Oh! Were I Sure That All the Lays by Guillaume Ademar

Oh! were I sure that all the lays
Which wake my idle strings
Would in her heart one moment raise
Kind thoughts of him who sings.
What ardour in my song would glow,
What magic in its numbers flow!

Yet what avails—though I despair
To gain one tender smile,
The world shall know that she is fair,
Although so cold the while.
Ungrateful though she be, too long,
To her I dedicate my song.
Better to suffer and complain,
Than thus another’s love obtain.

From: Costello, Louisa Stuart (ed. and trans.), Specimens of the Early Poetry of France: From the Time of the Troubadours and Trouveres to the Reign of Henri Quatre, 1835, William Pickering: London, p. 10.

Date: c1200 (original in Occitan); 1835 (translation in English)

By: Guillaume Ademar (1190/1195-1217)

Translated by: Louisa Stuart Costello (1799-1870)


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