The Countess of Dia is the first woman troubadour whose name is known and whose work has survived. The words to at least four of her songs are extant and at least one of these still has the notes. Some sources refer to her as the Countess Beatriz de Dia and give biographical detail. She seems to have been active as a songwriter around 1160 .
Comtessa de Dia (born c. 1140) Estat ai en greu cossirier
"Of late I've been in great distress"
Of late I've been in great distress
about a knight I thought was mine.
I want it known for all of time
that though I loved him to excess,
his pleasure with me I delayed,
and was on that account betrayed!
It makes me wild: my mind can't rest
whether I'm in bed or dressed.
I'd like it well if I caressed
him with my naked arms. He'd get
excited if I merely let
him feel the softness of my breast;
and he'd delight me even more
than Floris once did Blanchaflor!
I'd offer him my every part,
my mind, my senses, and my heart.
When, my gallant handsome friend
when shall I have you in my power?
I'll lie beside you and my tender
kiss will bring your love to flower.
I would be greatly comforted
to have you in my husband's stead,
but only if you swear to do
everything I wish you to!
translation ©1999, 2001 Leonard Cottrell. All rights reserved.
index for rhymed translations
more troubadour songs
Estat ai en greu cossirier
per un cavallier qu'ai agut,
e vuoil sia totz temps saubut
cum ieu l'ai amat a sobrier;
ara vei qu'ieu sui trahida
car ieu non li donei m'amor
don ai estat en gran error
en lieig e quand sui vestida.
Ben volria mon cavallier
tener un ser en mos bratz nut,
qu'el s'en tengra per ereubut
sol qu'a lui fezes cosseillier;
car plus m'en sui abellida
no fetz Floris de Blanchaflor:
ieu l'autrei mon cor e m'amor
mon sen, mos huoillis e ma vida.
Bels amics avinens e bos,
cora.us tenrai en mon poder?
e que jagues ab vos un ser
e qu'ie.us des un bais amoros;
sapchatz, gran talen n'auria
qu'ie.us tengues en luoc del marit,
ab so que m'aguessetz plevit
de far tot so qu qu'ieu volria.
For unrhymed unmetrical renderings see
Michelle Thiebaux's 1994 book "The Writings of Medieval Women",
Meg Bogen's 1978 book "The Women Troubadours", New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Thiebaux's translation is posted at