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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 1
(By Yasbeau de Vergi as appeared in the September 1989 Bolt)

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La Chatelaine de Vergi was written in approximately 1280-1290 by an unknown author. The poem encompasses the medieval ideal of courtly love, popularized in the courts of Eleanor of Aquitaine. The poem was translated from the Old French by Ysabeau and will be presented in many, many installments.

La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 1

There are some people who appear so;
And seem to be so good at keeping secrets,
That one begins to trust in them.
And when it comes to pass that a lover reveals himself
Enough for them to find out the truth and the love,
They spread it throughout the countryside then, and
Make of it a joke and a laughingstock.
So it happens that the joy is taken away from he
Whose secret has been discovered, because
The greater their passion,
The more grieved the true lovers
When one of the pair believed that the other
Has said what must be kept secret.
And often such mishap comes of it, that
The love falls in ruins
In great unhappiness and shame.
Thus it came to pass in Burgundy
With a knight both gallant and bold
And the Chatelaine of Vergi.
The knight so adored her, that the lady
Gave her love to him with a sacred covenant;
She would be his until the hour and the day
That through him their love would be discovered,
Then he would lose both the love and the gift
Which she had made of herself to him.
And to enjoy their love,
They agreed that the knight would come always
Into an orchard
At an appointed time, and not
To stir from his hiding place
Until such time
As a little dog came into the orchard.
And then he would come without further delay
To he bedchamber, where he would know well
That at that hour there would be no one else
Except for the lady, all alone.
Thus they kept on for many a day,
And their love was so sweet and wise,
That no one learned of their secret.

To be continued . . .

 Page last updated 12/28/99