Tartarassa Ni Voutor by Peire Cardenal

Buzzards and vultures
Do not smell out stinking flesh
As fast as clerics and preachers
Smell out the rich.
They circle around him, at once, like friends,
and as soon as sickness strikes him down
they get him to make a little donation,
and his own family gets nothing.

Frenchmen and clerics win praise
For their felonies, because they succeed;
usurers and traitors
take the whole world that way,
for by falsehood and fraud
They have so confounded the earth,
there is not one religious order
which does not know their “rule”.

Do you know what happens to the wealth
of those who get it badly?
A mighty robber will come
who will not let them keep one thing –
Death, who strikes them down, who sends them across
in four ells of linen,
in a strange mansion,
where they find a great hoard of affliction.

O Man, why commit such madness,
transgressing the commandment
of God, who is your Lord,
who formed you out of nothing?
He sells his sow in the market place (= is fool)
who fights with god,
he shall get the wages
Judas traitor got.

O true God, full of sweetness,
Lord, be our protector,
keep all sinners
from the suffering of Hell, and from the torture,
and untie them from the sin
in which they are caught and bound up,
and give them faithful pardon
when they keep faith in their confession.

From: http://www.russianplanet.ru/filolog/babylon/trubadur/cardenal/02.htm

Date: c1240 (original in Occitan); 1973 (translation in English)

By: Peire Cardenal (c1180-c1278)

Translated by: Frederick Goldin (19??- )


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