Je vivroie liement

This is a 14th. century French song written by Guillaume de Machaut. The translation follows the liner notes to The Mirror of Narcissus, Songs by Guillaume de Machaut available from Hyperion (CDA66087).

(first three stanzas played in a loop)

Je vivroie liement,
Douce creature,
Se vous saviés vraiement
ma cure.

Dame de meintieng joli,
Plaisant, nette et pure,
Souvent me fait dire 'ai mi!'
Li maus que j'endure

Pur vous servir loyaument.
Et soié seüre
Que je ne puis nullement
Vivre einssi, se longuement
Me dure.

Car vous m'estes sans mercy
Et sans pité dure.
et s'avés le cuer de mi
Mis en tel ardure

Qu'il morra certeinnement
De mort trop obscure,
Se pour son aligement
Merci n'est procheinnement

center filler I should lead a happy life,
sweet creature,
if only you truly realized
that you where the cause of all
my concern.

Lady of cheerful bearing,
pleasing, bright and pure,
often the woe I suffer
to serve you loyally

makes me say 'alas!'
And you may be sure
that I can in no wise
go on living like this, if it lasts
any longer

For you are merciless to me
and pitilessly obdurate,
and have put such longing
into my heart

that it will certainly die
a most dismal death,
unless for its relief
your mercy is soon

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