Sunday, 20 July 2014

A poem by Hendrik van Veldeke, 12th century poet who the locals claim wrote in Old Limburgish. Always included in Dutch poetry anthologies.

Swer ze der minne ist sô vruot,
       Daz er der minne dienen kan,
Und er durch minne pîne tuot,
       Wol im, derst ein saelic man!
Von minne kumet uns allez guot,
Diu minne machet reinen muot,
       Waz solte ich sunder minne dan?

Ich minne die schoenen sunder danc,
       Ich weiz wol, ir minne ist klâr.
Obe mîne minne ist kranc.
       Sô wirt ouch niemer minne wâr.
Ich sage ir mîner minne danc,
Bî ir minne stât mine sanc,
       Er ist tump, swers niht geloubet gar.

Whoe’er in love so wise can be
       That in love’s service he’ll withstand
The pain from which he’d seek to flee,
       Good luck to him, the happy man!
All goodness we from love get free,
       The mind through love gains purity,
How then should I without love stand?

I love the fair one, will or no,
       And know full well her love is clear.
Should my love have too weak a glow,
       Then no true love can be sincere.
Her for my love I thanks would show,
Without her love my song can’t flow,
       Who doubts this is a fool, I fear.

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