Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Monday, November 22, 2004

I Sing, You Listen

(Bernard de Ventadour) was handsome and adroit, he could sing well and make verses, and he was well-informed and courteous. The viscount of Ventadour, his lord, grew fond of him through his verses and his songs, and did him great honour.

The viscount had a lovely wife, gracious, young, and graceful, and she too grew fond of Bernart and his songs. She fell in love with him and he with her, so much that he made verses on her and the love he bore her. ...

Their verses lasted a long time before the viscount realized what was happening ... And when he did find out, he chased Bernart from his presence. As for his wife, he had her shut up and guarded. Then she let Bernart know that she gave him his dismissal, and she prayed him to leave her and go off.

And he left her and came to the duchess of Normandy who was young and of great merit. ... Bernart’s songs pleased her much ... He stayed a long time at her court and he was smitten with her and the lady was smitten with him, and of it he made many good songs.

But the King of England married her and took her off to England. Bernart stayed there sad and grieving. He left Normandy and went to find the court of Toulouse, where he stayed on .... and after the count’s death he abandoned the world, verses, songs, and secular pleasures, he withdrew to the Order of Dalou, and there he died.

-- Bernart’s biographer, cited in Jack Lindsay’s The Troubadours and Their World, , 99


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