Song by Castelloza

Friend, if I found you gracious, fair,
Candid and humble, full or virtuousness,
How I would love you! But, alas, far less
I find you now: so fell, so cruel to me.
Yet do I sing, to let the wide world know
How virtuous you could be; for I would show
That praised would be your virtue everywhere,
Though you bestow me naught but pain and care.

I shall not deem you debonair
Nor, faithful-hearted, my true love profess
Unless, first, I pronounce how fickley, yes,
How faithless is your heart!… Nay, verily,
Best I think better, lest I too be so
Heartless and faithless unto you—although
So are you unto me!—and lest I bear
Your wrath, should I your slightest wrong declare.

Well do I do; but well aware
Am I that one and all claim we transgress,
Who bare our heart and jabber to excess
Our bane and bale unto our swains. But he
Who judges so, judges us ill; for, no!
Rather than die, I would prove, à propos,
That I much comfort feel when, in my prayer,
I pray to him who causes my despair.

Passing daft must one be to dare
Say I ought love you not, nor acquiesce
To love’s demands: he knows not my distress,
Nor knows what cheer was mine when I could see
You there before me, telling me that, lo!
Done would my dolor be, undone my woe;
That love for me, once more, might bring you there:
Ah! promise of a joy beyond compare!

All other loves do I foreswear.
None else consoles me in my dire duress,
Nor brings me solacy; yours would I possess,
And yours alone, to ease my misery…
But, friend, I cannot change you; and I go
On yearning, hoping, dreaming of the beau
You will not be! Where isd your love? Oh, where
But in my sleep, that love I fain would share?

I fear I will no better fare,
Nor can, in other wise, my dole express;
For, ceaseless, have I tried, with no success,
Fair means and foul to thwart your cruelty.
This message do I send you—this canso
Writ in my words, my very own. But, oh!
If die I must, yours be the blame! Beware:
Yours, the sin; mine, the woe without repair.

From: Shapiro, Norman R.; Krueger, Roberta L.; LaFarge Catherine and Perry, Catherine, Freench Women Poets of Nine Centuries: The Distaff and the Pen, 2008,  The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, Maryland, pp: 65-67.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=ScCsMt710ZwC

Date: 13th century (original in Occitan); 2008 (translation in English)

By: Castelloza (13th century)

Translated by: Norman R. Shapiro (19??- )

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