Leu pot hom gauch e pretz aver
Ses amor, qui be.i sap poignar,
Ab qe.is gart de tot malestar
E fassa de ben son poder;
Per q'ieu, si tot amors mi faill,
Fatz tant de ben cum puosc e vaill,
E s'ieu pert ma dompn' et amor
Non vuoill perdre pretz ni valor.
Q'estiers puosc viure onratz e pros,
Per que no.m cal far d'un dan dos.
Pero ben sai, si.m desesper,
Qe.l mieills de pretz i desampar,
C'amors fa.ls mellors meillurar
E.ls plus malvatz pot far valer,
E sap far de volpill vassal
E.l desavinen de bon taill,
E don' a mains paubres ricor;
E pois tant i trob de lauzor
Eu sui tant de pretz enveios
Que ben amera s'amatz fos.
Mas per o m'en vuoill estener,
C'amors tol mais que non vol dar,
Que per un be.il vei cent mals far
E mil pesars contr'un plazer,
Et anc non det joi ses trebaill.
Mas, cum qe.is vuoilla, so engaill,
Q'ieu non vuoill son ris ni son plor!
Puois non aurai gauch ni dolor,
Sivals no.il serai mals ni bos,
E lais m'estar desamoros.
Pois totz bos aips vuoill retener,
Ja non remaigna per amar,
Puois no.m poira jois repropchar
Ni pretz qe.ls met' e noncaler,
Ni q'en ren vas lor m'anuaill!
C'us amoros desirs m'assaill
Per tal q'el mon non a genssor,
E prend en luoc de ben l'onor,
Car vol qu'eu lau en mas chanssos
Son pretz e sas bellas faissos.
Ja sa beutat ni son saber,
Son bel ris ni son gen parlar
No.m cuich ma dompna vendre car,
Que be.m puosc de s'amor tener.
Mas qan si ve dinz son miraill
Color de robin ab cristal,
E car la lauzon li meillor,
Mi cuj' aver per servidor,
Cais c'onors m'er si no m'es pros!
Mas non cuich q'ieu l'am em perdos.
Ab cor faich vau midonz vezer,
C'ara.m pot perdre o gazaignar;
E si vol mos precs escoutar
Aura.m sempres a son voler,
E si.n autra razon m'assail
No.is taing qe.m tenson ni.m baraill
Ab lieis, mas pens d'autr' amador,
Et anc Floris de Blanchaflor
Non pres comjat tant doloiros
Cum eu, dompna, si.m part de vos.
Johan ses terra, si d'amor
Non ai en breu gauch et honor,
Jamais non serai amoros
E viurai mal grat d'amor pros.
Pero si ma dompna.m socor,
Q'es caps de pretz e de valor,
Ben poirem estar eu e vos
Honrat entre.ls drutz cabalos.
It is easy for a man to have joy and merit
without love, if he knows how to strive
and if he refrains from all ill conduct
and does as much good as is in his power;
therefore, albeit all love disappoints me,
I do as much good as is in my power and achieve worth,
and if I lose my lady and love,
I don't want to lose merit nor renown.
Since I can otherwise live a honourable and valiant life,
I don't care to double my loss.
But I know well that if I despair,
I shall relinquish the best part of merit,
because love improves even the best
and can give worth even to the worst;
it can make a fighter out of a coward,
and give polish to a boor,
and gifts many a poor man with riches.
And since I find so much to praise in it,
I am so covetous of worth
that I would well love if I were loved.
But I want to abstain from it for the moment
since love takes more than it will give
and for a boon I see a hundred ills bestowed
and a thousand worries for a single pleasure,
and never did it give joy without anguish.
But, whatever the implications, it's the same to me,
since I don't want either its laughter or its weeping;
since I shall have neither the joy nor the pain,
at least I shan't be either well-disposed or ill-disposed towards it
and shall be content to remain loveless.
Since I want to keep to all good qualities,
let me not be tardy in the love business,
so that later neither Joy nor Worth
will be able to accuse me of indifference
or that I neglect them in any way.
For I am taken by an amorous craving
towards one whose grace is unsurpassed in this world,
and instead of a reward I take the honour,
since she wants me to praise in many a song
her worth and her beautiful features.
Yet my lady shan't think that her beauty and her wit,
her beautiful laughter and her refined talk
will command a high price from me,
because I can well refrain from loving her.
But when she looks at herself in her mirror,
the colour of ruby mixed with crystal,
and because the best praise her,
she thinks she has me for a servant
as if that were an honour for me, even if I don't get anything from it!
But let her not think I shall love her unrequited.
With resolute intentions I go see my lady,
for now she can lose or win me;
and if she wishes to listen to my entreaties,
she'll have me forever at her command;
but if she chides me for one reason or another
let her not think that I'll dispute or quarrel
with her, but that I'll turn to another lover,
and not even Floire took such a painful leave
from Blanchefleur as I shall take of you,
lady, if I part from you.
John Lackland, if I don't receive,
presently, joy and honour,
I shall never be amorous again
and shall live, in spite of love, valiantly.
But if my lady comes to my rescue,
she who is the summit of worth and merit,
we shall take an honourable place, you and me,
among the chivalric lovers.