During May, when the days are long,
I admire the song of the birds from far away
and when I have gone away from there
I remember a love far away.
I go scowling, with my head down
so much that songs and hawthorn flowers
aren’t better, to me, than the frozen Winter.
Never shall I enjoy love
unless I enjoy this faraway love,
since I don’t know of a better and worthier one
anywhere, near or far away.
So abundant and sovereign her merits are
that down there, in the Saracen’s realm,
I wish I were held in thrall for her sake.
Sad and pained shall I depart
if I don’t see this faraway love.
I don’t know when ever I shall see her,
so far away our countries are.
So many are the crossings and the roads
that I can’t tell.
But be everything as she likes it.
It will certainly feel like joy when I ask her,
for the love of god, to be hosted;
and, if she likes it, I shall lodge
near her, although I come from far away.
Conversation is so pleasant
when the faraway lover is so close
that he would long to be welcome with kind intentions.
I trust the Lord’s fairness
in having formed this faraway love,
but for each consolation I achieve
I get two ills, because I am so far away.
Ah! Why didn’t I go there as a pilgrim,
so that my staff and hooded cloak
would be beheld by her beautiful eyes!
God, who created all that comes and goes
and shaped this faraway love,
give me strength, since I already have the intention,
so that I see this love far away
in reality and in a fitting place
so that rooms and gardens
shall seem to me to be new palaces.
He is true who calls me grasping
and longing for a faraway love
since no other merriment pleases me as much
as enjoying a faraway love.
But that which I want is denied to me
since my godfather made it so
that I love and am not loved.
But what I want is forbidden:
Cursed be my lord
Who has decreed that I be not loved!