Peire Vidal





Ajostar    e lassar

I know how to join and lace words and music so elegantly that no-one can match me in the art of rich, elaborate composition, when I have a good theme for it. But the lovely one to whom I belong is ill-treating me as if I had wronged or betrayed her. When I saw her she so pierced my fervid heart that I constantly strive after her good, but she does nothing but injure me. She wishes me ill and I know not why, unless it is because I love her more than myself.

sai tan gent motz e so,

que del car    ric trobar

no·m ven hom al talo,


quant n’ai bona razo.

Mas auci    me aissi

la bella de cui so,

cum s’ieu fes mespreizo

vas lieis o tracio.


Quant la vi    si·m feri

mon coratge gloto,

qu’ades poinh el sieu pro,

e no·m fai si mal no.

Mal mi vol e no sai per que,


mas sol quar am lieis mais que me.


Assatz par    que lonhar

It is most apparent that she wished to banish me from her land when she made me go overseas, which is why I reproach her. Yet I am not afraid of this, for I have served her with a faithful heart, to the utmost of my ability, and I had no reward for it other than a small piece of cord. Yet I did – for one morning I entered her house and stole a kiss on her mouth and chin. This I had and no more, and I die utterly if she withholds the rest.

me volc de sa reio,

quan passar    mi fes mar,

per qu’ieu la n’ochaizo.


Mas no·i ai sospeisso,

qu’ieu·l servi    ab cor fi,

tan quan puec a bando,

e no·n aic guizardo,

mas sol d’un pauc cordo.


Si agui,    qu’un mati

intrei dins sa maizo

e·lh baiziei a lairo

la boca e·l mento.

So n’ai agut e no mais re


e sui totz mortz, si·l plus rete.


Sospirar    e plorar

Many a day she makes she makes me sigh and weep, when if it pleased her I would rather be happy and sing; but she has a dragon’s heart, for she speaks harshly to me and she laughs with others nearby, and glares at me like a lion: because of this fault she made me into a pilgrim, and never was a traveller so forced into a pious journey. If truth be told, every man ought to pursue what is good for him before an unkind lord mistreats him.

mi fai manta sazo,

qu’alegrar    e chantar

volgra mais, si·l fos bo;


mas cor a de drago,

qu’a me di    mal e ri

als autres deviro,

e·m fai huelhs de leo:

per aital faillizo


fes de mi    pelegri,

qu’anc romieus d’orazo

mais ta forsatz no fo.

E qui·l ver en despo,

totz hom deu percassar son be,


ans que mals seinhers lo malme.


Abrazar    e cremar

She sets me on fire like burning coal. When I gaze on her I see such brightness in her eyes and face that I cannot be cured if I change or turn aside from loving her. Ah, lords! How love, that vanquished Solomon, David too, and Samson the strong, and kept them in irons, so that there was no ransom until death, holds me captive in its prison; and since it holds me I shall have to remain at its mercy.

mi fai cum fuecs carbo.

Quan l’esgar,    tan vei clar

sos huelhs e sa faisso,


que non sai guerizo,

si·m cambi    ni·m desvi

d’amar liei. Hai baro!

Co·m te en sa preizo

amors, que Salamo,


e Davi    atressi

venquet e·l fort Samso,

e·ls tenc en son grillo,

qu’anc non ac rezemso

tro a la mort; e pus mi te,


ad estar m’er a sa merce.


Esperar    e muzar

She makes me hope and wait in vain like a Breton, for I never questioned whether I should love or honour her. Rather, God forgive me, I abandoned one who would have given me a gift so rich the good King of Aragon would have been honoured by it; so why did she send me into exile? For I assure you, when I hear her praised, perfect joy summons me to make a song about her. And so since I love and obey her so completely, I ought not to discover bad faith in her.

mi fai coma Breto,

qu’anc l’amar    ni l’honrar

no·lh mis en contenso.


Ans, si Dieus mi perdo,

m’en parti    de tal qui

m’agra dat tan ric do,

que·l bos reis d’Arago

for’honratz; e doncs co


me faidi?    Qu’ie·us afi,

quan n’aug dir bon resso,

gaugz entiers mi somo

qu’en deia far chanso.

E doncs pus tan l’am e la cre,


ja no·i dei trobar mala fe.


Pus pauzar    ni finar

Since I can never find rest or pause, I want to return and spur back in secret to [the land] between Arles and Toulon, for I would rather have a small field there than Daron here, or Toron or Ibelin; but the base, false, wretched slanderers have stirred up hostility towards me and driven me from the Steps [in Toulouse], and Sir Interpreter does not hear from me or see me, since he is sending my dear Friend away.

no puesc nulha sazo,

retornar    et anar

m’en vuelh ad espero


entr’Arle e Tolo

a tapi,    quar aqui

am mais un pauc cambo,

qu’aver sai Lo Daro,

ni aver Lo Toro


N’Ibeli:    mas frairi

fals lauzengier gloto

m’an moguda tenso

e lunhat del Peiro,

e·N Drogomans no m’au ni·m ve,


quar mon car Amic part de se.


A mon amic Folco

I send my song to my friend Folco over there for him to sing it for me in a good place, wherever joy is to be found.

tramet lai ma chanso

que la chant en bon loc per me,

al tenen on joi vai e ve.



Mal astre Dieus li do,

God curse the one who caused the count of Avignon to quarrel so badly with me that Lady Vierna sees me no more.

qui·l comte d’Avinho

mesclet tan malament ab me,

per que Na Vierna no·m ve.


Mas a Tripol m’ado,

But I give myself over to [the lord of] Tripoli, for when other noblemen chase merit away, he holds on to it and does not let it go.


que quan l’autre baro

caço prez, et el lo rete

e no·l laissa partir de se.




Text: Peire Vidal, Poesie. Edizione critica e commento a cura di d’Arco Silvio Avalle, Milano-Napoli 1960, 2 voll., vol. I, p. 33 (III).

English translation by Linda Paterson. – Rialto 11.x.2013.

Notes: This song was composed in the Holy Land (see vv. 83-85), the only one of Peire Vidal’s known to have been composed there, and dates from before the death of Raimon II of Tripoli on 17 October 1187 (v. 99) and after the composition of BdT 364.9 (February 1187?) when Peire was still in Occitania. It also almost certainly predates the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin on 3 October 1187, since the troubadour does not mention this catastrophe or the Third Crusade, which he does elsewhere (BdT 364.4, 364.8, 364.11). This is consistent with Avalle’s argument (I, p. 42) that the senhal Amic (v. 90) designates Eudoxia of Constantinople, whose husband Guillem VIII of Montpellier (Drogomans, v. 89, Avalle, I, p. 42) was in the process of repudiating her (see v. 90, «sending my dear Friend away») in 1187: in April of that year Guillem married Agnes of Castile, and although Eudoxia obtained the support of the bishop of Maguelone and the archbishop of Narbonne, who excommunicated him, he had the interdict lifted by the pope soon afterwards, whereupon Eudoxia left Montpellier for Aniane (see the general note to BdT 364.9). Peire will have heard something of these events either before he left for the East, or in the Holy Land, in that case some two months after their occurrence given the time needed for the arrival of news. – Line 20: Martorano takes .i to refer to the lady («ma non la temo»). I understand Peire to be saying on the one hand he is reproaching the lady for trying to banish him, and on the other declaring that he does not believe she can have wanted this since he has always served her so faithfully. – Line 41: Avalle (I, p. 39) cites Du Cange, oratio, ‘pia peregrenatio’ and oratores, ‘peregrini qui ad Sanctorum limina orationis et pietatis erga pergunt’. –  Line 62: the Bretons were proverbially always waiting for the return of Arthur. – Line 68: Anfos II (1162-1196). –  Line 80: this region comprises the western part of the county of Provence, now the département of the Bouches-du-Rhône, then ruled by Anfos II of Aragon (Avalle, I, p. 41). –  Lines 83-85: crusader castles in the kingdom of Jerusalem. –  Line 88: a quarter in Toulouse next to the church of Saint-Sernin. – Line 91: the troubadour Folquet de Marselha. – Line 96: count Raimon V of Toulouse. – Line 99: Raimon II, cousin of Raimon V of Toulouse and second regent of Jerusalem during the illness of Baldwin IV during 1183-1187.

[LP, lb]


BdT    Peire Vidal