Gaucelm Faidit








Ara nos sia guitz


lo vers dieus Iesu Cristz,


car de franca gen gaia


soi per Lui partitz,


on ai estat noiritz


et onratz e grazitz;


per so·l prec no·ill desplaia


s’ieu m’en vauc marritz.


A! gentils lemozis,


el vostr’onrat pais


lais de bella paria


seignors e vezis


e domnas ab pretz fis,


pros, de gran cortesia,


don planc e languis


e sospir nueg e dia.






Mas cals que sia·l critz


del remaner auzitz,


ia negus bes qu’eu aia


ni rics locs aizitz


no·m tenra ni conquistz,


s’avia·ls votz complitz,


c’apres calenda maia


non sia garnitz


del torn, si Dieus l’aizis;


e, s’a Lui platz ma fis


en leial romeria,


lo tot li grazis:


per o mans ions, aclis


vir vas sa seignoria,


que·ls portz e·ls camis


nos endres vas Suria.






Onratz es e grazitz


cui Dieus non es faillitz,


que Dieus vol e asaia


los pros e·ls arditz


et aquels a cauzitz


e laissa los aunitz


e l’avol gen savaia,


per cui es traitz.


A! caitiu mal assis,


vos eis vos es ausis,


c’avers e manentia


vos tol paravis,


c’avar es e resis


tan c’us far no poiria


c’a Dieu abellis,


per que Dieus vos desfia.






Oimais es Antecristz


al dan del mon issitz,


que totz lo bes s’esmaia


e·l mals es saillitz,


que·ls fals prims a sazitz


e pres et endormitz


el pecat que·ls esglaia


e·ls ten mornz e tritz;


que·l reis cui es Paris


vol mais a San Daunis


o lai en Normandia




que tot can Safadis


a ni ten en baillia;


don pot esser fis


c’aissi com deura sia.






Er laissem los guerpitz


remazutz escarnitz


et ab obra veraia


de bona razitz


sia per nos servitz


lo vers Sanz Esperitz,


cui preguem que·ns atraia


ab faitz afortitz


al dan dels sarrazis,


si qu’en sia conquis


lo sanz locs e la via


fass’als peleris,


que nos tolc Saladis,


don la Verge Maria,


cui Dieus benezis,


nos sia garentia.






Bels dous Maracdes fis,


vos e·ls pros peitavis


sal Dieus e na Maria,


qu’a bon pretz conquis,


e ma domna Elis


sapcha be ses bausia


qu’eu li sui aclis


on qu’eu an ni estia.


English translation [LP]

I. Now may the true God Jesus Christ be our guide, since for Him I have left noble, joyful people among whom I have been brought up, honoured and appreciated; so I beg Him not to be displeased if I go away in sadness. Ah! you noble Limousins, in your honoured land I leave lords and neighbours who are fine companions, and ladies of refined merit, excellent, of great courtliness, and this makes me lament and languish and sigh night and day.
II. But whatever appeal to stay behind is heard, no riches I might have, nor any noble pleasant place, nor gain, will ever stop me, if I have fulfilled my vows, from being ready to return after the start of May, if God allows it; but, if my death on a loyal pilgrimage pleases Him, I thank Him for everything: so with hands joined together in submission I turn towards his sovereignty, so that He may make ready for us the ports and paths to Syria.
III. Honoured and rewarded is the One whom God does not forsake, for God desires and tests the brave and the bold, and has chosen these and abandons the unworthy and the base, wicked people by whom He is betrayed. Ah! unlucky wretches, you yourselves are the cause of your own death, for wealth and riches deprive you of Paradise, as you are greedy and feeble to the point of not one of you being able to do what is pleasing to God: so God disowns you.
IV. From today Antichrist has come forth to the detriment of the world, so that goodness is dismayed and wickedness has sprung up, so that it has seized the so-called able people, imprisoned them and sent them to sleep in sin which makes them full of fearfulness and keeps them gloomy and despondent; for the king who owns Paris prefers to gain silver coins in Saint Denis or over there in Normandy rather than all that Safadin has or holds in his power; so he can be sure that things will be as they should.
V. Now let us leave the abandoned ones who stay behind in shame, and may the true Holy Spirit be served by us with sincere works that stem from goodness; to Him we pray that He may draw us there with valorous deeds to harm the Saracens, so that the holy place is conquered and access restored to the pilgrims, which Saladin took from us, and may the Virgin Mary, blessed of God, be our protector.
VI. Fair sweet precious Emerald, may God save you and the brave Poitevins, and lady Maria who has won noble worth, and may my lady Elis know well and truly that I am her subject wherever I go or stay.




Text: Walter Meliga, Rialto 21.xi.2014.

Notes: The song is likely to have been composed either in the summer of 1201 or, more probably, that of 1202, in the light of precise historical references in stanza IV. The money which the king of France Philip Augustus prefers to collect at Saint Denis and in Normandy (vv. 57-60) rather than setting out for the Holy Land (vv. 61-62) is that provided for in the treaty of Goulet arranged with King John of England on 22 May 1200; the treaty was followed by a visit by the English king on 31 May 1201, who was received at Saint Denis (v. 58) and in Paris; the mention of Normandy (v. 59) may refer to the region where Goulet was situated or, more probably, to the invasion unleashed by Philip in May 1202 following the judgment depriving the Plantagenets of their continental possessions. – Line 61: Safadis is Saïf-al-Din, brother of Saladin (evoked in v. 77) and sultan of Syria and Egypt after 1200-1201 until his death in 1218. – Line 77: the allusion is to the Muslim reconquest of Jerusalem in 1187. – Line 81: Maracdes is a senhal (pseudonym) for Hugh IX of Lusignan († 1219) or his son Hugh X († 1249). – Line 83, na Maria: Maria de Turenne, wife of Eble V of Ventadorn, a famous lady celebrated by Gaucelm and other troubadours and a poet herself. – Line 85: Elis de Montfort, sister of Maria de Ventadorn and wife of Bernard de Cazenac, lord of Montfort in the Périgord.

[LP, lb]

BdT    Gaucelm Faidit    167.9

Songs referring to the crusades