Davantal - Einführung - Analysis - Presentación - Présentation - Presentazione - Presentacion

Chambers, Frank M.. Two troubadours lyrics. "Romance Philology", 30 (1976-1977), pp. 134-144.

377,002- Pons de la Garda



Pons de la Guardia (?)
D’un sirventes a far ai gran talen (377,2)


Attributions and Authorship: C, Pōs sa gardia; index of C, Pons de sa garda; R, P. Cardenal. István Frank denies it to Pons in his edition of that poet (1) (p. 233), on stylistic grounds: “On ne peut lire ces vers, après ceux de Pons, sans se convaincre qu’ils sont d’une tout autre veine poétique : ce sont là des strophes martelées d’une verve de moraliste politicien qui, quand elles ne seraient pas de Peire Cardenal, évoqueraient assez naturellement son nom.... L’attribution à Pons paraît invraisemblable”. Lavaud, however, in his edition of P. Cardenal (2) (p. 585), refuses it for his poet also, apparently for the sole reason that it is addressed to a gentleman from Languedoc, Pons de Teza (i.e., Thézan, identified by Lavaud as the town of that name in Aude; but see my note on v. 60). This would in his estimation be closer to the Catalan Pons de Guardia’s range of activity than to that of P. Cardenal, born at Le Puy. I do not find this argument convincing, since Peire traveled widely and was as early as 1204 a protégé of Raymond VI of Toulouse (Lavaud, p. 618); it is by no means impossible that he came into contact with P. de Thézan at some time or other. Unfortunately, Frank’s argument is not entirely conclusive either: If a love poet decided to write a satirical poem, one would expect a certain change of tone; moreover, as Frank himself admits, the “verve de moraliste” evident in these stanzas could inspire a (false) attribution to the master of this type of verse, P. Cardenal. However, the dates of P. de Thézan and P. de la Guardia cast grave doubts on the attribution of the poem to this troubadour, who died ca. 1190 (Frank, ed., p. 267), while P. de Thézan does not appear in documents before 1210 and was leading an active life at least as late as 1226 (see v. 60, n.). Naturally, this does not confirm the authorship of P. Cardenal; in fact, with the information at our disposal, it seems impossible to decide who wrote this poem.

Versification: A moral sirventes, consisting of six coblas unissonans of nine decasyllables and two tornadas of five. The rime scheme (Frank 297:5) is ababbaabb, and the rimes are en, ia. Six other poems share the same metrical pattern, but none has precisely the same rimes. Interestingly enough, a crusade song of Pons de Capdoill (375,2: Ar nos sia capdels e garentia) has the same pattern and the same rimes, but in reverse order (ia, en), so that the masculine and feminine endings do not correspond. It is possible that this song may have been the inspiration for the present sirventes, if not its actual metrical model and the source of its melody, which in any case has not been preserved.

Text: That of C. R contains only the first four and a half stanzas and is inferior to C in a number of spots.


The poet finds venality and corruption in all walks of life: clerics preach good but practice evil; lawyers will end up in hell because they make the worse appear the better reason; tradesmen lie and call God to witness for their lies; the rich help the poor only when they see profit in doing —considerations which lead to a general plea for moral improvement before it is too late. Such sermonizing occurs not only in Peire Cardenal (see above, Attribution) but also in many other poets, and is in fact one of the commonplaces of troubadour satire.




1Boletín de la Real Academia de Buenas Letras de Barcelona, XXII (1949). ()

2) René Lavaud, Poésies complètes du troubadour Peire Cardenal (Toulouse, 1957). ()






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