Sunday 14 April 2019

Walther von der Vogelweide (c.1170-c.1230): 'Under der linden' in English translation

Under der linden
an der heide,
dâ unser zweier bette was,
dâ mugt ir vinden
schône beide
gebrochen bluomen unde gras.
vor dem walde in einem tal -
schöne sanc die nachtigal.

Ich kam gegangen
zuo der ouwe,
dô was mîn friedel komen ê.
da wart ich enpfangen
hêre frouwe,
daz ich bin sælic iemer mê.
kuster mich? wol tûsenstunt!
seht, wie rôt mir ist der munt.

Dô het er gemachet
also riche
von bluomen eine bettestat.
des wird noch gelachet
kumt iemen an daz selbe pfat.
bî den rôsen er wol mac -
merken, wâ mirz houbet lac.

Daz er bî mir læge,
wessez iemen,
– nu enwelle got – sô schamt ich mich.
wes er mit mir pflæge,
niemer niemen
bevinde daz wan er unt ich
und ein kleinez vogellîn!
daz mag wol getriuwe sîn.

Under the lime tree,
where such a blissful bed was ours,
you will in time see,
your eyes grounded,
much flattened grass as well as flowers.
near the wood and in a dale
sweetly sang the nightingale

I came out walking
now converging
on where my love was gone before.
received such sweet talking,
blessed virgin,
that I am joyful ever more.
did he kiss me? thousandfold!
see, my lips are red as gold.

To where he had crafted
out of flowers 
the finest bed on which to lie.
this is still laughed at 
at all hours,
should someone near this place pass by.
from the roses he can say –
just where my fair head once lay.

Should someone discover
with me he lay
- may God forbid – ashamed I’d be.
that done by my lover
must secret stay 
for everyone save him and me
and a tiny little bird!
trusted not to say a word.

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