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

We know little about the trobairitz Lady Castellosa 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 Castellosa (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 precedents
For other women whom love hurts. 
It ought to be the man who sends
Word in well-chosen, well-turned verse.
And yet it does my spirit good
To prove how great a faith you test;
To be the 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 wrongs, the grief and gall,
You have thanks from my family,
(And from my husband most of all.)
If you have sinned toward me, oh 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

Molt avetz fach long estatge,
Amics, pos de mi·us partitz;
Et es me greu e salvatge,
Car me juretz e·m plevitz
Quez als jorns de vostra vida
Non acsetz dompna mas me:
E si d'altra vos perte,
M'avetz mòrta e trahida,
Qu'avía en vos m'esperança
Que m'amassetz seṉs dubtança

Bèlls amics, de fiṉ coratge
Vos amei, pois m'abelhitz,
E sai que fach ai folhatge,
Que plus m'en etz escaritz
Qu'anc noṉ fis vas vos ganchida,
E si·m fasetz mal per beṉ:
Be·us am e no m'en recre;
Mas tant m'a amors sasida
Qu'ièu noṉ cre que benenança
Puòsca aver seṉs vòstra amança.

Molt aurai mes mal usatge
A las altras amairitz
Qu'om suòlh trametre messatge
En motz triatz e chausitz.
Et ièu tenc me per garida,
Amics, a la mía fe,
Quand vos prec, qu'aici·m cove;
Que·l plus pros n'es eniquida
S'a de vos qualque abondança
De baisar o d'acoindança.

Mal ai ièu, s'anc còr volatge
Vos aic ni·us fui camjairitz,
Ni drutz de neguṉ paratge
Per me noṉ fo encobitz;
Ans soi pensiva e marrida
Car de m'amor no·us sové,
E si de vos jòis no·m veṉ
Tost me trobaretz fenida:
Car per pauc de malanança
Mòrt dompna, s'om tot no·lh lança.

Tot lo maltrach e·l dampnatge
Que per vos m'es escaritz
Vos fai grazir mos linhatge
E sobre totz mos maritz;
E s'anc fetz vas me falhida,
Perdoṉ la·us per bona fe;
E prec que venhatz a me,
Despuòis quez auretz auzida
Ma chançoṉ, que·us fatz fiança
Çai trobetz bèlla semblança

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