Posts tagged ‘a ballad of fair oscar’

Thursday, 15 October 2020

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??- )

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Ballad of Fair Oscar by Charles Waddell Chesnutt

Fair Oscar is a youth who dwells
On the Fifth Avenue;
He is the toniest of swells;
But what does Oscar do?

He rides, he drives, he turns his wheel,
On Fifth Avenue, For manly sports is full of zeal;
What else does Oscar do?

He sleeps, he smokes, he drinks, he eats,
On Fifth Avenue,
And at the club his friends he meets;
What else does Oscar do?

He basks in beauty’s sunny smile;
The ladies are not few
Who fain would live in Oscar’s style,
On Fifth Avenue.

He spends the wealth his father earned-
A thrifty man and true-
What’er he touched to money turned;
What else does Oscar do?

O Oscar! cease this idle life
On Fifth Avenue;
Go start a bank, or take a wife-
Find something else to do.

This active age of ours can give
Each man some work to do;
It is not all of life to live . . .
On Fifth Avenue.

From: http://faculty.berea.edu/browners/chesnutt/Works/Poems/ballad.html

Date: 1886

By: Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858-1932)