Text: Gaunt, Harvey and Paterson 2000 (XXXIII). – Rialto 29.xi.2002.
Ms.: A (28v-29r), C (177r-v), E (154), I (117v), K (103r-v), R (5v), d (303v).
Previous editions: Jean-Marie-Lucien Dejeanne, Poésies complètes du troubadour Marcabru, Toulouse 1909, p. 159 (XXXIII); Aurelio Roncaglia, «Lo vers comens quan vei del fau», Cultura neolatina, 11, 1951, pp. 25-48; Aurelio Roncaglia, Principi e applicazione di critica testuale (Anno accademico 1974-75), Roma 1975, pp. 148-58; Simon Gaunt, Ruth Harvey and Linda Paterson, Marcabru: A Critical Edition, Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 2000, p. 415.
Versification: 8a 8b 8a 4b 8a 4b (Frank 223:4); nine coblas unissonans.
Note: Critical discussion of this song has concentrated mainly on the implications of Marcabru’s claim to trobar naturau. We see this poem as a moralising song which makes two references to what would have been soft targets for a Poitevin audience: a commonplace «venal Rome» (line 15) and the ever-troublesome Angevin neighbours (lines 41-42). The honourable exception made of Poitou (lines 23-24) is an indication that this piece was probably composed before Duke William X’s death in 1137. The backhanded compliment to the Angevins’ «fighting spirit» might suggest that the latter had recently been involved in combat (possibly the ill-documented revolt of 1130, or perhaps the beginning of the 1135 campaign in Normandy in which William X fought alongside Geoffrey V), but we do not believe that the song can be precisely dated.