I have been in heavy thought over a cavalier I’d had

From Paul Blackburn’s Proensa: An Anthology of Troubadour Poetry – this one by Beatritz de Dia, the only female troubadour (trobairitz) to have an entry in this collection. Her biography seems as fraught as any of the rest but that takes nothing away.

Estat ai en greu cossirier

I have been in heavy thought
over a cavalier I’d had.
I want it clear to everyone
that I’ve loved him to excess,
and now I see he’s left me: pre-
text, I refused him my love.
I seem to be mistaken, then,
as to what was going on,
dressed or in bed.

I’d love to hold my cavalier
naked one evening in my arms,
he would think he were on fire
if I’d be his pillow then.
For I burn more for him than
Floris did for Blancheflor,
deliver him my love, my heart, my
sensuality, my eyes, my life.

My dear and lovely friend, if ever
I come to have you in my power
and get into bed with you one night
and give you love-kiss, know it:
I’d have such a great desire
to hold you in my husband’s place,
if you’d promise me to do
everything I’d want you to.

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