Heinrich von Morungen (d. 1222) Owê, sol aber mir

"I'd gaze forever if I might"

"I'd gaze forever if I might:
her body sheds a glow
whiter than a fall of snow,
and lights the night.
The glimmer tricked my eye
and made it seem to me
the moon was passing by—
and then day dawned."

"Some morning he won't have to leave
when the sky turns pale,
but now we greet the sun with grief:
I heard him wail
'Alas, the night has fled!'
That's what my lover said
last time we were in bed—
and then day dawned."

"She gave me kisses while she slept,
more than I could count,
but then when she awoke she wept,
all down her front.
I kissed the tears away
and quieted her cry:
she clove to me in play—
and then day dawned."

"Amazing, how he never tires
of feasting eyes on me!
He pulled the bedclothes off to see
what he admires.
What was there to discover
besides a naked lover?
(I'd keep us under cover)—
but then day dawned."


translation ©1999, 2001 Leonard Cottrell. All rights reserved.

main index for rhymed translations
Guilhem de Peitieu, the first known troubadour


"Owê, sol aber mir iemer mê
geliuhten dur die naht
noch wîzer danne ein snê
ir lîp vil wol geslaht?
Der trouc diu ougen mîn:
ich wânde, ez solde sîn
des liehten mânen schîn,
dô tagete ez."

"Owê, sol aber er iemer mê
den morgen hie betagen?
Als uns diu naht engê
daz wir niht durfen klagen:
'owê nû ist ez tac',
als er mit klage pflac
do er jungest bî mir lac.
Dô tagete ez."

"Owê, si kuste âne zal
in deme slâfe mich.
Dô vielen hin ze tal
ir trêne nider sich,
iedoch getrôste ich si,
daz si ir weinen li,
und mich al ummevi.
Dô tagete ez."

"Owê, daz er sô dicke sich
bî mir ersehen hât!
Als er endahte mich,
sô wolte er sunder wât
mîn arme schouwen blôz.
Ez was ein wunder grôz,
daz in des nie verdrôz.
Dô tagete ez."