Ausiàs March: "Voyage of Love or Death" Poem XLVI (From Catalan)

Ausiàs March took the notable and unprecedented step of writing his poems in approximation of the Catalan vernacular, drawing on the written chancery standard of the Crown of Aragon as well as on the speech of the Valencian elite, rather than the Occitan and heavily Occitanized Catalan which were customary for versifying. (For an example of the latter, see this poem by Jordi De Sant Jordi.)  Despite this, and the fact that his work contains many proverbial and occasionally outright colloquial turns of phrase, it is nonetheless quite difficult, his syntax violently tortured, and his lines sometimes perplexingly elliptical.
This may owe something to the difficulty March faced in adjusting de-Occitanized Catalan to the demands of verse (scrambled word-order is somewhat less intrusive in Occitan, or in an Occitanized Catalan that makes heavy use of Occitan case-endings) and often one suspects that March is roiling against the confines of the verse-line as much as those of poetic convention. But it is also true that harshness and messiness were March's metier. March is not at all trying to be beautiful, orderly or pleasing to the ear, as the Occitan tradition demanded. Quite the contrary, his language is often deliberately harsh and cacophonous, as he himself notes several times in his own poems. Indeed, in his drive to turn the uncomely and the harsh to exalted art, rather then the beautiful and smooth, he reminds me of poets centuries later such as Baudelaire. 
I've availed myself of various tactics to account for this in translation, such as a dusting off-rhymes amid the full rhymes, and divergence from the common norms of style, syntax and register which readers of English poetry today are accustomed to. 
I have consulted a number of commentaries for this and some other forthcoming translations from March. Since I found myself differing in a number of respects from the interpretations of scholars who admittedly know March's work better than I do, I considered including an exegetical explication of what is, especially for the Middle Ages, a relentlessly difficult body of work. I may yet do so. But the task seems too laborious for now. A few notes is all I have appended.
Part of this song has been set to music in the modern era by the great Raimon Pelegero Sanchis, and can be heard here.

Poem XLVI: Voyage of Love or Death
By Ausiàs March (1400 – 1459)
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

The power of sails and winds shall work my wish, 
Setting a chancy course across the sea.
Ponente and Mistral rise to resist.
Levante and Sirocco fight for me   
Backed by their allies Midi and Gregal
Beseeching the North Mountain Wind to turn
Its storms aside in their support, so all
Five winds may blow the way of my return.

The sea shall seethe like boiling casserole,
Change colors, taking on unnatural form,
Showing its ill will at full blast to all
That stray on it one second in that storm. 
The fish will panic all throughout the sea
And seek out secret shelter in the deep,
Till from the sea that gave them life they flee 
To their deaths on dry land with desperate leap.

The pilgrim passengers aboard my ship
Will call on God, pledge votive gifts in tears,
And fear force every secret from their lips
That never fell on a confessor's ears. 
Through those dangers, you will not leave my mind. 
Before the God that joined us two I swear
Nothing shall weaken this resolve of mine,
And you'll be with me always, everywhere.

I fear death - lest it break my heart from yours,
For death can cancel love out with its still,
Not that I think even death's severing force
Could overcome my strength of loving will. 
I wish I could believe your love for me
Would not leave me forgotten when I die,
And though while we two live this could not be
One thought makes all life's pleasure out a lie:

That on the day I died, your love as well
Would die, and be transformed to hate that night.
While I, cast from this world, would feel full Hell
Never again to hold you in my sight. 
Oh God, if only there were bounds to love
So I at love's extreme might stand apart!
I'd face the future without fear or hope
Knowing the cutoff limit of your heart.  

I am the most extreme of all in love
Save those who've breathed in love their life's last breath.
The anguish of my heart I cannot prove
Without the good faith agony of death. 
For good or ill at love's command I wait
Though Fortune still withholds my fate from me.
She'll find the gates unbarred, and me awake,
Prepared to humbly follow her decree.

Getting what I so wish may cost me dear
Yet this alone consoles the soul in strife:
If it turns out my fate is what I fear
I only ask that God not spare my life. 
For then people will see the outward fact
Of love at work within, needing no faith.
Capacity will be revealed in act,
And my words' credit backed by deed of death. 

Love! I who feel you don't know you at all,
And so can only win the loser's prize.  
No one who knows you is within your thrall. 
Your simile: addictive game of dice. 


Stanza 1:
It seems to me fairly clear the voyage alluded to is metaphorical and did not actually transpire, though many have sought to identify a real-world course based on the meteorological description here.
The proper names are Mediterranean winds, each traditionally attributed to a different cardinal compass direction. The Mistral blows from the North-West, the Ponente from the West, the Levanter from the East, the Sirocco from the South-East, the Midi from the South, the Gregale from the North-East and the Tramontane (here rendered as "North Mountain Wind") from the North. The winds have various resonances in the tradition.
The Mistral and Ponente would be associated with Provence and the tradition of Occitan lyricism which March was consciously writing against. The Sirocco and Levanter, blowing from the exact opposite direction as the Mistral and Ponente, are harsh winds well-known to mediterranean mariners. The Levanter in particular can reach speeds of up to 200 km/h along the Catalonian coast, occasionally doing severe property damage even in modern times. 
The (normally pleasant) breeze that blows from the beloved lady's land is a theme well developed in Occitan poetry (picked up in Italian by Petrarch among others.) The contrary nature of the winds here evokes the resistance of the beloved. Whereas the medieval Occitan or Stilnovistic Italian poet would draw pleasure and inspiration from the breezes blowing from the land of the lady love, March must subdue the winds blowing from the direction he wishes to travel in, summoning equal elemental powers of his own.  

Stanza 3:
It was a custom for those facing imminent danger to make confessions to one another, in the absence of a priest to hear them. This was particularly common for passengers who found themselves imperiled on the high seas.

The reference to games of dice suggests something morally suspect. Gambling in 15th century Valencia was preached against as a cardinal sin, and many games of chance were symbolically burned in public.

The Original:

"Veles e vents"

Veles e vents han mos desigs complir
faent camins dubtosos per la mar:
mestre i ponent contra d’ells veig armar;
xaloc, llevant, los deuen subvenir,
ab llurs amichs lo grech e lo migjorn,
fent humils prechs al vent tramuntanal
que·n son bufar los sia parcial
e que tots cinch complesquen mon retorn.

Bullirà·l mar com la cassola en forn,
mudant color e l’estat natural,
e mostrarà voler tota res mal
que sobre si atur un punt al jorn.
Grans e pocs peixs a recors correran
e cercaran amagatalls secrets:
fugint al mar, on són nudrits e fets,
per gran remei en terra eixiran.

Los pelegrins tots ensems votaran
e prometran molts dons de cera fets,
la gran paor traurà·l llum los secrets
que al confés descuberts no seran,
e·n lo perill no·m caureu de l’esment,
ans votaré al Déu qui·ns ha lligats
de no minvar més fermes voluntats
e que tots temps me sereu de present.

Jo tem la mort per no ser-vos absent,
perquè amor per mort és anul·lats,
mas jo no creu que mon voler sobrats
pusca esser per tal departiment.
Jo só gelós de vostre escàs voler
que, jo morint, no meta mi·n oblit.
Sol est pensar me tol del món delit,
car, nós vivint, no creu se pusca fer:

aprés ma mort, d’amar perdau poder
e sia tost en ira convertit.
E jo forçat d’aquest món ser eixit,
tot lo meu mal serà vós no veer.
Oh Déu! per què terme no hi ha·n amor,
car prop d’aquell jo·m trobara tot sol?
Vostre voler sabera quant me vol,
tement, fiant de tot l’avenidor!

Jo son aquell pus extrem amador
aprés d’aquell a qui Déu vida tol:
puix jo son viu, mon cor no mostra dol
tant com la mort, per sa extrema dolor.
A bé o mal d’amor jo só dispost,
mas per mon fat fortuna cas no·m porta:
tot esvetlat, ab desbarrada porta
me trobarà, faent humil respost.

Jo desig ço que·m porà ser gran cost
i aquest esper de molts mals m’aconhorta;
a mi no plau ma vida ser estorta
d’un cas molt fer, qual prec Déu sia tost.
Lladoncs les gents no·ls calrà donar fe
al que amor fora mi obrarà:
lo seu poder en acte·s mostrarà
e los meus dits ab los fets provaré.

Amor, de vós, jo·n sent més que no·n sé,
de què la part pitjor me·n romandrà,
e de vós sap lo qui sens vós està.
A joc de daus vos acompararé

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