English translation [LP]
I. Lovely to me is the wild rose when I hear the sweet sound of
pure joy which the birds make anew for the season that has grown green again and
the realms are covered in flowers: yellow and scarlet and green and blue.
Italian translation [lb]
I. Mi piace la rosa selvatica quando sento il dolce suono di pura
gioia che gli uccelli emettono di nuovo per la stagione che torna a verdeggiare
mentre i campi sono coperti di fiori: gialli e vermigli e verdi e azzurri.
Text: Beggiato 1988. – Rialto 30.vi.2014.
Notes: The song most probably dates from the time of the third crusade. Beggiato (p. 106 and pp. 108-112) argues that the ABIKNN2 reading, ·ls reis e l’emperador, points to the kings Philip Augustus and Henry II, before his death on 6 July 1189, or his son Richard the Lionheart, and to the emperor Frederick Barbarossa who died 10 June 1190, therefore to the third crusade launched by Gregory VIII after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187. In this case the song would date from between 1187 and 1189-90. However, according to mss. DEC’s ·l rei e l’emperador, the reference would be to the second crusade and Louis VII and Conrad III who took the cross respectively at Vézelay in March 1146 and in Speyer on 25 December of the same year; in this case the song would have been composed between 1145-1146 when, after the fall of Edessa in 1144, Eugenius III launched the crusade, and 1147 when the two sovereigns left in May and June. Beggiato casts doubt on the earlier time-frame, arguing that troubadour references to crusading at this time are rare, Marcabru’s being focussed on Spain, and the single Old French crusade song Chevalier, mult estes guariz referring to Louis VII but not to the emperor; in addition Conrad III died in 1152 without ever having been crowned emperor. He is therefore strongly inclined to see the song as dating from the period of the third crusade. He also adduces a number of plausible though inconclusive arguments to support the hypothesis that the author may have been Bernart de Venzac. – Line 5: Beggiato (p. 90) translates reynh as ‘campi’, noting other examples of the word in the sense of ‘country, realm, kingdom’ (PD ‘règne, royaume, pays’), and sees the present example as the only attestation of the sense ‘campo, prato’ «qui richiesta dal senso»: «Probabilmente l’hapax, motivato dal rapporto fra contesto e rime (la rima in -enh è piuttosto rara, una quarantina di occorrenze sul totale del corpus presentato dal repertorio del Frank), non `stato compreso nel suo valore semantico ed ha prodotto la difficoltà risolta nei manoscritti della famiglia ε [li ram] a dispetto della rima e più ingegnosamente in R [e son li ram cubert de penh]». But since the poet goes on to mention king(s) and emperor (v. 38), is the well-attested sense really impossible? Hoepffner ‘les campagnes’. – Lines 15-16: the allusion is to a fable of Aesop in which an ass, seeing a dog playing with its master, tried to do the same. For further details see Beggiato, p. 100. – Line 35: Beggiato refers to destrenh as a rare noun, ‘luogo ristretto’, but gives no other example of this and it is not attested in LR, SW or PD; all the examples of destrenh / destreny on COM are verbs. Hoepffner ‘dans leurs serres’. – Line 37: Beggiato (pp. 102-106) links Sancta Maria d’Orien to a church dedicated to the Virgin so named, in Saint-Sernin (now -sur-Rance) in the diocese of Rodez, built by the Hospitallers in the 12th c. – Lines 41-42: for discussion of the variants of these lines see Beggiato’s edition. It is clear that the troubadour is saying that the Turks must be made to acknowledge the supremacy of the Cross (the entressenh), though one might have expected the text to have read on Dieus (as in AB) rather than que Dieus. – Lines 49-50: Beggiato prints peniers, as in the manuscripts, and translates «Non sarà più drudo né drudo si finge (chi) né calamaio né gioia lo rallegra». He notes (pp. 107-108) that the scribes seem to have had some difficulty here and comments that peniers is an «elemento di disturbo», «quasi un hapax e, quindi, meno immediatamente riferibile alla ‘scrittura poetica’ che evoca per metonimia, di quanto potevano esserlo termini come pluma o pena». The presence of an inkpot or a writing-desk does indeed appear rather startling and incongruous in the context. Beggiato goes on to argue that the «incomprensione del termine ha causato una sorta di diffrazione in praesentia dalla quale deriva los pitar, non identificabile, in E ed il ricorso alla ripetizione del verso 48 in R. Si potrebbe proporre l’integrazione-correzione qui·l peniers... dando, in tal modo, alla tornada senso oggetivo ed un tono sentenzioso non estraneo al testo». However, the sense becomes clearer and much more satisfactory if one supposes peniers to be a scribal error for paniers at an earlier stage of transmission. Paniers can designate the person who is in charge of bread at a meal (SW, VI, 47, 4 ‘Brotverwalter, Brotaustheiler’), which takes us back to the theme of the adulterous married men who take the «bread» that does not belong to them (24); it may also relate to the idea of base men having control over other, financial, resources (35); and finally through wordplay it suggests the idea of fraud (SW, VI, 47, 5 ‘faire panier (paniers) ‘betrügen, beschummelm’) or theft (panar, SW, VI, 42 ‘voler, dérober’). This then requires no pleading to explain the switch from first to third person in stanzas VIII-IX.