Thursday 17 January 2019

Poem by Henrik van Veldeke (c. 1140-1210) in English translation

in the season that the roses

In the season that the roses
many a fine leaf do display,
one does curse the host of joyless
whose wrath waxes every day,
who from hatred love would slay
and would harm love’s faithful servants.
God preserve us from such perverts!

Such folk there’s no point decrying,
since their ire will bring them woe,
for they lurk there always spying,
laying bird-traps under snow.
But the thrush by then is flown.
Their efforts are in vain, love teaches,
as they reach for pears in beeches.

To see the original poem, go to here 

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