Raimon Jordan, Viscount of St Antoni


Raimon Iordan, uescoms de Saint Antonin

Lo uescoms de saint antonin si fo de leuescat de caortz. Seigner de saint antonin e uescoms. Et amaua una gentil dompna qera moiller del seignor de pena dalbiges dun ric castel e fort. La dompna gentils e bella e ualens e mout prezada e mout honrada. Et el mout ualens et enseignatz e larcs e cortes e bos darmas e bels et auinens e bons trobaire. Et auia nom raimon iordan. La dompna era apellada la uescomtessa de pena. Lamors dels dos si fo ses tota mesura tant se uolgren de ben lus a lautre. Et auenc si quel uescoms si anet una uetz en garnimen e si fou na batailla grans el uescoms si fo nafratz a mort. E fo dich per sos enemics qel era mortz. E uenc a [la] dompna la nouella qel era mortz. Et ela de gran dolor que nac si sen anet ades e sis rendet en lorden dels eretges. E si cum dieus uolc lo uescoms garic de la nafra e meilloret. E negus no li uolc dire qelais fos renduda. E quan fo ben garitz el sen uenc a saint antonin. E fon li dich cum la dompna sera renduda per la tristessa qui lac de lui qand ill auzi qel era mortz dond el perdet solatz e ris et alegressa. E cobret plains e plors et esmais. Ni non caualguet ni anet dentre bonagen. Et enaissi estet plus dun an. Don totas las bonas gens daqellas encontradas nauiant gran marrimen. Dou madompna elis de montfort quera moiller den guillem de gordon filla del uescomte de torena on era iouens e beutatz e cortesia li mandet pregan mout auinenmens qel per la soa amor se degues alegrar. Qieu uos fatz de mon cors e damor presen del mal que uos auetz pres. E prec uos eus clam merce que uos me uengatz uezer. Quan lo uescoms entendet los honratz plazers que la dompna li mandaua sill comensset una grans doussors damor uenir al cor. Et adoncs el se comensset alegrar et esgauzir e uenir entre las bonas gens. E uestir se et sos compaignos. Et appareillet ben et honradamen et anet a ma dompna elis de montfort. Et ella lo receup ab gran plazer et ab gran honor qel li fetz. Et el fon gais et alegres de lonor e dels plazers qela ill fetz e ill dis. Et ella mout alegra de la bontat e de la ualor qui il trobet en lui. Ni non fo pas en pentida dels plazers ni de las amors quill lauia mandadas. Et la saup ben grazir. E reguet la qela ill fezes tant damor per que el saubes que per dreich cor lauia mandatz los plazers plazens dizen. Qels (Hs. Qel) portaua en son cor totz iorns escritz. E la dompna o fetz ben. Qella lo pres per son cauallier e receup son homenatge. Et ella se det a lui abrassan e baisan. E il det lanel de son det per fermansa e per segurtat. Et enassi (st. Enaissi) se parti lo uescoms de (hs. Da) la dompna gais e ioios e tornet en chantar et en alegresa. E fetz adoncs la chanson que dis : Vas uos soplei en eni ai mes mentenssa. Et enans qel fezer la chansson una nuoich quand el dormia li fon ueiaire que amors lasaillis duna coblaque dis : Raimon iordan de uoseis uoill apprendre. Cousetz laissatz de solatz ni de chan. Ia soliatz en dompneiar entendre. Mout leialmen so faziatz semblan. Eus feigniatz eus en faziatz grais. Mas aras uei qauet fenit lo lais. Encolpatz etz si non es qei responda.


Life of Raimon Jordans, Viscount of Saint Antonin

The viscount of Saint Antonin came from the diocese of Cahors; he was lord of Saint Antonin and Viscount. And he loved a fair woman, wife of the Lord of Pena of Albigeois, a wealthy and strong castle. The lady was noble and beautiful and excellent and much praised and honored. And he was valorous and learned and bountiful and courteous and good at arms and seemly and amiable and a good poet. And he was named Raimon Jordan. The woman was called the Viscountess of Pena. Their love was out of measure great, so much they loved each other. And it came that the Viscount had made ready his harness, and there was a great fight and the Viscount was wounded to death. And his enemies said he was dead. And news of his death came to the lady, and she, for the great sorrow she had of it, entered the order of the heretics. And God so willed that the Viscount recovered from the wound and got better. And no one wanted to tell him where she had gone. And when he was completely re-established, he went to Saint Antonin. And he was told of how the lady had gone there for the sadness she felt because of him, when she heard that he was dead, whence he lost gladness, and laughter and joy. And he was given over to tears, and lamentation and woe. And he did not ride, nor go among other men. And thus he stayed more than a year. And he neither rode, nor went among men. And thus he stayed more than a year, so that all the good people of that country made great moan. So that lady Elis of Montfort, who was the wife of Guillaume de Gourdon, daughter of the Viscount of Turenne, and in whom was youth and beauty and courtesy, sent him gracious prayers that for love of her he should rejoice. « For I give you myself and my love as a gift to amend the misfortune that has come to you. And I pray you of your mercy that you come to see me ». When the Viscount heard the honorable and pleasant words that the lady sent to him, he felt a great sweetness of love enter into his heart. And so, he began to rejoice, and to be cheerful and to spend time with the polite society. And he clothed himself and his companions. And he put on goodly and honorable apparel and he went to see my lady Elis de Montfort. And she received him with great pleasure and honor. And he was cheered and glad at the honor and pleasure he received from her by act and word. And she was very pleased by the excellence and valor she found in him. And she did not regret the loving messages that she had sent him. And he knew how to thank her properly. And he asked that she should show him so much love that he might know that with fair heart she had sent him such loving messages, that he bore for ever written into his heart. And the lady showed him her love properly, because she took him as her knight and received his homage, and gave herself to him with an embrace and a kiss. And he gave her the ring from his finger for seal and pledge. And thus the Viscount, glad and joyful, left the lady and returned home, singing and rejoicing. And he made then the song that runs:

Vas uos soplei en cui ai mes mentenssa.

(Towards you, to whom I have given my love, I turn my prayer.)

And one night, as he was sleeping, before he made this song, it seemed to him that Love assailed him in a cobla, which says:

Raimon iordan de uos eis uoill apprendre.

Cous etz laissatz de solatz ni de chan.

Ia soliatz en dompneiar entendre.

Mout leialmen so faziatz semblan.

Eus feigniatz eus en faziatz grais.

Mas aras uei qavet fenit lo lais.

Encolpatz etz si non es qei responda.

(Raimon Jordan, of yourself I would learn wherefore you have refrained from mirth and song : of old you were wont to set full faithfully your mind on love-making, or made semblance of it ; and you bestirred yourself about it, and made merry over it, but now I see that the game is up – You will be held guilty if you answer not.)


Ezra Pound – Vida of Raimon Jordan (LE 99-100)

‘The Vicomte of St Antoni was of the bishopric of Caortz (Cahors), Lord and Vicomte of St. Antoni; and he loved a noble lady who was wife of the seignor of Pena Dalbeges, of a rich castle and a strong. The Lady was gentle and fair and valiant and highly prized and much honoured; and he very valiant and well trained and good at arms and charming and a good trobaire, and had name Raimons Jordans; and the lady was called the Vicomtesse de Pena; and the love of these two was beyond all measure. And it befell that the Vicount went into a land of his enemies and was grievous wounded, so that report held him for dead. And at the news she in great grief went and gave candles at church for his recovery. And he recovered. And at this news also she had great grief’. And she fell a-moping, and that was the end of the affair with St Antoni, and “thus was there more than one in deep distress’. ‘Wherefore’ Elis of Montfort, wife of William a-Gordon, daughter of the Viscount of Trozena, the glass of fashion and the mould of form, the pride of ‘youth, beauty, courtesy’, and presumably of justice, mercy, long suffering, and so forth, made him overtures, and successfully. And the rest is a matter much as usual.



Pound's source for the vida of St Antoni is Ms Fr 854, which Pound consulted in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. (EB)

In “The Normal Opportunity of the Provençal Troubadour,” a fragment for the unfinished project Gironde, Pound states:

"There are three ways of ‘going back,’ of feeling as well as knowing about the troubadours, first, by way of the music, second, by way of the land, third, by way of the books themselves, for a manuscript on vellum has a sort of life and personality which no work of the press attains. The Ambrosian library possesses a MS (R71 superiores), a thoroughbred, with clearly written words and music, which contains the extant tunes of Arnaut Daniel. Another MS (Fonds fr. 20050) in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris, a small quarto with music, is so very old that it might have been carried by some late singer on the road; while Ms fr. 856 is fat, like a dictionary and was certainly made for reading. And there is Ms. Fr 844, the courtly book in which the authors are arranged by rank and precedence: Anjou, Navarre, the Canon, the Chastelaine, Sire Morisses de Creon, Gilles de Beaumont with his hand on his heart – for they are all pictured in the capitals with their arms and blazons- Jehans de Louvois with his lance, Couci with rabbits in the margin, Mesire Bouchers de Malli, proper nights [sic] all, and Tiebaus de Blason. It is a book to set young girls thinking, for surely we have all this array to show us that a tempting singer need not lack of necessity goods lands and houses. Ms. Fr 854 is among the most clearly written and contains the razos, or notes of biography and explanation. From it I quote or abridge the great part of what follows.” (WTSF 84)



"Raimon Iordan, uescoms de Saint Antonin." Die Biographien der Troubadours in Provenzalischer Sprache. Ed. C. A. F. Mahn. Berlin: Duemmier, 1878. 65-66.

Mahn, C. A. F., ed. “Life of Raimon Jordans, Viscount of Saint Antonin.” Trans. Eloisa Bressan. The Cantos Project, 26 August 2015. Web.

Pound, Ezra. “Troubadours their Sorts and Conditions.” 1913. Literary Essays. New York: New Directions, 1968. 94-108. Print.

Sieburth, Richard, ed. A Walking Tour in Southern France. Ezra Pound among the Troubadours. New York: New Directions, 1992. Print.



Heartfelt thanks are due to Eloisa Bressan for finding the source text for Raimon Jordan's vida in the manuscript no. 854 in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. She translated it from C.A.F. Mahn's volume, which Pound owned and read. 


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