PEIRE CARDENAL  
Tartarassa ni voutor
No sent tan leu carn puden
Quom clerc e prezicador
Senton ont es lo manen.
Mantenen son sei privat,
E quant malautia-l bat,
Fan li far donassio
Tel que-l paren no-i an pro.
  Buzzards and vultures
Do not smell out stinking flesh
As fast as clerics and preachers
Smell out the rich.
They circle around him, at once, like friends,
and as soon as sickness strikes him down
they get him to make a little donation,
and his own family gets nothing.
   
Franses e clerc an lauzor
De mal, quar ben lur en pren!
E renovier e trachor
An tot lo segl' eissamen,
C'ab mentir et ab barat
An si tot lo mon torbat
Que no-i a religio
Que no'n sapcha sa leisso.
Frenchmen and clerics win praise
For their felonies, because they succeed;
usurers and traitors
take the whole world that way,
for by falsehood and fraud
They have so confounded the earth,
there is not one religious order
which does not know their "rule".
     

Saps qu'endeven la ricor
De sels que l'an malamen
Venra un fort raubador
Que non lur laissara ren:
So es la mortz, que-ls abat,
C'ab catr'aunas de filat
Los tramet en tal maizo
Ont atrobon de mal pro

Do you know what happens to the wealth
of those who get it badly?
A mighty robber will come
who will not let them keep one thing -
Death, who strikes them down, who sends them across
in four ells of linen,
in a strange mansion,
where they find a great hoard of affliction.

   
Hom, per que fas tal follor
Que passes lo mandamen
De Dieu, quez es ton senhor
E t'a format de nien
La trueia ten al mercat
Sel que ab Dieu si combat:
Que-l n'aura tal guizardo
Com ac Judas lo fello.
  O Man, why commit such madness,
transgressing the commandment
of God, who is your Lord,
who formed you out of nothing?
He sells his sow in the market place (= is fool)
who fights with god,
he shall get the wages
Judas traitor got.

 

 

Dieus verais, plens de doussor,
Senher, sias nos guiren
Gardas d'enfernal dolor
Peccadors e de turmen,
E solves los del peccat
En que son pres e liat,
E faitz lur veray perdo,
Ab vera confessio.

O true God, full of sweetness,
Lord, be our protector,
keep all sinners
from the suffering of Hell, and from the torture,
and untie them from the sin
in which they are caught and bound up,
and give them faithful pardon
when they keep faith in their confession.


 
Una ciutatz fo, no sai cals,
On cazet una plueia tals
Que tug l'ome de la ciutat
Que toquet foron dessenat.
There was a city, I do not know which,
Where a certain rain fell
Such that all the men in the city
It touched became mad.
   
Tug desseneron mas sol us!
Aquel ne escapet, ses plus:
Que era dins una maizo
On dormia, quant aiso fo.
  They all became mad, except one alone,
He escaped, no others:
He was in a home
Asleep, when this thing happened.
   
Aquel levet cant ac dormit
E fo se de ploure gequit,
E venc foras entre las gens.
E tug feron dessenamens:
He got up when he finished sleeping
And it had stopped raining,
And he went outside, among his fellow citizens,
and they were all committing madness.
     

L'uns ac roquet, l'autre fon nus
E l'autre escupi ves sus!
L'uns trais peira, l'autre astella,
L'autre esquintet sa gonella.

One of them wore a little shirt, another was naked,
and another spit upward;
One was throwing a stone, another a stick,
Another was tearing his tunic.

   
E l'uns ferit e l'autre enpeis,
E l'autre cuget esser reis
E tenc se ricamen pels flancx,
E l'autre sautet per los bancx.
  One punched, another pushed,
Another thought he was king
And stood royally, hands on hips,
And another jumped over the benches.

 

 

L'uns menasset, l'autre maldis,
L'autre juret e l'autre ris,
L'autre parlet e non saup que,
L'autre fes metolas dese.

One made threats, another cursed,
Another swore, another laughed,
Another spoke and did not know what,
Another made terrible faces the whole time.
     
E aquel qu'avia son sen
Meravillet se mot fortmen
E vi ben que dessenat son.
E garda aval et amon
And this man who had kept his senses
Wondered greatly,
And he saw clearly they were mad.
He looks down, and up,
   
S'i negun savi n'i veira,
E negun savi non i ha.
Granz meravillas ac de lor,
Mas mot l'an il de lui major
  Whether he might not see one reasonable man,
and one reasonable man is not there.
He was greatly astonished at them,
But they are more so at him,
   
Que-l vezon estar suau men.
Cuidon c'aia perdut son sen
Car so qu'il fan no-l vezon faire.
A cascun de lor es veiaire
When they see him standing there in peace.
They think he has lost his sanity.
For what they're doing they do not see him do.
To each of them it is clear
     
Qu'il son savi e ben senat,
Mas lui tenon per dessenat.
Qui-l fer en gauta, qui en col.
El no pot mudar no-s degol.
They are reasonable and full of good sense,
But him they hold for mad.
Some strike him on the cheek, some on the neck.
He cannot help falling down.
   
L'uns l'empenh e l'autre lo bota.
El cuia eusir de la rota:
L'uns l'esquinta, l'autre l'atrai
El pren colps e leva e quai.
  One pushes, another shoves.
He thinks of getting away from this mob,
One tears his clothes, another drags his around,
he feels the punches, and gets up, and falls.
   
Cazen levan, a grans' scambautz,
S'en fug a sa maizo de sautz,
Fangos e batutz e mieg mortz,
Et ac gaug can lor fon estortz.
Falling, getting up, in big strides,
Skipping, he runs away to his house,
Muddy, beaten, half-dead,
But glad he got away from them.
     
Aquist faula es per lo mon:
Semblanz es als homes que-i son.
Aquest segles es la ciutatz,
Quez es totz plens de dessenatz.

This fable is an image of the world,
A semblance of the people in it.
This world is the city,
Because this world is full of madmen.

   
Que-l majer sens c'om pot aver
Si es amar Dieu e temer
E gardar sos comandamens!
Mas ar es perdutz aquel sens.
  For the greatest sanity a man can have
Is to love God, yes, and to fear him,
And to keep his commandments;
But this sanity is lost in our time.
   
Li plueia sai es cazeguda:
Cobeitatz, e si es venguda
Un' erguelhoz'e granz maleza
Que tota la gen a perpreza.
The rain of Covetousness has fallen
Here, and thus upon us
Comes a tremendous proud maliciousness
That has laid hold of all the people.
     
E si Dieus n'a alcun gardat,
L'autre-l tenon per dessenat
E menon lo de tomp en bilh
Car non es del sen que son ilh.
And if God has preserved one man,
The others hold him for mad,
And they make him do tricks in the air,
Because he is not of their mind.
   
Que-l sens de Dieu lor par folia,
E l'amix de Dieu, on que sia,
Conois que dessenat son tut,
Car lo sen de Dieu an perdut.
  For the wisdom of God is madness to them,
And the friend of God, wherever he is,
Knows they are mad, the pack of them,
For they have lost the sense of God.
   
E ilh, an lui per dessenat,
Car lo sen del mon a laissat.
And they, they hold him for mad,
For he has renounced the mad sanity of this world.