The Democratic Republic of Poetry
Raimbaut de VaqueirasTroubadoursProsodyNoveltiesAnamorphisms

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Ja hom pres ni dezeretatz
Non er de bos amicx garnitz,
E.l manens qu'es d'aver issitz
Es vil tengutz e pauc amatz,
E tostems hom desbaratatz
Ditz hom c'a perdut per nosen,
E ten hom greu per fol manen
Ni home quan fort l'es ben pres;
E fora savis e cortes
Qui des tan bon conseill denan
Com fai quant hom ha pres lo dan.

Ben pot hom en autruis foudatz
Apenre com er plus complitz,
Plus onratz e plus obezitz,
E plus francx e plus ensenhatz;
E non pot esser fort senatz
Qui no.s dona garda soven
Com l'uns pueja, l'autre deisen,
E qui no conquer, quan luecx es,
Amicx; e quan los ha conques,
Gart los, quar mais hi a d'afan
Qu'el conquerer, al mieu semblan.

Vilas es et outracuidatz
Totz hom, quan si sent enrequitz,
Que.s cuida c'ab sos vilas digz,
Ab sobrieiras ni ab foudatz
Li deia hom esser privatz,
Ni c'om ja l'am de bon talen;
E si tot hom lo.i fai parven
Per paor, aquo non es res,
Que quan lo trob' om en deises,
Ab gaug et ab alegrer gran
Rizon tug, quant el vai ploran.

Eu dic que ben es estragatz
Hom rics erguillos descauzitz,
Que vol ades tener aunitz
Sos vezis ni apoderatz;
E deu ben esser aziratz
E mal volgutz per tota gen,
Et es razo si mal l'en pren,
Que nos avem vist et apres,
Per un ho per dos ho per tres,
Que si son anat percassan,
Don tug devem esser membran.

C'aissi n'es lo setgle passatz
Que l'uns es pex, l'autr' eisernitz,
L'us vilas, l'autre gen noiritz,
L'un mal apres, l'autr' ensenhatz,
E de totz mals estars cargatz,
L'un vertader, e l'autre men;
Qu'el mon non a un tan valen
En cui tug bon aip sion mes,
For lo rei dels Aragones,
Quar en lui son tug ben sobran,
Ja non sabres demandar tan.

A captive or disinherited man
isn't quite surrounded by good friends,
and the wealthy, when deprived of his possessions
is despised and loved very little,
and about the vanquished man
one always says that he lost out of stupidity.
But a rich man or the one whom luck has greatly favoured
is hardly ever considered foolish;
he would be a wise and courteous man,
he who could give in advance such good advice
as everybody does after one has suffered a loss.

From other people's foolishness, one can well
learn how to be more accomplished,
more revered and more obeyed,
and more earnest and more learned;
and none can be very sensible
unless he often takes notice of
how one rises and the other falls,
and how one does not gain, when the opportunity is there,
friends; and, once he has gained them,
let him keep them, because this is more troublesome,
it seems to me, than gaining them.

He is vulgar and presumptuous
he who, upon turning richer,
thinks that, in spite of all his vulgar talk,
his arrogance and foolishness,
people will be close friends of his
and like him with all their heart;
and if everybody makes it seem so
out of fear, it doesn't mean a thing,
since when his fortune declines,
with pleasure and great mirth
everybody laughs when he cries.

I tell you that the epitome of madness
for an arrogant, ignorant rich man,
is wanting to keep dishonoured
and weak his neighbours;
and it is fit that he is hated
and ill-considered by everyone,
and it is only fair if his luck turns,
since we have seen and learnt that
from countless examples of people
that they have gone about harrying each other,
and everybody ought to remember this.

For the way of the world is such
that one man is foolish, the other intelligent,
one base and the other well-breed,
one ignorant and the other learned,
--although afflicted by all bad manners--
one truthful and the other a liar,
so that there is no one on earth so worthy
as to be endowed with each good quality,
except for the king of Aragon,
for in him all virtues are supreme,
no matter how many you may ask for.

Note: of uncertain attribution.