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Early Indo-European Texts

Old French

Brigitte L.M. Bauer and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Old French with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old French Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old French language and its speakers' culture.

Béroul, Tristan: 142-175

Par foi, sire, grant tort avez,
Que de tel chose a moi parlez
Que de vos le mete a raison
Et de s'ire face pardon.

Je ne vuel pas encor morir,
Ne moi du tot en tot perir!
Il vos mescroit de moi forment,
Et j'en tendroie parlement?

Donc seroie je trop hardie.
Par foi, Tristan, n'en ferai mie,
Ne vos nu me devez requerre.

Tote sui sole en ceste terre.
Il vos a fait chambres veer
Por moi: s'il or m'en ot parler,
Bien me porroit tenir por fole.

Par foi, ja n'en dirai parole;
Et si vos dirai une rien,
Si vuel que vos le sacis bien:
S il vos pardounot, beau sire,
Par Deu son mautalent et s'ire,
J'en seroie joiose et lie.

S'or savoit ceste chevauchie,
Cel sai je bien que ja resort,
Tristan, n'avreie contre mort.

Vois m'en imais ne prendrai some.
Grant poor ai qu aucun home
Ne vos ait ci ve venir.

S'un mot en puet li rois or
Que nos fuson a asembl,
Il me feroit ardoir en r.
Ne seret pas mervelle grant.

Mis cors trenble, poor ai grant.
De la poor qui or me prent,
Vois m'en, trop sui ci longuement."

Translation

Sincerely, lord, you make a great mistake,
To talk to me about such matter
That I talk to him about you
And that he forgets his distress.
I do not want yet to die,
Nor perish completely!
He suspects you strongly on my behalf,
And I would have a conversation about it?
Therefore it would be too bold
Sincerely, Tristan, I will not do it,
You should not ask it from me.
I am completely alone in this country.
He has made his private apartment forbidden territory for you
Because of me: if he now hears me talk about it,
He could very well consider me crazy.
Sincerely, I will not to say a word about it;
But I will tell you one thing,
And I want you to know this very well:
If he forgave you, dear lord,
Through God his anger and his distress,
I would be full of joy about it, and happy.
If he now knew about this meeting,
I know well, Tristan, that I would never
have any remedy against death.
I am leaving but I will get no sleep.
I have great fear that some man
Has seen you coming here.
If the king can hear one word
That we have met here,
He would make me burn at the stake.
It would be no great surprise.
My body is trembling, I have great fear.
From the fear, which takes hold of me now,
I am going away, I have been here too long.