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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Comtesse de Die (Twelfth Century)
Of that I would not
Provençal Literature (The Troubadours), 1090–1290
 
From Blackwood’s Magazine, February 1836

OF that I would not, I, alas! must sing,
  He whom I love has caused me such deep pain:
For though I love him more than earthly thing,
  My love and courtesy but meet disdain,
  And beauty, merit, wit, are all in vain;        5
But I must mourn as hopelessly and long
As if I wittingly had done him wrong.
 
It comforts me, sweet friend, to think that never
  Have I ’gainst you in word or deed transgressed:
More than Seguis Valens 1 I loved you ever,        10
  And that my love surpasses yours I’m blessed;
  For you are worthier far, O dearest, best.
You’re proud to me in conduct, speech, and air,
But to all others kind and debonaire.
 
It marvels me, sweet friend, that you can feel        15
  Towards me that pride that cuts me to the heart:
All wrong it were that any dame should steal
  Your love from me, whate’er may be her art;
  And never let the memory depart
Of what our love once was. Mother divine!        20
Forbid that coldness sprang from fault of mine.
 
Your prowess which all others hold so dear,
  Your fame, disquiet me with their bright shine;
For not a lady, whether far or near,
  But will, if e’er she love, to you incline.        25
  But you, sweet friend, ah! well might you divine
Where beats the heart more tender than them all:
Forget not former vows, whate’er befall.
 
Much should pure fame, much should desert avail,
  My beauty much, but truth and love far more;        30
Therefore send I this song to bid you hail,
  And in your ear my thoughts and hopes to pour.
  I fain would know, O friend that I adore!
Why you to me are ever harsh and cold:
Is’t pride or hate, or think you me too bold?        35
All this my message bears, and this beside,
That many suffer from excess of pride.
 
Note 1. Seguis and Valens were the hero and heroine of a romance of that day. [back]
 
 
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