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Three Cantos (Ur-Cantos)

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A Draft of XXX Cantos I-XXX

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Eleven New Cantos XXXI-XLI

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Fifth Decad of Cantos XLII-LI

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Cantos LII to LXXI (China and Adams)

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The Italian Cantos: LXXII-LXXIII

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The Pisan Cantos LXXIV-LXXXIV

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Rock Drill: LXXXV-XCV

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Thrones: Cantos XCVI-CIX

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Drafts & Fragments CX-CXVII

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Sordello: Planher vuelh en Blacatz en aquest leugier so

 

I want to mourn for Lord Blacatz with this lighthearted sound,

With a heart that’s sad and sore beset, for there are reasons for it:

In him I lost a good, true friend and a worthy lord,

And all the manly virtues are gone with him.

Ah, the loss is deadly! for I think I’ll never see

A return of any goodness, unless it comes just so-

Let everyone split up his heart – yes, let those barons eat!

For they’re all heartless men who could stand a cordial treat! 

           

Ah, number one comes the Emperor of Rome, a man

Who needs some hearty food if he wants to overtake

Those Milanese by force, for they think he’s a loss

He’s got no inheritance, even with his friendly Germans.

And after him let the King of France step up to the banquet,

For he wants to win back Castile that he lost through foolishness:

But let him think of his mother; she won’t touch a piece-

No, she’s too dignified to do anything that distasteful!  

        

I like that English King, for he’s a man of little heart,

And if he’ll just sample some, he’ll be valiant and good,

And he’ll win back the land snatched by the King of France,

Who knows he’s a good-for-nothing and leaves him in disgrace.

And that Castilian King! I think he should eat for two!

For he holds two domains, and is not good enough for one!

But if he wants a nibble, he should eat secretly,

For if his Mamma catches him, she’ll flail him with her rod. 

 

And the King of Aragon should have a taste, I do believe,

For it will help to purge him of the shame

That he gets over here from Marseille and from Milan,

For he gets not a jot of honor for anything done or said.

And next I want the Navarese King to step up to the feast

For he was a worthy count before he was crowned, I hear.

It’s terrible when God helps a man to mount in wealth

And then weakness of heart makes him tumble in price.

      

The Count of Toulouse needs a good big bite of heart

If he thinks of what he had and what he has now;

For if this new infusion doesn’t help him recoup his losses,

It’s lost for good with that old heart in his breast.

And the Count of Provence should eat if he’ll recall

How a man who’s disinherited isn’t worth a damn

And although he fights and defends himself with guts,

He still should dine on this heart for the burdens he bears. 

 

The barons will curse me for the evil I’ve said here,

But they know I think they’re as low as they think me.   

       

Beautiful Restorer, in you alone I may find my grace,

And I scorn every man who won’t hold me as his friend.

 

 

Reference

Sordello. “Planher vuelh en Blacatz en aquest leugier so.” Lyrics of the Middle Ages: An Anthology. Trans. and ed. James J. Wilhelm. London: Routledge, 1990. Print. 113-14.

Sordello. “Planher vuelh en Blacatz en aquest leugier so.” In Cesare De Lollis. Vita e poesie di Sordello di Goito. Halle: Verlag von Max Niemeyer, 1896. 153-56. Poem onlineLollis volume.