Text: Gaunt, Harvey and Paterson 2000 (V). – Rialto 14.xii.2004.
Mss.: A 32v-33r (Marcabruns), I (120r) Marcabrus, K (106r) Marcabrus, a1 (307-308) Marchabrus, d (307r) Marcabrus.
Critical editions: Jean-Marie-Lucien Dejeanne, Poésies complètes du troubadour Marcabru, Toulouse 1909, p. 57; Simon Gaunt, Ruth Harvey and Linda Paterson, Marcabru: A Critical Edition, Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 2000, p. 90.
Versification: a7’ a7’ b7’ b7’ c7’ a7’ (Frank 157:1 unicum). Nine coblas unissonans, with a two-line tornada. However, as the poem survives in the manuscripts, its versification is not regular: in lines 23, 28 and 55 all the Mss. agree on readings that make the rhyme sounds technically ‘incorrect’. In addition rhyme words are repeated in lines 15/40, 16/46, 26/36 and 54/56 (this last in the tornada). The agreement of all the Mss. on these points suggests Marcabru was less than rigorous about form in this poem and that the readings at the rhyme in these lines are therefore acceptable despite evidence for archetype errors in this poem’s transmission.
Notes: Base of the text:A. The Mss. are relatively uniform. In some respects a1 would be an interesting base Ms. as it appears to be a careless copy of a superior text: it is the only Ms. to preserve line 52 and several points of detail either are or suggest better readings that those preserved in the other Mss.. On the other hand, the frequent errors in a1 would require a large number of corrections. A’s text is more or less error-free, yet without obvious facilior readings, so A is the obvious choice for base. – The identification of Desirat with Sancho III of Castile leads Roncaglia (Aurelio Roncaglia, «Trobar clus: discussione aperta», Cultura neolatina 29, 1969, pp. 1-55, on pp. 21-26) to suggest this poem was composed to celebrate the engagement of Sancho (still a child) to the similarly juvenile Blanca of Navarre; according to Roncaglia’s sources, the engagement took place on 25 October 1140. Compare, however, Reilly (B. F. Reilly, The Kingdom of León-Castilla under King Alfonso VII, 1126-1157, Philadelphia, 1998, p. 67) on the betrothal of Garcia IV Ramirez to Alfonso VII’s illegitimate daughter, Urraca, on 25 October 1140; pp. 110 and 112 on the betrothal negotiations of Sancho to Blanca between Easter 1150 and January 1151. Roncaglia’s dating, which is accepted by Alvar (Carlos Alvar, La poesía trovadoresca en España y Portugal Barcelona 1977, pp. 32-35), is at best merely plausible, since the evidence is circumstantial and since Sancho may not have been his parents’ only child (see B. F. Reilly,The Contest of Christian and Muslim Spain (1031-1157), Oxford–Cambridge MA., 1992, pp. 197 and 199 and Reilly, Kingdom, p. 27). Alvar’s discussion includes an exposition of Menendez Pidal’s view that El poema de mío Cid was composed for the same engagement celebrations, which would indicate a connection between the author of the Cid and Marcabru. However, this hypothesis is now widely discredited. – Interest has focused on the meaning and interpretation of the last stanza and tornada, deemed by many scholars to be resonant with Biblical and Christian imagery: the gentil aire and luoc of lines 50-51 are taken to represent the hortus conclusus of the Song of Songs, and Desirat Christ. Roncaglia, however, questions this interpretation, identifying Desirat with Sancho III of Castile who was referred to in Latin texts as desiderabilis Sancius because he was born (not before 1133) so long after his parents’ wedding in 1128.