Text: Gaunt, Harvey and Paterson 2000 (XL). – Rialto 14.xii.2004.
Mss.: A (30r) marcabruns, C (58v) B’nat de uentedorn (C Reg. Bernat de uentadorn), E (106v) bernart deuentadorn, I (118r) Marcabrus, K (104r) Marcabrus, d (304v) Marcabrus.
Critical editions: Jean-Marie-Lucien Dejeanne, Poésies complètes du troubadour Marcabru, Toulouse 1909, p. 196; Deborah Nelson, «Marcabru Prophet of fin’amor», Studies in Philology 79, 1982, pp. 227-241; Simon Gaunt, Ruth Harvey and Linda Paterson, Marcabru: A Critical Edition, Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 2000, p. 503.
Versification: Stanzas I-II: a8 b8 a8 b8 c8 c8 d8 (erroneously registered by Frank, as 359:1: a8 b8 a8 b8 c8 c8 a8). Stanzas III-IV : a8 a8 b8 b8 c8 c8 d8 (Frank 167:1). Stanzas V-VI: a8 a8 b8 b8 c8 c8 a8 (not in Frank). Stanza VII: a8 a8 b8 b8 c8 c8 b8 (not in Frank). Seven coblas of which six seem to be a series of coblas doblas with a different rhyme scheme for each pair, followed by one stanza with yet another form and a three-line tornada. The ‘b’ rhyme in stanzas I-II becomes the ‘c’ rhyme in stanzas III-IV; the ‘d’ rhyme in stanzas I-II becomes the ‘c’ rhyme in stanza VII; the ‘c’ rhyme in stanzas I-II becomes the ‘b’ rhyme in stanza VII. The change in rhyme scheme every two stanzas (or even after just the first two stanzas and then the sixth) is unusual, verging on the unique (compare however BdT 394.1 and BdT 323.4). If the poem was originally written in coblas doblas it is also possible that a stanza has been lost, given there is an odd number of stanzas and that Marcabru’s poems using coblas doblas usually have an even number of stanzas (compare BdT 293.24 and BdT 293.44, where it is clear at least one stanza has gone missing; compare also, however, BdT 293.14). The extremely odd form(s) in which this poem has been transmitted, combined with the conflicting attributions, may point to the piece being a composite, that is either parts of two different songs brought together as a result of an accident in transmission (perhaps the opening of a song by Bernart with the end of a song by Marcabru), or the work of more than one poet.
Notes: Base of the text: E. The manuscripts divide into two clear families (CE-AIK): CE attribute the poem to Bernart de Ventadorn and have an extra stanza (followed by a tornada in E); AIK have common errors; CE have a common error. No Ms. is an ideal base, but agreement of CE against AIK common errors suggests that in some crucial respects the CE tradition is superior to AIK, particularly since there is evidence of innovation on the part of A (or his source) and IK’s source. Since C has more isolated errors than E, and a number of suspect isolated readings , E is the obvious choice of base. – Stanza order:
– CE attribute this poem to Bernart de Ventadorn, though it would be stylistically aberrant, to say the least, in his corpus. No modern commentator has taken this attribution seriously and it is noteworthy that in both C and E, BdT 293.40 appears at the end of the Bernart de Ventadorn section along with other poems whose attribution is doubtful. However, it is also noteworthy that there is evidence of faulty transmission in both Ms. families, that the two Mss. that attribute the poem to Bernart have more material than the other Mss., and that some of the poem’s apparent irregularities may suggest a piece that is composite, either by design or accident. Although there are no firm grounds for rejecting stanza VII and the tornada as apocryphal, it is therefore at least possible that their authenticity is questionable. The AIK version of the poem, however, can hardly be viewed as authoritative and although we accept the attribution of this poem to Marcabru, we do not think it is possible to determine what its original form and length may have been. – Scholars have drawn attention to the Biblical or patristic sources for the images in this poem. Notably Errante, (Guido Errante, Marcabru e le fonti dell’antica lirica romanza, Firenze 1948) and Roncaglia (Aurelio Roncaglia, «Trobar clus: discussione aperta», Cultura neolatina 29, 1969, pp. 5-55) highlight parallels between line 16 and Matthew 8.12, 13.42 and 50, and Luke 13.28, and between line 37 and John 1.9 and 8.12; they also point out that the list of sinners in lines 15-28 echoes Corinthians I, 6.9-10. They use such parallels to support their contention that Marcabru’s concept of fin’ amor is a religious ideal and represents the love of God. The Biblical flavour of this poem is undeniable, but the parade of sinners from Corinthians is not mirrored precisely. Such lists would no doubt have been familiar to Marcabru’s audience from sermons, and also possibly law courts, indicating that the Biblical or patristic intertext here is general rather than specific.