When I see the lark beating

When I see the lark beating

When I see the lark beating
Its wings in joy against the rays of the sun
That it forgets itself and lets itself fall
Because of the sweetness that comes to its heart,
Alas! Such great envy then overwhelms me
Of all those whom I see rejoicing,
I wonder that my heart, at that moment,
Does not melt from desire.

Alas! How much I thought I knew
About love, and how little I know,
Because I cannot keep myself from loving
The one from whom I will gain nothing.
She has all my heart, and my soul,
And herself and the whole world;
And when she left, nothing remained
But desire and a longing heart.

I have never had power over myself
Nor been by own man from the very hour
When she let me see into her eyes,
Into a mirror that pleases me so much.
Mirror, since I saw myself in you,
I have been slain by deep sighs,
That I have lost myself just as the handsome
Narcissus did in the fountain.

I despair of ladies;
I will never trust them again;
As I used to defend them
Now I shall abandon them,
Because I see no one who does any good for me
Against her who destroys and confounds me,
I fear and distrust them all,
Because I know very well that they are all alike.

She really shows herself to be a woman in this,
My lady, for which I condemn her;
Because she does not want what she should want,
And what she shouldn’t do, she does.
I have fallen on an evil grace,
And I have indeed acted like the fool on the bridge
And I do not know how this happened to me,
Unless I tried to climb too high on the mountain.

Mercy is indeed lost,
And I never knew it,
Because she, who ought to have most of it,
Has none, and where will I look for it?
Ah! It would never seem, when looking at her,
That she would let this love-sick wretch,
Who will never be well without her,
To die, without helping him.

Since these things will never bring me good from my lady,
Neither prayers, pity, nor the rights I have,
Nor is it a pleasure to her
That I love her, I will never tell her again.
Thus I part from her and give her up.
She has slain me, and through death I will respond,
And I go away, since she does not ask me to stay,
Wretched, into exile, I know not where.

Tristan, you will have nothing more from me,
For I go away, wretched, I know not where.
I will withdraw from singing and renounce it,
And I hide myself from joy and love.

by Bernart de Ventadorn
English version by Craig E. Bertolet
Original Language Provencal