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S. C. Aston

I. My whole endeavour have I concentrated in a vers so that it may be worth more than any other song I ever composed; and it may be that a chansoneta would be better learned, if I were minded to write one, but singing is now become a frivolous pastime; and indeed, it appears that a vers, if a man knows well how to construct it, must be of greater worth, wherefore I now wish to display my skill in this form.
II. Love slays me, so much is it enrooted in me. Grievous to me is the sorrow and torment wherein it has plunged me; I have lost entirely pleasure and gaiety, and, if ever I was acquainted with joy, now I know not what it is. Of my lady do I think night and day, my lady whom I have ventured to call my own. I may call her so since it pleases me, but she desires me not and does not deign to retain me in her service.
III. In evil hour did I contemplate her great worth and nobility when I sought her favour, wherefore I was a foolish creature. And yet right was mine, for she revealed to me a sweet generosity that captivated and enthralled me. Graciously did she summon me and smiled on me when I came and went; now she holds me in such indifference that she scarce deigns to see me even.
IV. Never will I believe that I would not have won her had I been of such worth that she might have loved me. Right foolish am I, then, for I love her although it displeases her! Shall I depart? Alas, lady, I cannot! But one thing would I ask of you, namely, that my love may not be distasteful to you even if it does not please you. For nothing can take from my heart the longing which is so much mine.
V. There is no man who could praise too much her great beauty or uprightness. And what does it avail me if she is noble and courteous? For I die on her account and she shows me no grace. Foolish indeed am I, for I could find some other lady who would love me. Now I know the proverb speaks sooth: ‘Ever does a man desire the unattainable.’
VI. Of love do I lament, but more on account of our [Lady] Marqueza; greatly am I grieved because Vienne takes her from us. By her are joy and excellence upheld for she is the most excellent lady ever known, nor do I believe that there is any other in this world so well versed in courtesy; scarcely can the world contain her worth which increases day by day and which she sustains.
VII. The vers is finished if one would learn it. Sir Peirols would have it known in Vienne where worth is maintained, for Marqueza causes it to be upheld there.









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