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Dame, se vous n’avez aperceu (Rondeau: from 'Le Voir Dit')

Dame, se vous n’avez aperceu (Rondeau: from 'Le Voir Dit')

Dame, se vous n’avez aperceu
Que je vous aim de cuer sans decevoir,
Essaiés le si le sarez de voir.
Vo grant biauté m’aroit trop deceu
Et vo douceur, qui trop me font doloir.
Dame, se vous n’avez aperceu
Que je vous aim de cuer sans decevoir.
Car mon cuer ont si tres fort esmeu
A vous amer que ne puis concevoir
Que jamais bien doie ne joie avoir.
Dame, se vous n’avez aperceu
Que je vous aim de cuer sans decevoir,
Essaiez le si le sarez de voir.

Lady, if you haven't noticed I love you

Lady, if you haven’t noticed
I love you from the heart without deception,
Test me and you’ll see it’s true.
Your great beauty would have quite deceived me,
And your sweetness too, which pains me greatly.
Lady, if you haven’t noticed
I love you from the heart without deception.
For these two have so very strongly moved my heart
To love you that I cannot imagine
That I’ll ever find joy or benefit.
Lady, if you haven’t noticed
I love you from the heart without deception,
Test me and you’ll see it’s true.

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Composer

Guillaume de Machaut is presumed to have been born around the year 1300; the first surviving documentary evidence from 1330 lists him as a ‘clerk’ in the household of John of Bohemia and suggests that he had been in service since 1323. Machaut was instated as a canon of Reims Cathedral in 1337 and established a residence in the city in 1340. During his later years he enjoyed the patronage of a number of French nobles, including the wife and son of Jean II. In his sixties he enjoyed a close relationship with a young noblewoman, a relationship he chronicled (and embellished) in a long narrative poem, Le Voir Dit, which included many of their lyrics and letters. From these we learn something of his view of his own music, and of the process by which he preserved his work for posterity. His poetry also supplies a limited degree of biographical information; he suffered from gout and was blind in one eye, yet he was evidently enthusiastic about falconry, horseback riding and the French countryside. Machaut died in Reims in 1377.

© Daniel Leech-Wilkinson

 


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