Main PageTroubadours' ListingMore Works by Raimbaut de Vaqueiras

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

Conseil don a l'emperador,
Pois per conseil fai totz sos plais,
E non faria meins ni mais
Mas tant con sei conseillador
Li volun far dir' e faire: conseil, s'el vol esser pros,
Qe don, sens conseil, derenan;
E, ses conseil ab sos baros,
Creza.l conseil del plus prezan,
Q'aissi 's conseils d'emperaire.

Pueis eu li conseil sa honor,
Creza m'en, si.n vol, o s'en lais;
E se.l senescal no.s n'irais
Ni Coine del cosseil major,
Eu serai bos cosseillaire,
E darai conseil a els dos,
Qant lur segnor consseillaran, cosseillen de far rics dos;
Mas no sai s'amdos m'en creiran,
Ni eu en forzi gaire.

E si no.s meillur' en la flor,
Lo frugz poiri' esser malvais;
E gart se q'al seu tort non bais,
Qe pujatz es en grant honor,
Et es bels e de bon aire;
E se vol creire mos sermos,
Ja no.i aura anta ni dan,
Anz sera granz honors e pros,
Car se pert cels c'ab lui estan,
Tart venran de son repaire.

E non tema freg ni calor,
Ni.s baign ni sojorn em palais,
Qe al col a cargat tal fais
Qe, s'el non es de gran valor,
Greu lo poira a cap traire;
Qe li Blac Coman Ros Turc Paian Persan
Seran contra lui ab Grifos;
E si per pretz non trai afan,
Tot qant a faig pot desfaire.

Q'el e nos em tuig pecchador
Dels mostiers ars e dels palais,
On vei pecar los clercs lais;
E se.l sepulchre non secor,
Serem vas Dieu plus pechaire,
Q'en pechat tornara.l perdos,
E se.l conqis no 'stai enan;
Mas s'el es larcs ni coratjos,
Ben leu pot anar osteian
A Babiloni' e al Caire.

Tota sa forz' e sa vigor
Taign qe mostr' als Turcs part Roais,
Qe tuit li soudan alcais amirail almassor
N'esperan lansar e traire;
Et er n'encolpatz Nevelos, doz' electors blasmaran,
Se.l sepulchr' es mais en preizos;
E.l dux m'er apellatz d'enjan
Si.l vol del socors estraire.

Al marescal voil retraire
Mon cosseil, q'es leials e bos;
Mas lui, e Miles de Burban,
Blasmarai se non es fort pros
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E larcs e francs l'emperaire.

I offer a counsel to the Emperor,
since he makes all his plans by council,
and wouldn't do anything more or less
than what his counsellors
want him to say and to do:
and I counsel him, if he wants to be valiant,
to give, without counsel, henceforth;
and, without a council with his barons,
that he believe the counsel of the worthiest man,
because that's the way an emperor should consult.

Since I counsel what brings him honour,
let him believe me, if he wants, or just drop the matter;
and if the Senechal or Conon
of the Great Council don't get angry,
I shall be a good counsellor
and will give counsel to them both:
when they counsel their lord,
let them counsel him to give munificently;
but I don't know whether they'll both believe me,
nor do I force them in anything.

And if there is no improvement in the flower,
the fruit could be bad;
and let him beware not to lower himself to wrong,
since he has risen to great honour,
and he is handsome and of noble lineage;
and if he chooses to believe my words,
he shan't find shame nor loss in it;
rather, he shall have great honour and profit,
for if he abandons the ones around him,
people will hesitate to join his train.

And let him fear neither cold nor heat,
and let him wallow and linger in his palace,
since he has placed such a burden around his own neck
that, unless he is exceptionally valiant,
he'll find it hard to slip his head out of it;
for Wallachians and Cumans and Varangians,
Turks and Pagans and Persians
will move against him along with the Greek;
and if he doesn't endure toil for worth's sake,
he may undo all he has done.

For he, and us, are all guilty
of the arson of the churches and palaces
wherein I see the clerics and laymen sin;
and if he doesn't succour the Sepulchre,
we shall be the more sinners towards god,
since the pardon will turn into sin,
if the conquest is not carried forward;
but if he is liberal and fearless,
he can very easily move as a conqueror
towards Babylon and Cairo.

All his strength and vigour
must he show the Turks beyond Roais,
since all the sultans and cadis
and emirs and caliphs
are hoping to spear and hurl missiles;
and the guilt shall fall on Névelon,
and on the Twelve Electors
if the Sepulchre remains imprisoned;
and the Doge shall be accused of deception
if he wants to pull off from this rescue.

I want to relate to the Marshal
my advice, since it is loyal and good;
but he and Milon de Brabant
shall I blame if the Emperor is not
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
most valiant, generous and earnest.