecs far secors.






Tan quan renhet leyalmen amistaz,


fo·l segles bos e senes vilania;


e pus amors tornet en leujairia,


fo ioys cazutz e iovens abaissatz,


si qu’ieu meteys, si dir vuelh la vertatz,


ai tant apres dels fals drutz trichadors


que non es dregz que iamais en revenha,


car leis on pretz e senz e beutatz renha,


cum si m’agues mal faiz, fugi de cors,


quan m’ac levat et enansat e sors.






E si·l plagues que·l bels plazers honratz,


que·m retengues en leyal senhoria,


s’afranques tan, pus en als s’umilia,


que·m perdones, aisi for’afinatz


ves lieys, cum l’aurs s’afin’en la fornatz,


e no·m nogues paragges ni ricors;


que, s’elha·m tol de mal ni far o denha,


aissi·l serai fis ses fals’entressenha,


cum lo leos a·n Golfier de Las Tors,


quan l’ac estort de sos guerriers peiors.






E s’aquest tortz, dona, ·m fos perdonatz,


passad’agra la mar part Lombardia;


mas non cuich far leialmen romavia,


si no m’era vas vos adreichuratz:


sol per aisso degratz voler la patz,


e car merces es ab vos e honors.


An ma chansos – que res no la retenha! –


preyar vos lai, franchamen, que·us sovenha


qu’a gentil cors tanh franquez’e doussors,


e Dieus perdon’als bos perdonadors.






Na Maria, tant es vostra valors,


q’en vos estai, bona dompna, e reigna,


q’ie·m meravill que nuills cors lo sosteigna;


e chascun iorn creissetz als trobadors


avinens faitz, don crescan las lauzors.



English translation [LP]

I. Deceit and wickedness have so ruined singing and entertainment, joy, love service and sociability, education, largesse and courtliness, honour and merit and loyal gallantry, that I am almost driven to despair by sorrow. Among a hundred ladies and suitors I see not one who behaves well in loving truly, without being [deceitfully] inclined to seek out another or being able to say what love has now become: look how worth has fallen into ruin!
II. But if you speak of this, there are lovers and ladies who will dissimulate and always say that they are loyal and love without duplicity, but each one of them is covert and secretive, and will cheat here, there and everywhere; and the more lovers the ladies have, the more they think this is considered to be to their credit, but may they receive such a benefit from it as is appropriate, because to each one of them it is shameful and dishonourable, after accepting a suitor, then to turn elsewhere.
III. The more there is of beauty in a lady, of gracious welcome and pleasing charm and noble conversation, merit and sweet companionship, the more she should keep a watch over her own desires; for a heart divided in two pieces is worthless, and is not pure, if its colour (semblance) changes: it is right for one love alone to enthrall her! I am not saying that it is unseemly for a lady to be beseeched or to have suitors, but she should certainly not give favours in two places (to two suitors).
IV. For as long as friendship ruled loyally, the world was good and without baseness; but after love turned into frivolity, joy declined and youth was ruined, so that I myself, if I am to tell the truth, have learned so much about the false cheating lovers that it is not right that I should ever recover from it, for I have run away from the one in whom are merit and sense and beauty, as if she had done me harm, when instead she had raised me up and advanced and exalted me.
V. And if it pleased her that the lovely honourable pleasure, which accepted me under her loyal lordship, should grow sweet to the point of pardoning me, since it humbles itself in other ways, and high rank and nobility would not be to my detriment, then I would be purified towards her, just as gold is purified in the furnace; for, if she removes me from harm and deigns to do so, then I shall be pure without any blot of falseness, like the lion was to Golfier de Las Tors, when it saved him from his worst enemies.
VI. And if this wrong, lady, were forgiven me, I should have passed over the sea beyond Italy; but I do not think to make the pilgrimage legitimately, without having set things right with you: for this alone you should desire peace, and [also] because mercy is with you, and honour. May my song go – let nothing detain it! – to beseech you over there, sincerely, to remember that kindness and gentleness become a noble person, and God pardons those who pardon well.
T. Lady Maria, so great is the worth which dwells and lives in you that I marvel that anyone could sustain it; and every day you multiply your pleasing deeds towards the troubadours, thanks to which praises grow.




Text: Giorgio Barachini, Rialto 16.ix.2016.

Note: Gaucelm probably composed this song some time before leaving Venice on crusade in October 1202.

[LP, lb]

BdT    Gaucelm Faidit    167.15

Songs referring to the crusades