Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NO MARVEL IS IT, by BERNART DE VENTADORN



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NO MARVEL IS IT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: No marvel it is if I sing
Last Line: "but fear is his undoing"
Alternate Author Name(s): Bernard De Ventadour
Subject(s): Troubadours; Minnesingers


NO marvel is it if I sing
Better than other minstrels all,
For more than they am I love's thrall.
and all myself therein I fling:
Knowledge and sense, body and soul.
And what power I have beside:
The rein that doth my being guide
Impels me to this only goal!

His heart is dead whence doth not spring
Love's odor sweet and magical;
His life doth ever on him pall
Who knoweth not that blessed thing:
Yea, God who doth my life control
Were cruel, did he bid me bide
A month or even a day, denied
The love whose rapture I extol.

How keen, how exquisite the sting
Of that sweet odor! At its call
An hundred times a day I fall
And faint; an hundred rise and sing!
So fair the semblance of my dole.
'Tis lovelier than another's pride:
If such the ill doth me betide,
Good hap were more than I could thole!

Yet haste, kind Heaven , the sundering
True swains from false, great hearts from small!
The traitor in the dust bid crawl,
The faithless to confession bring!
Ah, if I were the master sole
Of all earth's treasures multiplied.
To see my lady satisfied
Of my pure faith. I'd give the whole!

II
WHEN I behold on eager wing
The skylark soaring to the sun.
Till e'en with rapture faltering
He sinks in glad oblivion
Alas, how fain to seek were I
The same ecstatic fate of fire!
Yea, of a truth, I know not why
My heart melts not with its desire!

Me thought that I knew everything
Of love. Alas, my lore was none!
For helpless now my praise I bring
To one who still that praise doth shun;
One who hath robbed me utterly
Of soul, of self, of life entire
So that my heart can only cry
For that it ever shall require.
For ne'er have I of self been king
Since the first hour, so long agone.
When to thine eyes bewildering,
As to a mirror, I was drawn.
There let me gaze until I die;
So doth my soul of sighing tire,
As at the fount, in days gone by,
The fair Narcissus did expire.

III
WHEN the sweet breeze comes blowing
From where thy country lies.
Meseems I am foreknowing
The airs of Paradise.
So is my heart o'erflowering
For that fair one and wise
Who hath the glad bestowing
Of life's whole energies;
For whom I agonize
Whithersoever going.

I mind the beauty glowing,
The fair and haughty eyes,
Which, all my will o'erthrowing,
Made me their sacrifice.
Whatever mien thou'rt showing.
Why should I this disguise?
Yet let me ne'er be ruling
One of thine old replies: --
"Man's daring wins the prize.
But fear is his undoing"





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