Tuesday, November 24, 2020



A poem by Lo Monge de Montaudon, tr. W.S. Merwin, "Two Provençal Poems," Hudson Review 8.2 (Summer, 1955) 208-211 (at 211):
Game I enjoy, and gaiety,
Hospitality, bravery,
A frank pleasant-tempered lady,
An answer given cleverly,
In a rich man, sincerity,
And a plague take his enemy.

I like a man of kind salutation,
One who makes me gifts with good intention,
A rich man who gives me no contention,
Him who lends me good conversation;
I enjoy sleep when the wind is down,
And fat salmon in mid-afternoon.

And I am pleased, in summertime,
To tarry beside spring or stream
Among green fields—flowers in new blossom,
The small bird loud on limb—
And to have my lady, in secret, come,
And there make love with her, for a time.

I am pleased when one welcomes me
And when no disappointment takes me;
I am pleased with the favors of my lady—
Kisses, and what more she gives me,
With the losses of my enemy,
And more, when I do the robbery.

When among malice I am set down
I am glad for a companion
Who, while I have my say, will listen
And freely give me his attention.
The original (id. at 210):
Molt mi platz deportz e gaieza,
condugz e donars e proeza,
e dona franca e corteza
e de respondre ben apreza,
e platz m'a rie home franqueza,
e vas son enemic maleza.

E platz me hom que gen me sona
e qui de bon talan me dona,
e ricx hom quan no mi tensona;
e·m platz qui·m ditz be ni·m razona,
e dormir quan venta no trona,
e gras salmos az ora nona.

E platz mi be lai en estiu
que·m sojorn a font o a riu,
e·ill prat son vert e·l flors reviu
e li auzelhet chanton piu,
e m'amigua ve a celiu
e loy fauc una vetz de briu.

E platz mi be qui m'aculhia,
e quan gaire non truep fadia;
e platz mi solatz de m'amia,
baizars e mais, si loi fazia;
e si m os enemicx perdia
mi platz, e plus s'ieu loi tolhia.

E plazon mi be companho
cant entre mos enemicx so,
et auze ben dir ma razo
et ill l'escouton a bando.

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