Bernart de Ventadour: Can par la flors


 Matteo Zenatti, 2016


Can par la flors josta.l vert folh

E vei lo tems clar e sere

E.l doutz chans dels auzels pel brolh

M'adousa lo cor e.m reve,

Pos l'auzel chanton a lor for,

Eu, c'ai mais de joi en mo cor,

Dei be chantar, pois tuih li mei jornal

Son joi e chan, qu'eu no pes de ren al.

 When flowers appear beneath green leaves

and weather is serene and clear,

sweet birdsongs coming from the park

awake me, sweetening my heart.

Since birds are singing in their way,

I, having greater joy at heart

must sing, and well, since all my daily bread

is joy and song: I think of nothing else.


Cela del mon qued eu plus volh,

E mais l'am de cor e de fe,

Au de joi mos dihz acolh

E mos precs escout' e rete.

E s'om ja per ben amar mor,

Eu en morrai, qu'ins en mo cor

Li port amor tan fin' e natural

Que tuih son faus vas me li plus leyal.


She whom on earth I love the most

(I love her more by heart and faith)

is glad to hear and keep my words,

and hears and keeps my pleas as well;

and if by true love men may die

then, I must die, for in my heart

I'm bearing love, both natural and true

and all are false to me, the loyallest.


Be sai la noih, can me despolh,

El leih qu'eu no dormirai re.

Lo dormir pert, car eu lo.m tolh

Per vos, domna, don me sove!

Que lai on om a so tezor,

Vol om ades tener so cor .

S'eu no vos vei, domna, don plus me cal,

Negus vezers mo bel pensar no val.


I know at night, when I undress

that I won't sleep a bit in bed:

I lose my sleep, and give it up

for you, my lady; I recall

that "Where a man his treasure keeps

there he will also keep his heart."

If I don't see you, lady I want most,

no sight is worth as much as thoughts of you.


Can me membra com amar solh

La fausa de mala merce,

Sapchatz que tal ira me colh ,

Per pauc vius de joi no.m recre.

Domna, per cui chan e demor ,

Per la bocha.m feretz al cor

D'un doutz baizar de fin' amor coral,

Que.m torn en joi e.m get d'ira mortal


When I remember how I loved

the false one and the merciless,

I tell you now, I'm overcome;

I've no way to recover joy:

my lady, I sing just for you,

and by your mouth, you wound my heart

with a sweet kiss of true and heartfelt love

to turn to joy and save from deathly rage.


Tals n'i a qued an mais d'orgolh,

Can grans jois ni grans bes lor ve!

Mas eu sui de melhor escolh

E plus francs, can Deus me fai be.

C'ora qu'eu fos d'amor a l'or,

Eu sui de l'or vengutz al cor.

Merce, domna non ai par ni engal.

Res no.m sofranh, sol que Deus vos me sol


Such are the proudest ones of all

when greater joy or good come in

but I am of a better sort

and better when God brings me good,

for when I'm on the verge of love

I'm brought from verges to the heart:

so, thank you, lady, I've no equal here;

I lack not, if God saves you just for me.


Domna, si vezon mei olh,

Be sapchatz que mos cors vos ve!

E dolhatz plus qu'eu me dolh.

Qu'eu sai c'om vos destrenh per me.

Mas, si.l gelos vos bat' de for,

Gardatz qu'el no vos bat'al cor .

Si'us fai enoi, e vos lui atretal,

E ja ab vos no gazanh be per mal


My lady, if I don't see you,

know that I see you in my heart,

do not grieve more than I am grieved.

I know you're checked because of me,

and, if the jealous one should strike,

see that the blow can't reach your heart,

and if he vexes you, reciprocate,

so that, for evil, he won't have rewards!


Mo Bel-Vezer gart Deus d'ir' e de mal,

S'eu sui de lonh, e de pres atretal


May God protect 'My Belvedere' from harm

when I'm far off, and when I'm near as well.


Sol Deus midons e mo Bel-Vezer sal,

Tot ai can volh, qu'eu no deman ren al.


God save my lady and 'My Belvedere'.

That's all I want, I ask for nothing else.




Bernart de Ventadour. "Can par la flor josta.l vert folh." Bernart von Ventadorn. Ed. Carl Appel. Halle: Neumeyer, 1915. 234-38. Gallica digital collections. See also and Powen039.

Bernart de Ventadour. "When flowers appear beneath green leaves." Trans. James H. Donalson. 2004. powen039.

Bernart de Ventadour. "Can par la flor josta.l vert folh." Song for voice and Roman harp performed by Matteo Zenatti. Extract from  Trovatori in Italia alla Badia di Cantignano, Friday 10 June 2016. 


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