Exactly the Opposite of What One Wants by Oton de Granson

Surely, Love, it is a fitting thing
That you exact a high price for your goods:
Lying awake in bed and fasting at table,
Laughing while crying and singing while lamenting,
Lowering the eyes when one ought to look,
Often changing color and expression,
Lamenting while sleeping and dreaming at the dance,
Exactly the opposite of what one wants.

Jealousy is the mother of the devil.
She wants to see and listen to everything,
Nor does anyone do anything so reasonable
That she doesn’t want to turn it into evil.
Love, that’s how we have to pay for your gifts,
And you often give out arbitrarily
Grief enough and very little pleasure,
Exactly the opposite of what one wants.

For a short time, the game is agreeable,
But it is much too hard to keep it up,
And though to ladies it is honorable,
It is too painful for their servants to bear.
One must constantly suffer and endure,
Languish in hope without any certainty,
And receive many a harsh misfortune,
Exactly the opposite of what one wants.

From: http://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/text/granson-nicholson-grenier-winther-cinq-balades-ensuivans

Date: 14th century (original in French); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Oton de Granson (13??-1397)

Translated by: Joan Grenier-Winther (19??- )


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