Bernart de Ventadorn

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Bernart de Ventadorn (or Bernard de Ventadour) (c. [[1130]/1140] – c. 1190/1200) was a Provençal troubadour His song "Can vei la lauzeta mover" is one of the best-known works of Occitan literature


  • Mas greu veiretz fin' amansa
    ses paor e ses doptansa,
    c'ades tem om vas so c'ama, falhir,
    per qu'eu no·m aus de parlar enardir.
    • But true love comes, not so lightly
      Without fear and with no doubting,
      We always fear that what we love may fail,
      So I don't dare to stir myself to speak.
    • "Ab joi mou lo vers e·l comens", line 13; translation by James H. Donalson. [1]

  • Can vei la lauzeta mover
    De joi sas alas contra·l rai,
    Que s'oblid'e·s laissa chazer
    Per la doussor c'al cor li vai,
    Ai, tan grans enveya m'en ve
    De cui qu'eu veya jauzïon.
    • When I behold the skylark move in perfect joy towards its love the sun, when I behold the skylark, growing drunk with joy, forget the use of wings, so that it topples from the height of heavens, I envy the bird's fate.
    • "Can vei la lauzeta mover", line 1; translation from James Branch Cabell The Cream of the Jest ([1917] 1972) p. 33.

  • D'aisso's fa be femna parer
    Ma domna, per qu'e·lh o retrai,
    Car no vol so c'om deu voler,
    E so c'om li deveda, fai.
    • This is how she shows herself a woman indeed,
      My lady, and I reproach her for it:
      She does not want what one ought to want,
      And what she is forbidden to do, she does.
    • "Can vei la lauzeta mover", line 33; translation by Frederick Goldin, from Boris Ford (ed.) Medieval Literature: The European Inheritance (1983) p. 440.

  • Chantars no pot gaire valer,
    Si d'ins dal cor no mou lo chans!
    Ni chans no pot dal cor mover,
    Si no i es fin' amors coraus.
    • Singing cannot much avail, if from within the heart comes not the song; nor can the song come from the heart, unless there be there noble love, heartfelt.
    • "Chantars no pot gaire valer", line 1; translation from Alan R. Press Anthology of Troubadour Lyric Poetry (1971) p. 67.

  • Aisso non es amors; aitaus
    No·n a mas lo nom e·l parven,
    Que re non ama si no pren.
    • This is not love, such has only its name and semblance, which loves no thing unless it gains from it.
    • "Chantars no pot gaire valer", line 19; translation from Alan R. Press Anthology of Troubadour Lyric Poetry (1971) p. 67.

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