Lady Castelloza: To Her Lover Gone Away (From Occitan)

We know little about the trobairitz Lady Castelloza beside what her later vida records. The latter says that she was from Auvergne, the wife of Truc de Mairona, and the lover of Armant de Brion (both nobles, incidentally, though the latter would have been of higher social status than the former.) There is on the face of it no reason to either believe or disbelieve this. Given the basically mythic function that the troubadour vidas seem to serve, it is likely that this story was transmitted because at a later date it helped make some sense of the corpus of songs attributed to the poet. The modern reader is, therefore, free to ignore it if they wish. 

To Her Lover Gone Away
By Lady Castelloza (c. 13th cent.)
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

My darling, it has been so long
Since from my arms you took your leave.
And it is painful, cruel and wrong.
You promised, pledged, made me believe
That you would take no other lady
Until the day death do us part.
Now if some other holds your heart
Then you have murdered me, betrayed me
Who hoped your love was no conceit
But undivided and complete.

My handsome noble-natured dear,
I've loved you since the day you pleased me.
How great a fool I am is clear.
For you held back, while such love seized me
That I not once have turned away.
Though you repay my good with ill
I'll stand my ground and love you still,
For love so has me in its sway
That I now doubt my life can offer
Much good without you as my lover.

I set no proper precedent
For other women in love's course, 
Since it is for the man to send
Word in well-chosen, well-turned verse.
And yet it does my spirit good
To show how great a faith you test;
To be a suitor suits me best. 
The wealthiest of women would
Be all the richer for the trove 
Of your embrace, your kiss, your love.

God doom me if I've ever shown
A fickle heart or been untrue,
I have not wanted anyone,
However noble, who was not you. 
No, I am pensive, pained in bed
Because your mind has left my love.
If you don't send joy soon enough
You may discover I am dead.
In ladies, slight disease can kill
Without a man to lance the ill.1 

For everything you've done to me,
For all the hurtful grief and gall,
You've thanks from all my family
And from my husband most of all. 
If you have sinned toward me, my dear
Then in good faith I pardon you
And pray that you'll at last come true
To me, the moment that you hear
This song. I promise as I live
The fairest welcome I can give. 


1 - "lancing" i.e. drawing blood. Draining out the "ill humors" by controlled bloodletting was thought to relieve a patient's suffering in medieval European medicine. Of course, there is more to the line and its imagery than reference to a medical technique.   

The Original:

"Mout avetz fach lonc estatge..."
Na Castelloza

Mout avetz fach lonc estatge,
Amics, pos de mi·us partitz;
Et es me greu e salvatge,
Quar me juretz e·m plevitz
Quez als jorns de vostra vida
Non acsetz dompna mas me:
E si d'autra vos perte,
M'avetz morta e trahida,
Qu'avi' en vos m'esperança
Que m'amassetz ses dubtança

Bels amics, de fin coratge
Vos amei, pois m'abellitz,
E sai que faich ai follatge,
Que plus m'en etz escaritz
Qu'anc non fis vas vos ganchida,
E si·m fasetz mal per be:
Be·us am e non m'en recre;
Mas tan m'a amors sazida
Qu'ieu non cre que benenança
Puosc' aver ses vostr' amança.

Mout aurai mes mal usatge
A las autras amairitz
Qu'om sol trametre messatge
E motz triatz e chausitz.
Et ieu tenc me per garida,
Amics, a la mia fe,
Quan vos prec, qu'aissi·m cove;
Que·l plus pros n'es eniquida
S'a de vos qualqu' abondança
De baisar o d'acoindança.

Mal aj'ieu, s'anc cor volatge
Vos aic ni·us fui camjairitz,
Ni drutz de negun paratge
Per me non fo encobitz;
Anz sui pensiv' e marrida
Car de m'amor no·us sové,
E si de vos jois no·m ve
Tost me trobaretz fenida:
Car per pauc de malanança
Mor dompna, s'om tot no·il lança.

Tot lo maltraich e·l dampnatge
Que per vos m'es escaritz
Vos fai grazir mos linhatge
E sobre totz mos maritz;
E s'anc fétz vas me fallida,
Perdon la·us per bona fe;
E prec que venhatz a me,
Despois quez auretz auzida
Ma chanson, que·us fatz fiança
Sai trobetz bella semblança

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