Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NA AUDIART, by EZRA POUND

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

NA AUDIART, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Though thou well dost wish me ill
Last Line: Que be-m vols mal.
Subject(s): Bertran De Born (1202-1215)

Note: Anyone who has read anything of the troubadours knows well the tale of Bertran of Born and
My Lady Maent of Montagnac, and knows also the song he made when she would none of him, the
song wherein he, seeking to find or make her equal, begs of each preeminent lady of Langue
d'Oc some trait or some fair semblance: thus of Cembelins her "esgart amoros" to wit, her
love-lit glance, of Aelis her speech free-running, of the Vicomtess of Chalais her throat and
her two hands, at Roacoart of Anhe

Though thou well dost wish me ill
Audiart, Audiart,
Where thy bodice laces start
As ivy fingers clutching through
Its crevices,
Audiart, Audiart,
Stately, tall and lovely tender
Who shall render
Audiart, Audiart,
Praises meet unto thy fashion?
Here a word kiss!
Pass I on
Unto Lady "Miels-de-Ben,"
Having praised thy girdle's scope
How the stays ply back from it;
I breathe no hope
That thou shouldst . . .
Nay no whit
Bespeak thyself for anything.
Just a word in thy praise, girl,
Just for the swirl
Thy satins make upon the stair,
'Cause never a flaw was there
Where thy torse and limbs are met
Though thou hate me, read it set
In rose and gold.
Or when the minstrel, tale half told,
Shall burst to lilting at the phrase
"Audiart, Audiart" . . .
Bertrans, master of his lays,
Bertrans of Aultaforte thy praise
Sets forth, and though thou hate me well,
Yea though thou wish me ill,
Audiart, Audiart.
Thy loveliness is here writ till,
Oh, till thou come again.
And being bent and wrinkled, in a form
That hath no perfect limning, when the warm
Youth dew is cold
Upon thy hands, and thy old soul
Scorning a new, wry'd casement,
Churlish at seemed misplacement,
Finds the earth as bitter
As now seems it sweet,
Being so young and fair
As then only in dreams,
Being then young and wry'd,
Broken of ancient pride,
Thou shalt then soften,
Knowing, I know not how,
Thou wert once she
Audiart, Audiart
For whose fairness one forgave
Que be-m vols mal.

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