Le Sentier Batu

It is foolishness to jeer at others
and talk to people about things
about which they are bothered and ashamed.
4 One could of this matter
Show proof in many cases.
He acts badly to joke about the truth,
Because people say, and it’s true,
8 He will be paid in kind.
Whom one jeers or insults
When he sees the chance, let him avenge himself.
And such one who mocks someone else
12 It will come back to him.
As an exemplum, I will tell you,
it’s true, I would never lie,
And this is how someone told me for true.
16 There was a tournament
Between Perronne and Aties,
And knights from those places
Set up camp for the tourney.
20 Once they were in amorous conversation
With dames and demoiselles
Who were elegant and beautiful.
They undertook many delights,
24 That they made a queen
To play the game “the king who doesn’t lie.”
She knew very well
How to undertake the lead
28 And to ask questions.
She spoke well and was well built
In a way that was beautiful and rich.
Many questions she was able to ask
32 And her will commanded;
until she came to a knight
rather courteous and well-spoken
Who had loved her and would
26 Have taken her, and it pleased her.
He doesn’t seem at all well-tailored
To do that which pleases a lover
When you take her naked in your arms
40 Because he doesn’t have a thick beard.
He had a little beard, and he is timid
With regards to women in many instances.
“Sire,” says the queen,
44 “Tell me about your situation,
If you have ever had a child.”
“Lady,” he says, “I cannot boast that.
I’ve never had any, as far as I know.”
48 “Sire, I don’t doubt it,
And I believe that I’m not alone,
because it appears from the straw
that the corn is not good.”
52 After there was no break;
So she quickly went to another
to talk about another matter.
Many people listened to her
56 Smiling and noting her words.
The knight who heard this
was not happy with these words.
He was speechless and said nothing,
60 And when the game had lasted quite a while,
Until has asked all around
the queen, each on their own
asked her, as was the custom.
64 Her hears was subtle and wise,
She answered each one wisely,
her thoughts without delay.
When the turn came for the knight,
68 He remembered the taunt.
He desired to avenge himself
And said to her without delay,
“Lady, respond without deception:
72 Do you have any hair on your pubis?”
“By faith,” says the demoiselle,
“There’s a nice question
And gets right to the point.
76 Know that there is none.”
He says to her with satisfaction,
“I believe you, because in a path
That is beaten, one finds no grass.”
80 Those who heard the proverb
Began to laugh
for the bizarre question
for she was embarrassed and ashamed,
84 She who earlier was eager
to ask things and say
what would make the others laugh.
Now her heart was lost
88 That all her enjoyment was lost,
And this was her failed joy,
because before she was happy and delighted
And very full of mirth.
92 Not know courteously
the knight how to avenge her.
He did not want to insult her,
But he was fully her match
96 And her thoughts he showed,
As she had done to his,
Because there is not a woman on earth
Who can ever love a man,
100 if she hears him defamed
To be a bad workman in bed
In matters of amorous delight.
And on this point he was jeered.
104 You well know the castrated cock
Is unwelcome to the hens.
Also a man who is held to be
a bad worker is shunned
108 Among women, well you know it,
– these are nuns or Beguines –
as the capons among the hens.
The knight knew it well
112 That he had the reputation
And because of the jeering had a sad heart.
And thus he desired to avenge himself.
He knew that it may well be
116 Concerning her manner, the way she was,
Or some suspicion
ran in the merchandise
that he wants to marry her,
120 Thus he uncovered is heart
And if she had kept quiet
this matter would never have been
mentioned to her. You who hear
124 This story, you can hear
That the true jokes aren’t worth anything.
One sees little good come out of them.
Happenstance is when good happens.
128 Often one sees that bad comes.
I know little news of the good.
I made a new rhyme,
the story that I told.
132 Make God keep those that heard it!
Amen, here is the end of the story.
May God give to all a good end.
This entry was posted in fabliau and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s