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Donna, cel qe·us es bos amics,
A cui vos etz mals et enics,
Vos clama merce d'una re:
C'aujaz so qe·us vol dir per be
Aici en esta carta escrit,
Ez escoutaz com o a dit;
E prega·us qe non respondaz
Tro qe tot auzit o aiaz;
Qe tal ren i aura ben leu
Al fenir qe ja no·us er greu.
Donna, gran pena trauc per vos;
Anc mais non saubi mal qe·s fos.
Eu ai amat ben autra vez,
Ves altra part on era frez,
Leialmen e senes enjan;
Mas anc mais no trais tan d'afan.
Anc mais null'amors no·m toqet
Lai on la vostra ira·m intret,
Ni non isit de tan preon
Com aquesta, e no sai d'on.
Anc mais no saup qe·s fos amors
Ni no senti de sas dolors;
C'Amors m'a mes en tal destreich
Q'en granz chalors mi dona freich
Et ab granz freich mi dona chaut,
E·m fai irat s'anc mi fez baut.
Dos enemics ai trop mortals:
Vos et Amors, don qecs m'es mals.
Mas vos m'etz enemics de cor
Qi·m tollez ris, joi, e demor
E·m mostraz vostre mautalen,
E dizez me tot a presen;
Mas Amor no auch ni no vei
Ni no sai ves qal part s'estei:
Per q'eu non puos contendre a lui.
Mas greu m'es, car de mi no·s fui,
C'amar vos mi fai de tal guisa
On nostr'amor es mal devisa:
Qe·us am e vos no amaz mi;
Fort mal joc partit a aici.
Amors se demostra vilana,
Qi vos fai estar baud'e sana:
E vec qe nafrat m'a tan fort
Q'eu cuit aver trop peich de mort,
Car si sol a mort m'estorzia,
Ja tan fort no m'en plagneria:
Car qi tot tems viu a dolor,
Peiz a de mort, qi no·l secor.
S'Amors fos tan ben eseignada,
Se d'un pauc vos agues nafrada
– sol neis de la milena part
Qe mi nafret en un esgart –
Ab aitan m'agra gen garit
D'aqel mal colp qe m'a ferit.
Ges la plaga non par defora,
Mas dinz lo cor m'art et acora;
E no m'en pot valer mezina,
Ses vos, ja tan no sera fina;
E s'eu per aicho recep mort
Vos ez Amors n'aurez lo tort,
Qe·m pograz sanar e garir.
Ja no·us en calgra Amor blandir? –
Donna, non puosc ab toz contendre:
Vos pregar et Amor defendre;
Q'eu no vos pos ges far amar
S'Amor no m'en vol ajudar.
Pos vei qe mos precs no mi val,
Laserai m'en, – si pogues al!
Mas Amor no·m laissa garir,
Qi m'a mes en aquest conssir;
Qe d'autra part non aug ni veich
Mas vas la terra e vas l'endreich
On mais vos vei, mais n'ai de dol
Per lo grant gauch qe far mi sol.
Soven pens qe ja mais no·us veia,
E qe de loing ses vos m'esteia;
Qe qant eu vos vi de premier
Vos me disez ben a sobrier,
Ez on plus annei a ennan
Evos m'o annez pejuran;
Per q'eu tem s'eu mais vos vezia
Qez ades m'en pejuraria;
C'atresait me feiraz aucir
Ez eu enqer no voil morir;
Qar sol pel Bon Respeith voil viure!
Non sai s'en fol mos dich vos liure,
Mas se vos me tenez per fol
D'aqo qe·us dic, enclin lo col.
Tot qan vos plaz m'es bon e bel.
Ja no·us farei autre revel.
Greu m'es qan mal no·us pos voler,
C'Amors no m'en dona poder;
Qe s'eu vos pogues voler mal
Nos fora alqes comunal;
D'aitan se no·m volcses amar
Qe·m pogra en altra part virar.
Mas d'aiqo sol non pos ja re
Car eu non ai poder de me:
D'aicho·m podez ben far orguoill!
Er agradaz s'e·us am e·us voill;
Qe s'eu sabia tot en ver
Qe ja pro no·m volsez tener,
Ni en trastota vostra vida
Vostra amistaz no·m fos cobida,
Autra non poria amar ges
Per nulla beltat qez agues.
Si no·m volez estre amia,
Aizo no·m podez tolre mia
Q'eu toz temps no·us sia amics,
Sitot m'es vostre cor enics.
Donna, car en mos dich no·us lau
Ni vostra beltat no mentau
Eu o faz ben a escien,
Q'en re mais no cuit aver sen;
C'a mon grat vos cujariaz
Qe ja tan bella no fussaz;
Car per la beltat qez avez
Sai be qe plus vil me tenez.
Donna, maldit sion miraill!
(e belleza, car no vos faill!)
Donna, ja miraill no crezaz!
Cujaz qe tan bella siaz
Com inz el miraill vos vezez?
Ben ez folla si o crezez,
Qe tot mirail son menzonger,
E foson fraich toz li enter.
Donna, ceus qi·us lauzan en re,
Sapchaz qe non o fan per be:
C'aitan vos volon escharnir
Can vos lauzan ab lor mentir.
Mas eu no·us serai ja mentire,
Donna, c'ades vos voil ver dire;
M'en crezaz, donna, qe·us dic ver
– ja negun non aia poder –
Car eu no vos lau ges per bella
Anz dic q'ez negra com niella.
Donna, vas totas parz predic
Qe plus ez laida q'eu non dic;
Mas a mi foraz asaz genta
C'aitals laida res m'atalenta!
Donna, s'ieu volia dir
Tot aiqo q'eu de vos cossir,
No vos avria dich d'un an;
Mas eu tem no·m tornes a dan;
Per q'eu no·us en voil far lonc plait,
E dic vos be tot atresait,
Donna, se·l vostr'om pert en re
Sapchaz qe vos i perdez be.
Ben sabez qe vostre sui eu,
Ni non ai mais segnor soz Deu;
Per so sapchaz be tot de cert
Qe vos i perdez s'eu i pert.
Donna, del pauc tort q'eu vos ai
Ja sol no m'en razonarai,
E si n'auria asaz razos
Vos trobarez mas ochaisos.
Per jase mi podez durar;
Toz temps m'o podez contrastar,
Donna, car entre mi e vos
No voill plaides mais sol nos dos.
Qe ja nos partam d'est conten
Qe res mais non sap mon talen.
Ja non plaidejaz re per leich;
Per vos metessa·m prendez dreich;
Ez eu i cuit ben dir tal re
O non podez trobar mesbe.
A merce non podez rendir?
C'ab aqo nos dei convertir.
Lai o neguna res non val,
Merces deu amortar lo mal.
Merces n'aiaz e chausimen!
No vos i traich autre guiren,
Donna; merce vos qer, si·us plai!
En mais guisas q'eu dir no sai
Aici·us qer merce e perdon,
Com Dieus perdonet al lairon.
Donna, s'eu recep mort per vos
Ja no vos sera negus pros.
Morai? – O eu! Com hom mespres
Qe de meiz morc estai en pes!
Sospir mi fan fenir mon comde:
Ves vos mi lais vencut e domde!
Plor mi tol q'eu non puos plus dire,
Mas cho q'eu volgra dir, conssire.
Donna, merce vos qer, si·us plaz;
Per merce qe merce n'aiaz!
Merce vos clam, ma dolz amia,
Anz qe la Morz aissi m'aucia.

Lady, he who is a good friend of yours,
and to whom you are harsh and hostile,
begs you to have mercy in one thing:
that you hear properly what he means to tell you
here, ([it is] written in this letter)
and that you listen to the way he tells it;
and he begs you not to answer it
until you have listened to it all,
for there could easily be something
at the end that won't displease you.
Lady, I'm in great throes because of you:
before you I didn't know what pain was.
I have indeed loved other times,
in other places, when I was young,
loyally and without deception,
but never did it give me such anguish.
And never did any love [even] touch me
in the spot where your wrath stabbed me.
Nor did it spring from so deep [a place]
as this one – and the place's unknown to me.
I never knew what love was,
and I didn't feel these pains of his;
for love has put me in such throes
that it chills me in times of searing heat
and heats me in times of bitter cold
and makes me sad no matter how merry it once made me.
I have two too deadly enemies:
you and Love, and you are both cruel.
But my nemesis is you,
who take my cheer, joy and comfort away,
and show me your ill will
and tell me to my face;
but I can't either hear or see Love,
nor do I know which way he dwells,
so that I can't fight with him.
But he distresses me, for he doesn't leave me
and makes me love you in such a fashion
that our love is unfairly parted:
for I love you, and you don't love me;
he has truly shared the game unfairly.
Love shows itself low-born,
in letting you remain gay and sound:
and see that is has hurt me so much
that I am worse off than dead,
for if only he tortured me to death,
I wouldn't lament so loudly:
he who lives all the time in pain
which nobody allays is worse off than dead.
If Love were well-bred enough,
if he had hurt you but a little
– only the thousandth part
of the wound it gave me with a glance –
with that he would have healed me
of the ill blow that has wounded me.
The damage is not apparent
but it sears and gnaws at my heart within;
and no medicine can help me,
without you, no matter how excellent;
and if it leads me to my grave,
you and Love will bear the blame,
for you could cure and heal me.
Wouldn't it be better for you to blandish love?
Lady, I cannot fight with everybody,
endear you and parry Love's blows;
for I can't make you love me at all
unless love agrees to help me.
Since I see that my plea does not avail me,
I shall renounce it – if I could do otherwise!
But Love doesn't let me heal,
Love, who has put me in this quagmire;
for I don't listen nor watch in any other way
but towards the land and the place
where I most often see you, but it grieves me the more
because of the joy it used to bring me.
I often consider never seeing you again,
and remaining far from you;
for when I saw you for the first time
you had many a kind word for me,
but the closer I moved to you
– behold – the more you took to abusing me;
thus I fear that, if I saw you more,
I would pay dearly for it right off;
for you would have me killed at once,
and I don't want to die quite yet;
for I wish to live for Good Expectation's sake only.
I don't know whether I offer foolish words to you,
but if you think of me as a fool
because of what I say, I bow my head.
All you like is fair and good to me.
I'll never oppose your will again.
It grieves me that I cannot wish you ill,
for Love doesn't give me the strength:
for if I could wish you ill,
we would have something in common;
furthermore, if you didn't wish to love me,
I could turn to someone else.
But I can't do aught about it,
for I'm not the master of myself:
you can well boast about me!
Now you are well pleased if I love and desire you;
for if I knew in all truth
that you'd never wish to have me,
and that in your entire life
your friendship wouldn't be ever destined for me,
I still couldn't love another woman
for all the beauty she could have.
If you don't want to be my friend,
you can't take this away from me:
that I be forever your friend,
although your heart be cruel to me.
Lady, why don't I praise you in my writings,
nor do I mention your beauty?
I do it quite on purpose
and in this one thing I show some sense;
for, if it were left to me, you wouldn't believe
you were this beautiful;
for I know that you despise me more
because of your own beauty.
Lady, may mirrors be cursed!
(and beauty, for it doesn't fail you)
Lady, may you never believe a mirror!
Do you think you are as fair
as you see yourself in the mirror?
You're quite a fool if you so believe,
for all mirrors are liars,
and may they all be shattered.
Lady, know that those who praise you
for anything, don't it in good will:
for they want to mock you as much
when they praise you with their lies.
But I shall never lie to you,
lady, and now I'll tell you the truth;
believe me, lady, for I speak truly
– or may I not have any potency –
for I don't praise you as pretty at all,
and say instead you're as swarthy as a negress.
Lady, I declaim in every corner
that you're uglier than I paint you;
but were you to be very enough to me,
such an ugly thing would appeal to me so!
Lady, if I were to say
all I think about you
I wouldn't have told you in a year, [sic]
but I'm afraid it could turn to my detriment;
thus, I don't want to make a long plea of it
and I'll tell you straight away,
lady: if your vassal loses in any matter,
know that you lose in it as well.
You know well that I am yours
and that I have no other master below god;
therefore know for a sure thing
that if I lose in something, so do you.
Lady, about that little wrong I have done,
I can't redress it by myself;
even if the right were manifestly on my side,
you would invent more charges.
You could accuse me for eternity
and dispute with me all time,
lady, for between us two
I wish for no lawyer but me and you.
Let us never this suit of ours part
for in no other way can I express my heart.
Do not plead this suit before the law:
write its sentence yourself;
and I intend indeed to bring forth arguments
in which you can't find a flaw.
Can't you concede to mercy?
For we ought to be swayed by it:
where nothing avails,
mercy must allay the ill.
Have thus mercy and pity!
I don't bring any other guarantor before you,
lady; I beg for mercy, an you please.
In many ways I cannot express
I beg here for mercy and forgiveness,
as when god forgave the thief.
Lady, if I am lead to my grave by you,
it won't ever do you any good.
Shall I die? – Indeed! just like a culprit
who already is half-dead in thought.
Sighs make me end my argument:
I bow before you, won and subdued.
Tears prevent me from telling more,
but I imagine what I'd like to say.
Lady, I beg for mercy, an you please;
for mercy's sake, may you have mercy!
I beg for mercy, my sweet friend,
before death thus takes me away.