a collection of literature from poets, bards, songwriters, and skalds in the SCA

Chanterai des hommes n’ont honor

Poem (Canso): 
Chanterai des hommes n’ont honor
Et avueent que ses seignor
Li que n’est cortois mais vilaine.
Ses cuers vertu done dolor!
Rare est le noble qu’at fin’amor:
Vos chant a former cez cort plaine.
Doi imiter Mal Habillé?
Ses manches sont de sauce taché!
Ses chausses puent de merde fortment!
N’est nul que dit de li, por Dé,
“Com un noble bien l’est habillé.”
Si le suivre soie un dupe dolent.
Sire Trop-fier est un gran connarde
Qui se valeur sol croit et garde.
Que hautement l’enfle et l’aime!
Ne tornoi gagne mais tojours tarde,
Ne dame s’ecrie ni l’esgarde.
Sol l’aveugle vuel ce vie et faime.
Jean le fâché est un monstre
Qui destruit l’honor d’altre!
Ne vuel estre bien ni penser,
Mais en le duel vuel combatre.
Cortois ce qu’est facile estre.
Nul puet par ici prosperer.
Le Cochon des avoir prix bave
Mais ne les gagne por n’est brave.
Vuel il ne vertu mais sol l’or.
S’oeil toujours est torné très grave
A la fille proche avuec joue have.
Que bien est ce vie de dolor?
Voit a Seignor Imitater!
Vuel estre autre bacheler.
Nul ne vraiment est puet a faire,
N’importe qu’est que puet envier.
Sa grandeur servist atorner!
Imiter icist homme est traire.
Avariceux at soif de plus,
N’ert satisfait, at cupide us:
Vuel nes choses mais tot plus gain.
Ses pensées rares sont molt crus,
Ses males soifes semblent nus.
Ne voil qu’estre com cil vilain!
De que fai avuec Sire Gloton?
Est gai manger com un felon
Que n’en un robe doit a aler!
Al sourire at une dame reason?
Inapte por rien est cist povre on!
Ai le sens a le rejeter.
Bien Chevalier imiterai,
Qu’obéist tot del roi verai,
Et avec molt grace s’humilie.
Com li, chascun je servirai!
Se vertu et patience n’ai.
Celebre de cist homme la vie!
Cest chant en Alvegast de joi
De Chevalerie le tornoi.
I will sing of those who have no honor
And recognize as their lord
He who is not courteous, but a peasant.
Virtue gives pain to their hearts!
Rare is the nobleman who has fin’amor (courtly love)
So I sing this short lament to educate you.
Should I imitate Badly-Dressed?
His sleeves are stained with sauce,
His chausses reek strongly of feces.
No one would say of him, by God,
“He is dressed as a fine noble.”
If I copied him, I would be a sad idiot.
Lord Over-proud is a silly fool
Who protects and thinks of only his reputation,
How highly he loves and estimates it!
No tourneys does he win, as he always moves slow,
No ladies call to or even notice him!
Only the blind man wants this life and fame.
Jean the Angry is a monster
Who ruins all honor of another!
He never wants to think or even act courteously,
But only wants to fight in duels.
Being courteous is the easiest thing to be!
No one can prosper in this way.
The lecher slobbers over gaining prizes,
But he’ll never win them, as he is not brave.
He wants no virtue, but only gold.
Always his eye is gravely focused
Upon the nearest girl who has a thin cheek.
What good is such a painful life?
Look at Lord Imitator!
He hopes to be another man.
No man can become what he truly is not,
It doesn’t matter who he might envy.
Attend to arming yourself in greatness.
To imitate this man is to suffer.
Avarice hungers for more
He is never satisfied, for he has this greedy habit:
He wants not what he has, but always more trinkets!
His rare thoughts are very crude,
And his evil hungers are easily spotted.
I do not want to be like that wretch!
What do I do with Lord Glutton?
He is content to eat like a criminal.
He cannot even fit into a robe!
What reason does he give any lady to smile?
This poor man is unfit for anything!
I have the sense to reject him.
I will imitate the Good Knight
Who always obeys his king faithfully
And humbles himself with much grace.
Like him, everyone will I serve.
His virtue and patience I have not!
I celebrate the life of this man.
I sing this in Elvegast, in joy
Of the tournament of Chivalry.