61. The Crane (La Damoisele de la grue) by Garin Translation by


61. The Crane (La Damoisele de la grue) by Garin Translation by
Dubin, Fabliaux Translations
61. The Crane (La Damoisele de la grue)
by Garin
Translation by Ned Dubin
Ci commance de la grue
Des or, que que j‟aie targié
puis qu‟il m‟a esté enchargié,
voudré [je] .i. fabliau ja fere
dom la matiere oï retrere
a Vercelai devant les changes.
Cil ne sert mie de losenges
qui la m‟a racontee & dite—
ele est & brieve & petite,
mais or oie qui oïr vialt.
Ce dit Garins, qui dire sialt,
que jadis fu .i. chastelains
qui ne fu ne fous ne vilains,
ainz ert cortois & bien apris.
Une fille avoit de haut pris
qui estoit bele a desmesure,
mes li chastelains n‟avoit cure
qu‟en la veïst se petit non
ne que a li parlast nul hom.
Tant l‟avoit chiere & tant l‟amoit
que en une tor l‟enfermoit;
n‟avoit o li que sa norrice,
qui n‟estoit ne fole ne nice,
ainz ert molt sage & molt savoit;
la pucele gardee avoit,
molt l‟avoit bien endotrinee.
.I. jor par une matinee
vost la norice aparellier
a la damoisele a mengier,
si li failli une escüelle.
Tot maintenant s‟en corut cele
a lor ostel qui n‟est pas loing
querre ce dont avoit besoing.
L‟uis de la tor overt laissa.
Atant .i. vaslet trespassa
par devant la tor, qui portoit
une grue que prise avoit;
si la tenoit en sa main destre.
The Crane
However much I have been lax
since first I was set to this task,
I‟ll now compose a fabliau
about something I came to know
in Vézelay by the exchange.
It‟s not at all within the range
of my purpose to say who told it;
it‟s short enough and soon unfolded,
but listen, if you‟re curious.
Garin the story-teller says
that once there lived a castellan,
neither a fool nor uncouth man,
but courtly, and well-cultured too.
He had a worthy daughter, who
was beautiful beyond compare,
but the castellan didn‟t care
that any man have conversations
or see her, save on rare occasions.
He kept her shut up in a tower,
he loved her so, and would allow her
only her nurse for company—
no silly, foolish woman, she,
but worldly-wise and disciplined,
who saw to it her charge was penned
and oversaw her education.
Whilst engaged in the preparation
of the girl‟s breakfast, it occurs
on one fine morning to the nurse
that they could use another plate,
and off she hurries, doesn‟t wait,
back to their home, which was quite near,
to fetch the needed kitchen gear.
She didn‟t think to lock the tower.
A young man at that very hour
came walking by there, and he had
a crane he recently had bagged
clutched in his right hand.
Dubin, Fabliaux Translations
La pucele ert a la fenestre,
a l‟esgarder hors se deporte,
le vaslet qui la grue porte
apela, si li dist: « Biaus frere,
or me di, par l‟arme ton pere,
quel oisel est ce que tu tiens?
— Dame, par toz les sains d‟Orliens,
c‟est une grue grant & bele.
— En non Dieu, fet la damoisele,
ele est molt granz & parcreüe!
Ainz tele mes ne fu veüe.
Je l‟achetasse ja de toi.
— Dame, fet li vaslez, par foi,
s‟il vos plest, je la vos vendré.
— Or di donc que je t‟en donré.
— Dame, por .i. foutre soit vostre.
— Foi que doi saint Pere l‟apostre,
je n‟ai nul foutre por changier!
Ja ne t‟en feïsse dangier
se l‟eüsse, se Dieus me voie,
tantost fust ja la grue moie.
— Dame, fait il, ice est gas:
ice ne querroie je pas
que de foutre a plenté n‟aiez!—
mes fetes tost, si me paiez. »
El jure, se Dieus li aït,
c‟onques encor foutre ne vit:
« Vaslez, fet ele, vien amont,
si quier & aval & amont,
soz bans, soz lit, partot querras,
savoir se foutre i troveras.
Li vaslez fu assez cortois;
en la tor entra demanois,
sanblant fet de querre partot.
« Dame, fet il, je me redot
qu‟il ne soit soz vostre pelice. »
Cele qui fu & sote & nice
li dist: « Vaslez, vien, si i garde! »
& li vaslez plus ne se tarde:
la damoisele a enbraciee
qui de la grue estoit molt liee,
sor lou lit l‟a cochiee & mise,
puis li solieve la chemise,
les james li leva en haut,
au con trover mie ne faut;
Now, the girl,
who liked to look out at the world,
was sitting by the window-pane
and saw him pass by with the crane.
She called to him and said, “My friend,
what bird have you there in your hand,
on your father‟s soul?” He explains,
“By Orléans and all her saints,
my lady, it‟s a large, fine crane.”
The girl replies, “In God‟s own name,
it‟s fat and fair and just mature;
I‟ve never seen its like, I‟m sure.
I‟d buy it from you, if I could.”
“My lady,” he says, “well and good.
If that would please you, I will sell.”
“What are you asking for it, tell?”
“My lady, for a fuck it‟s yours.”
“Saint Peter help me now, because
I haven‟t any fuck to trade!
God knows, if I had, we‟d have made
a bargain quickly—I‟m not cheap—
and the crane would be mine to keep.”
“Lady,” he says, “surely you jest.
I certainly would not suggest
a fuck unless you had a lot.
Be quick and pay me what you‟ve got.”
She swears to God that, just her luck,
she‟s never ever seen a fuck.
“Young man,” she says, “come on up now
and look for yourself high and low,
‟neath bed and benches, all around,
to see if a fuck can‟t be found.”
The youth, who was well-bred and
came to her in the tower shortly,
pretending to search thoroughly.
“Lady,” he said, “it seems to me
there may be one under your dress.”
She‟d not much sense and knew still less,
told him, “Come, fellow; have a look.”
Without delay the young man took
her in his arms with might and main
who was enamored of his crane,
placed her in bed and grabbed her shift
and hiked it up, went on to lift
her legs way up and held them high,
and her cunt quickly caught his eye,
Dubin, Fabliaux Translations
lo vit i bote roidement.
« Vaslez, tu quiers trop durement! »
fet la pucele, qui sospire.
Li vaslez commença a rire,
qui est espris de la besoingne:
« Drois est, fet il, que je vos doingne
ma grue; est vostre tot[e] quite.
— Tu as bone parrole dite,
fet la meschine; or t‟en torne. »
Cil la lessa pensive & morne,
si s‟en issi de la tor fors,
& la norice i entra lors,
si a aparceü la grue.
Toz li sans li fremist & mue;
lors a parlé tost & isnel:
« Qui aporta ci cest oisel,
damoisele? Dites lou moi!
— Je l‟achetai or, par ma foi;
je l‟ai d‟un vaslet achetee
qui çaienz la m‟a aportee.
— Qu‟i donastes? — .I. foutre, dame.
Il n‟en ot plus de moi, par m‟ame.
— .I. foutre? Lasse! dolerouse!
Or sui je trop maleürouse
quant je vos ai leissiee sole!
.C. dahaiz ait mauvese gole
quant onques menjé en ma vie!
Or ai ge bien mort deservie,
& je l‟avré, ge cuit, par tens! »
Par pou n‟est issue do sens
la norrice & chiet jus pasmee,
& neporquant si a plumee
la grue, & bien aparrelliee:
ja n‟i avra, ce dit, ailliee,
ainz en voudra mengier au poivre.
(Sovent ai oï amentoivre
& dire & conter en main[t] leu:
« Li domages qui bout au feu
vaut miaus que cil qui ne fet aise »).
Qui que soit bel ne qui desplaise,
la grue atorne bien & bel,
puis si reva querre .i. cotel
dom ele vialt ovrir la grue,
& la meschine est revenue
a la fenestre regarder.
Si vit lou vaslet trespasser,
and roughly he thrust in his rod.
“Young man, you‟re searching much too
the maiden says, sighing and gasping.
The young man couldn‟t keep from laughing,
involved to the hilt in his game:
“It‟s just I‟m giving you my crane―
take full possession of the bird.”
“You never spoke a truer word,”
the girl says; “now be off with you!”
He left her sad and thoughtful, too,
went from the tower and traveled on,
and her nurse came back thereupon
and saw the damsel with the crane.
She trembled, and the blood did drain
out of her face, and she was short:
“Young lady, what‟s this bird? Who brought
it here? Now tell the truth to me!”
“I bought it just now, honestly,
from a young man, who sold the bird
and brought it in here, you‟ve my word.”
“What did you pay?” “One fuck, no more;
I gave him nothing else, be sure.”
“Wretch that I am! Woe‟s me! A fuck?
How could I have such awful luck
as to have left you here alone?
I curse my mouth for what I‟ve done
that ever it ate or drew breath!
I deserve to be put to death
and will be, too, I think, quite soon!”
You‟d think the nurse about to swoon
and fall to the floor altogether,
but still she sets out to defeather
the crane and dress it for the pot:
a garlic sauce, she says, is not
what‟s called for—pepper‟s her intention.
(I often have heard people mention
in many places that I‟ve been:
“Adversity that ends up in
the pot at least gives some small comfort.”)
Some it may please and some discomfit,
so what?—the nurse seasons the crane
and then has to go out again
to get a knife to open it,
and the young girl returns to sit
down by the window and look out.
She saw the young man, still about
Dubin, Fabliaux Translations
qui molt est liez de s‟aventure,
& la damoisele a droiture
li dist: « Vaslez, venez tost ça!
Ma norrice se correça
de ce que mon foutre enportastes
& vostre grue me laissastes.
Por amor, venez lou moi rendre!
Ne devez pas vers moi mesprendre;
venez, si fetes pes a moi.
— Ma damoisele, je l‟otroi, »
fet li vaslés; lors monte sus,
la damoisele giete jus
& entre les janbes li entre,
si li enbat lou foutre el ventre.
Quant ot fet, tantost s‟en ala,
mes la grue pas n‟i lessa,
ainz l‟en a avec soi portee,
& la norice est retornee,
qui la grue vialt enhaster.
« Dame, ne vos estuet haster,
fet la meschine, qu‟il l‟enporte
qui s‟en est issuz par la porte.
Desfoutue m‟a, jel vos di. »
Quant la norice l‟entendi,
lors se debat, lors se devore,
& dit que maudite soit l‟ore
[qu‟ele est hui de la tor issue
quant sa fille li est foutue:]
« Que je onques de vos fui garde?
Trop en ai fet mauvese garde
quant si avez esté foutue
& si n‟ai mie de la grue!
Je meïsmes li ai fet leu:
la male garde pest lo leu. »
and glad of what had taken place.
The maiden called him straightaways
and said, “Come back here, sir, and quick!
My nurse was angered to the quick
because you took my fuck away
when you sold me your crane today.
Do give it back, and be so kind
not to begrudge it me or mind.
Come here, and let us two make peace.”
“Missy, I‟ll do just as you please,”
the young man said; then up he came
and stretched her out and did the same:
he went between her legs and pounded
the fuck right back where he had found it.
When he had done, he didn‟t stay,
but took his crane and went away
instead of leaving it behind.
The nurse returned, thinking she‟d find
the crane and put it up to roast.
“Don‟t hurry; it‟s all labor lost,”
the maiden told the woman, “for
the man who just went out that door
unfucked me and took back his bird.”
The nurse, no sooner had she heard,
made of her grief such a display
and called down curses on the day
she‟d left the maiden in the tower
that day for some man to deflower:
“Why was I given you to watch?
So heedlessly have I kept watch
that here you have been fucked again
and I don‟t get a bit of crane!
I gave the man his chance myself:
„The careless shepherd feeds the wolf!‟”
The young man does not at first realize just how naïve the girl is.
On their second encounter the girl addresses him as vous and the young man says tu (he
also now calls her damoisele instead of dame), reversing their usage at their first
meeting. No one can assess with certainty the exact implications of the second person
pronoun in Old French, but obviously something has changed.
162. Proverb.
© Ned Dubin
Dubin, Fabliaux Translations