Com un rai de lumiere
Com un rai de lumiere
Brille toujours son bele sourire.
A veoir l'allure voil escrire
Rien autre me complete.
Quant le monde est tot sombre,
Un cloque partout m'encombre
Avant elle chasse tot l'ombre
Le chascun cuer la contente.
Verrai un jour l’en vision
Que qu’esperai por union,
Mais est d'une haut position.
A distance l'amor m'augmente.
Like a ray of brilliant light
Does her beautiful smile always shine.
I write in hopes of seeing her face
For nothing else will make me whole.
When the world is covered in darkness,
Like a cloak it weighs down upon me
Before she casts off the shadow
And makes every heart content.
I will see her one day in a vision
While also I hope for a union between us,
But she is of a high station in life.
So from afar will her love strengthen me.
This piece is the fifth in a series of poems dedicated to my good friend (and patroness) Maitresse Aenor d'Anjou. When I entered into her service (and the service of her lord and husband, Master Efenwealt Wystle), one of our agreements was that I would compose poems in her honor. What is more medieval, I thought (and still think!) then to write love poems to a married noblewoman? As a result, I have been trying to write at least one poem a month for her. I have also attempted to make these poems work as songs by coupling the lyrics with existing tunes (technically called contrafacta). See my list of poems for the other chansons in this series.
Even though my primary source of inspiration for these pieces is the ever-lovely Maitresse Aenor, I must confess that this piece was composed with inspiration in part from two other people as well. I wrote this piece the day after a local event in which I won the title of Baronial Bard (an annual position). One of my competitors for the title was a very young girl who had a wonderful smile and a lovely voice. I was well pleased that she had performed in the competition because she showed everyone that age is no indicator of skill or heart in the Society. The other person who inspired me to write this piece was a young lady who was roughly my age. That night at the event I sang a song for Aenor when many of us were assembled around a fire. When the song was over, this charming young lady smiled (I don't know if it was at me or not, but it was definitely heartening). Later, she asked to hear another piece of mine - but I had not memorized any others, nor had I brought the texts with me. I then decided I should write something in her honor - but with all my love songs, they are dedicated too to my good friend and patroness Aenor.
The structure of this song is taken from William (Guilhem) IX of Aquitaine's "Pos de chanter m'es pres talentz." There are a number of 4-line stanzas with an AAAB CCCB DDDB pattern. I stopped after three verses (for the trinity of women who inspired me) but the original song has 10 and a half (the last stanza repeats the final XB rhyme-words). I chose this song because it had a fairly easy structure/scheme and because it was a song of passing and lament. I wanted to put some happier words (more or less) to its "tune," though I don't believe any music really exists for it. I'll have to come up with a decent tune.