Bernart dʼAuriac








Nostre reys qu’es d’onor ses par,


vol desplegar


son gomfano,


don veyrem per terra e per mar


las flors anar;


e sap mi bo,


qu’aras sabran Aragones


qui son Frances,


e·ls Catalas estregz cortes


veyran las flors, flors d’onrada semensa,


et auziran dire per Arago


«oï noni» en luec d’«oc» e de «no».






E qui vol culhir ni trencar


las flors, be·m par


no sap quals so


li ortola, que per gardar


fan ajustar


tan ric baro;


quar li ortola son tals tres


que quascus es


reys plus ricx que·l Barsalones;


e Dieus e fes es ab lur, e crezensa.


Donc quan seran outra Mon Canego


no·y laisson tor ni palays ni maizo.






Catala, no·us desplassa ges


si·l reys frances


vos vai vezer ab bels arnes,


qu’apenre vol de vostra captenensa,


et absolver ab lans’et ab bordo,


quar trop estaitz en l’escominio.



English translation [LP]

I. Our king, whose honour is unrivalled, intends to unfurl his banner, so we shall see the flowers advancing across land and sea; and I am pleased that the Aragonese will now realise who the French are; and the Catalans, tight-fistedly courtly, will see the flowers, flowers of glorious seed, and hear oï noni spoken throughout Aragon, instead of oc and no.
II. But it seems to me that anyone who wants to pick or cut the flowers does not know what the gardeners are like who are assembling such high barons to guard them. There are three gardeners, and each is a king richer and more powerful than the one from Barcelona, and God and faith and true belief are on their side. So when they are beyond Mount Canigou, let them leave not a tower or palace or house standing.
III. Catalans, be not displeased if the French King is coming to see you with splendid armour, for he wants to find out about your conduct and absolve you with lance and staff, because for a long time you have been excommunicate.


Italian translation [lb]

I. Il nostro re, il cui onore è impareggiabile, si propone di dispiegare il suo stendardo, perciò vedremo i fiori avanzare attraverso la terra e il mare, e sono lieto perché gli Aragonesi ora capiranno chi sono i francesi; e i catalani, tirchi e cortesi, vedranno i fiori, fiori di gloriosa semente, e sentiranno dire oï noni in tutta l’Aragona, invece di oc e non.
II. Ma a me sembra che chiunque voglia raccogliere o recidere i fiori non sa come son fatti i giardinieri che stanno radunando così alti baroni per proteggerli. Ci sono tre giardinieri, e ciascuno è un re più ricco e potente di quello di Barcellona, e Dio e la fede e il vero credo sono dalla loro parte. Così, quando avranno passato il Monte Canigou, non lascino in piedi neppure una torre o un palazzo o una casa.
III. Catalani, non vi dispiaccia se il re di Francia sta venendo a trovarvi con una splendida armatura, perché vuole conoscere la vostra condotta e a assolvervi con lancia e bordone, perché siete stati scomunicati troppo a lungo.




Text: Linda Paterson, Rialto 8.iv.2013.

Mss.: C 382v (Mayestre bernat dauriac . mayestre de bezers.), I 150r.

Critical editions: Alfred Jeanroy, «Les “coblas” provençales relatives à la “croisade” aragonaise de 1285», Homenaje ofrecido a Menéndez Pidal. Miscelánea de Estudios lingüisticos, literarios e históricos, Madrid 1925, pp. 77-88, on p. 82 (French translation); Amos Parducci, «Bernart d’Auriac», Studi medievali, 6, 1933, p. 95 (Italian translation); Martín de Riquer, «Un trovador valenciano: Pedro el Grande de Aragón», Revista valenciana de filologia, 1, 1951, pp. 273-311, on p. 303 (on Jeanroy, Spanish translation).

Other editions: François-Juste-Marie Raynouard, Choix des poésies originales des troubadours, 6 voll., Paris 1816-1821, vol. IV, p. 241; Histoire littéraire de la France. Ouvrage commencé par des religieux bénédictins de la Congrégation de Saint-Maur, et continué par des Membres de l’Institut (Académie royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres), 38 voll., Paris 1733-1927, vol. XIX, p. 594 (stanza I only, French translation); Gabriel Azaïs, Les Troubadours de Béziers, 2nd ed., Paris-Béziers 1869, p. 57; Manuel Milá y Fontanals, De los trovadores en España, Barcelona 1861, p. 401 (Spanish translation); Carl August Friedrich Mahn, Die Werke der Troubadours, in provenzalischer Sprache, 4 voll., Berlin, 1846-1886, vol. III, p. 167; Martín de Riquer, Los trovadores: historia literaria y textos, 3 voll., Barcelona 1975, vol. III, p. 1594 (Spanish translation).

Versification: a8 a4 b4 a8 a4 b4 c8 c4 c8 d10’ b10 b10 (Frank 111:1), -ar, -o, -es, -ensa. Two coblas unissonans and one tornada. As Jeanroy suggests, the model for versification (and no doubt tune) is probably a canso of Guillem Evesque, BdT 215.1 (Frank 112:1), in Carl Appel, Provenzalische Inedita aus Pariser Handschriften, Leipzig 1890, p. 132, which has the same pattern of line lengths; the rhyme scheme is the same except for the decasyllables which rhyme d e e, and the rhyme-endings are different.

Analysis of the mss.: C, the obvious base, is complete and requires no correction. I lacks one stanza, the tornada, and 10; 11 is hypometric, and 1 contains an error of sense. It mis-assigns stanza I to lo coms de fois (see below). – C places the coblas attributed to Bernart d’Auriac after those assigned to Mo senher en P., reys darago, though as Riquer has argued («Un trovador valenciano», pp. 295-298), they are the first in a cycle of five pieces (see the Notes below). Ms. I contains stanza I only, which it places under the rubric of lo coms de fois at the top of the column on fo 150r, after stanza II of the coblas attributed to the Count of Foix in both mss. In his reconstruction of the cycle Jeanroy placed Bernart d’Auriac’s coblas after those of the King of Aragon, as in ms. C, but see Riquer, «Un trovador valenciano», pp. 295-296, and his table on p. 296 which shows the order of material for the whole cycle. Riquer plausibly suggests that the scribes of CI were respectful of king, and would have considered it a fault of courtesy to put Pere’s piece after those of a simple cleric of Béziers.

Variants: 1 que de precs napar I; 4 ara ueiron I, terræ C; 5 lor flor passar I; 6 don mi sabon I; 7 ara ueran I; 9 el I, cordatz estreiz I; 10 missing I; 11 er auserem dir p. a. (−1) I; 12 oil nenil I; 29 lansæ (et) C.

Notes: This piece is the first in a cycle of five, each of which appears originally to have had the identical amount of material, versification and tune. It was composed as King Philip III the Bold of France was preparing in the spring of 1285 to cross the Pyrenees and invade Aragon: a purely political crusade against King Pere III el Gran, approved by Pope Martin IV in support of Charles of Anjou’s claim to the Crown of Sicily. Riquer («Un trovador valenciano», pp. 299) argues that Bernart’s coblas were designed to inspire the «crusaders», and that they were sung by jongleurs attached to the French King and disseminated through the invading army until they were learned by the enemy during its advance into Spain. The King of Aragon would have heard them in the Ampurdán when he was organising the defence of his lands, and re-used the same poetic and musical form as a way of countering the enemy’s propaganda. For details of the further development of the cycle, see the notes to the editions on Rialto of BdT 325.1, BdT 357.1, BdT 182.2, and BdT 182.1. – Jeanroy, whose text is largely followed by Riquer, introduces a number of unnecessary small corrections; I do not comment on changes of graphy made by previous editors. – Line 1: Philip III the Bold of France. – Line 5: flowers as the heraldic emblem of France or the French appears in 1221-1222 in Peirol’s Pus flum Jordan ai vist e·l Monimen (BdT 366.28, 15-17, Qu’Englaterra a croy emendamen / del rey Richart; de Fransa ab sas flors / soli’aver bon rey e bos senhors, ed. Ruth Harvey, Rialto, forthcoming, cf. Aston ed. Rialto 12.xii.2009). Laura Kendrick, «Sendatz vermeills, endis e ros. Another Sirventes from 1285», Romance Notes, 24, 1984-1985, pp. 277-284 (on p. 281, n. 6) notes that Aicart del Fossat, shortly before September 1268, uses the symbol to designate the French side in Charles of Anjou’s struggle with Conrad of Germany over the Empire: L’Aigla, la Flors a dreitz tan comunals / Que no i val leis ni i ten dan decretals (BdT 7.1, 37-38, ed. Vincenzo de Bartholomaeis, Poesie provenzali storiche relative all’Italia, 2 voll., Rome 1931, vol. II, p. 242). – Line 9: the collocation estregz cortes is unusual: as far as I can see, not otherwise found on COM. For I’s cordatz estreiz, which violates the rhyme, compare my edition on Rialto of BdT 181.2, 16-17, e sieu seingner veirem ligar / et aforcar). – Line 12: and noni (ms. I oil nenni) represent the Old French for ‘yes’ and ‘no’, oc and no their Occitan and Catalan equivalents. Jeanroy (p. 88, followed by Riquer) rejects C’s reading oi noni on grounds of hypometricity, but the problem disappears if is understood as bisyllabic. – Line 13: Riquer (who prints cuhir, a typographical slip) claims without supporting evidence that the verb can also have the sense ‘pursue’ and translates ‘segar’. – Line 19: Jeanroy (also Riquer) reads que, wrongly. He identifies the three kings as Philip III and his two sons, Charles de Valois, and Philip who married Queen Jeanne of Navarre in 1284 (p. 88). – Line 21: the epithet ric connotes both wealth and power. Jeanroy (p. 88) notes that the troubadour refers derisively to the King of Aragon with his lowest title. – Line 22: Jeanroy (also Riquer) emends to lor. – Line 23: Mont Canegou (2784 m.) is in the south of Roussillon on the border between France and Spain. – Line 27: Jeanroy prints vei, wrongly. – Line 29: bordo has the double sense of ‘javelin’ and ‘ pilgrim’s staff’, referring to the fact that the war is formally a crusade, so pronounced by Pope Martin IV on 13 January 1283. Pere had been excommunicated in November 1282 (Steven Runciman, The Sicilian Vespers, Cambridge 1958, p. 242).

[LP, lb]

BdT    Bernart dʼAuriac

Songs referring to the crusades