Main PageTroubadours' ListingMore Works by Gavaudan

The prosody guide is available as a book. Click here for details.

Lo vers dech far en tal rima,
mascl'e femel que ben rim,
qu'ieu trac lo gran de la palha
desen qu'om no s'i empalh;
e meti selhs en bavec
de nescia gent baveca
que tornon dos en amar
per fals'amistat amara.
Que gran foc torna belluga
si, la morta, tart reviu.

De bona vit, quan razima,
deu hom amar son razim
e siey don, soi no·s trassalla
lai on putia trassalh:
sie·us ditz qu'autre non amec,
mais vulhatz esser a meca,
que·l vostre joy dezampar
lo sieus, tro que·us dezampara.
E vos, drutz, etz gens faduca:
cujatz lur tolre lur briu?

Sella qu'ab dos s'entressima
greu er del ters no·s tressim;
per que joys torn'en baralha
e ja nuls no s'enbaralh!
Que·l gilos, qu'autr'entalec,
ro cum camels en taleca.
Et elha ve l'emplecar:
de l'emplecha vil fa cara;
qu'a degun non es astruga
que·y puesc'aver senhoriu.

Fals'amors sap tant d'escrima,
qui ben de lieys no s'escrim
segurs es de gran batalha,
cum es lo senhs del batalh.
«Calha, folhs», ditz, «ton cavec!
Assatz m'avetz per caveca!
Si m'etz escas ni avar,
ye·us serai del tot avara».
E ja re de be no·l fuga
tro l'a mes el recaliu.

Yeu suy tan prims a na Grima,
ja no vuelh denant me grim;
soven planh, gronh e badalha,
e son d'engan siey badalh;
que·l savi ten per fol pec
quan l'a tout l'aver ni pecca,
que pueys no·l denha garar
e quier n'autre cuy esgara,
que port aver et aduga,
que lo·n fai tornar caytiu.

Tals es suaus de la prima
qu'ab enjan agut e prim
trauc'ausberc de bona malha,
trabucx e gans e capmalh,
e sap tan lati e grec
qu'oras voles clergua grega:
per so ja us no·s n'ampar!
Trahitz es qui lieys ampara:
l'un huelh tors e l'autre cuga
e l'engans forsa·l badiu.

Pretz enquier qu'om aya lima
ab que·ls grilhos trenc e lim;
et yeu fug a la trebalha
qu' als sieus fa tostemps trebalh,
a jove, vielh e senec.
Anc Nero, c'aussi Seneca,
non ac un jorn son cor clar;
ni fals'amors non declara
son cor a selh que·s demuga,
si tot li jura ni·l pliu.

Yeu sai mais que buous d'arar;
mos sens lo crim romp et ara:
cuy non pot mordre pessuga.
Vers es bos qui ben l'escriu.

Coma naus lo vuelh varar,
e qui ben l'empenh ni·l vara,
lo reys N'Anfos lo conduga
en yvern et en estiu!

I shall write a poem in such a rime,
masculine and feminine, that it rimes well
(for I can find the needle in the haystack),
so that one doesn't find it stinted;
and embarrasses those
ignorant, vain people
who turn sweet into bitter
out of bitter, false friendship.
The spark creates a great fire
if, once extinguished, it is later rekindled.

One must love the grapes
of his good grapevine, when it bears fruit,
and his lady, if she doesn't trespass
into there where whoring reigns:
if she tells you she didn't love others,
don't be like the wick,
so that your joy separates
from hers, until it separates you two.
And you, lovers, are foolish people:
do you think you'll take their lust away?

She who is involved with two
will hardly refrain from involving a third;
for this, joy turns into a free-for-all:
and let all be free from it!
For the jealous, whose lady somebody else bagged,
ruminates, like a camel, in a bag.
And she sees the bidding:
she sells cheap wares high;
and nobody's star is so bright
that he could rule over her.

Treacherous love knows fencing so well
that he who doesn't watch out
is as sure of a great fight
as the bell is sure of the clapper.
"Cease, fool," it says, "your whining!
You have taken me for a dunce too long!
If you are cautious and stingy with me,
I'll be the stingiest with you!"
And he doesn't let one lack for anything
until he's turned him feverish.

I am so full of regards towards Lady Despair
that I don't want her to despair in front of me;
she often weeps, laments and sighs,
but her sighing is all deception;
for she thinks of the wise as a lacklustre fool:
when she has taken his possessions and he lacks,
she can't be bothered to look at him
and looks for another to regard,
one to bring money and gifts,
whom she can turn into a pauper.

[Treacherous love] is so sweet, in the beginning,
that, with pointy and subtle deception,
it pierces hauberk of good mail,
greaves, gauntlets and camail
and knows so much Greek and Latin
that you now want to do Greek with a nun:
let nobody partake in that!
He is betrayed, who takes to that:
he rolls one eye and winks with the other,
and the deception brings forth servitude.

Virtue demands that one has a file
with which to cut and file the shackles;
me, I avoid the heartbreaks,
for [treacherous love] always breaks his subject's heart,
[be they] young, old or decrepit.
Nero too, who killed Seneca,
never had pure intentions a single day;
likewise, treacherous love never reveals
his intentions to those who open themselves to him,
albeit he swears and pledges.

I know more about ploughing than an ox:
my wit breaks and exposes sin,
and pinches those it can't bite.
The poem is good if one writes it exactly.

I want to launch it as a ship,
and if one steers and drives it well,
may King Alfonso lead it,
in the Winter and in the Summer.