Medieval Love Poetry was greatly influenced by the Troubadours
There were few women troubadours in medieval love poetry. (Some twenty are known) One of them, probably the earliest example of a militant feminist, was the redoubtable Troubairitz Christine de Pisan, but the most famous of them was the Countess Beatrice of Dia. Very little is known about her life, but the song "A chantar me er of so q' ieu No volria, rancur cui sui amia..." ("I Must sing of That") is the only female troubadour lyrics to survive with music intact. Like much male troubadour poetry, this is a lament of unrequited love. Seguin and Valensa were the lovers in a now-lost romance. Like many other troubadour songs, it ends with a threat, this one rather veiled.
A chantar me er of so q' ieu No volria, rancur cui sui amia. ("I Must sing of That")
It is necessary me to sing here what I
would not like to sing
Because I have extremely to complain about
that of which I am the friend
I like it more than all in the world
But nothing finds grace near him
Neither Thank you, neither Courtesy, neither
my beauty, nor my spirit,
I am misled and betrayed as I should be it
If I did not have the least charm.
A thing comforts me: never, I be wrong
Towards you, friend. I love you, on the contrary
More than Seguin did not like Valence
And it extremely plait me to overcome you in love,
Friend, because you are most valiant of all.
But you treat me with pride in words and acts,
Whereas you are so pleasant towards others.
I am surprised arrogance of your heart,
Friend, and I have quite prone to be sad for it
It is not right that another love moves away you from me
Whatever the reception that it holds for you,
That it remembers the beginning
Of our love. God does not like
That by my fault it is completed.
BR>The great valiancy which places in your heart
And your great merit are prone for me torments,
Because I do not know lady, near or remote,
And in desire of love which towards you is not attracted
But you, friend of so good judgement,
You must recognize well most sincere
Doesn't it remember our play-parties?
My value and my chalk-lining, my beauty
And more still the sincerity of my heart, must help me
This is why I send to you, over there,
This song which will be used to me as messenger
I want to know, my beautiful and soft friend,
Why you are so hard and so savage for me,
Is this pride or indifference?
But I want, messenger, that you say to him
That too much pride can harm to many people.
It is quite miraculous that this, the only surviving medieval love poetry song, (beautiful and poignant) is enough to maintain the celebrity of the Countess de Dia and the admiration of her rendition of troubadouresque repertoire. In the 19th century, the félibres of Drôme paid homage to the trobairitz.
On August 10, 1888, a statue was inaugurated in her honor in the town of Die, with a speech by Maurice Faure, deputy of Drôme. This statue, a work of imagination by a Mrs. Clovis Hugues, is always visible on a small part of the city, where bird songs and the murmur of a fountain accompany it. During the inauguration, félibres dedicated some odes in celebration of her medieval love poetry, of which I have a short extract:
"Smart lady of Die, star of the love,
Your serene and pure face radiates like a paddle,
The plait of your hair which on your dress ondoie,
Us embaume the heart like a flowered garden "
On the next page, let us take a look at the medieval love poetry of a later troubadour, Guillaume de Machaut who acquired much fame for his compositions in both poetry and song in the 14th century.
de Machaut 1
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