Gaucelm Faidit








Del gran golfe de mar


e dels enoios portz


e del perillos far


soi, merce Dieu, estortz;


don posc dir e comdar


qe mainta malananza


i hai suffert e maint turmen.


E pos a Dieu platz q’eu torn m’en


en Limozi ab cor iauzen,


don parti ab pesanza,


lo tornar e l’onranza


li grazisc, pos El m’o cossen.






Ben dei Dieu merceiar,


pos vol qe sanz efortz


puesc’el pais tornar,


un val mais uns paucs d’ortz


qe d’autra terr’estar


rics ab gran benananza.


Qar sol li bel acuillimen


e·il onrat fag e·ll dig plazen


de nostra domna [e]·il prezen




e la douza semblanza


val tot qan autra terra ren.






Ar hai dreg de chantar,


pos vei ioi e deportz,


solatz e domneiar,


qar zo es vostr’acortz.


E la[s] font[z] e·l riu clar


fan m’al cor alegranza,


prat e vergier, qar tot m’es gen,


q’era non dopti mar ni ven


garbi, maïstre ni ponen,


ni manaus no·m balanza


ni no·m fai mais doptansa


galea ni corsier corren.






Qi per Dieu gazaignar


pren d’aitals desconortz,


ni per s’arma salvar,


ben es dregs, non ges tortz.


Mas cel qi per raubar


e per mal’acordanza


vai per mar, un hom tan mal pren,


em pauc d’ora s’aven soven


qe, qan cuj’om pujar, deissen,


si c’ab desesperanza


il laissa tot e ’slanza


l’arm’e·l cor e l’aur e l’argen.



English translation [LP]

I. From the great gulf of the sea, and from the troubles of the ports and from the perilous lighthouse, thanks to God, I have escaped. So I can say and relate that I have endured many hardships there, and many torments. And since it pleases God that I should return with a joyful heart to the Limousin which I left sorrowfully, I thank Him for the return and the honour, since He grants me this.
II. I surely ought to thank God, since he wishes me to return healthy and strong to the country where a certain corner of a garden is worth more than having riches and prosperity from another land. For the fair welcoming words and honourable actions and pleasing conversations of our lady alone, and her gifts of amorous intimacy, and her sweet expression, are worth all that any other land can offer.
III. Now I am right to sing, since I witness joy and merriment, sociability, and the courting of ladies, since this is your good pleasure; and the bright springs and streams, the meadows and orchards bring happiness to my heart, for everything is a delight to me now that I fear neither sea nor Garbin (south-west), Maïstre (south) nor Ponen (west) wind, and my ship doesn’t roll, and I’m no longer terrified by galleys or swift warships.
IV. It is right and certainly not wrong for a man to take on such adversities in order to win God and save his soul. But if anyone with evil intent goes to sea, where one suffers so many torments, in order to rob, it often happens in a short space of time that, when he thinks he’s going up, he’s going down, so that in despair he abandons everything and throws away life and soul and gold and silver.




Text: Giorgio Barachini, Rialto 29.i.2015.

Notes: The song dates from the middle of 1203 or shortly afterwards. Mouzat’s dating to the time of the third crusade is unacceptable: see Barachini’s note and the references there. – Line 3: the ‘perilous lighthouse’ probably refers to the lighthouse at the edge of the narrow straits of Messina. – Line 48: literally ‘soul and heart’: I follow Barachini in seeing ‘heart’ as equivalent to ‘life’.

[LP, lb]

BdT    Gaucelm Faidit    167.19

Songs referring to the crusades