Friday, March 11, 2011

Song of St. Eulalie (La Cantilene de Sainte Eulalie)

La Cantilene de Sainte Eulalie
c. 9th century (over 1,000 years ago)
trans RMBullard
Old French (Vulgar Latin)

Buona pulcella fut Eulalia;
(There was a virtuous girl Eulalia;)

Bel avret corps, bellezour anima;
(She had a great figure and even greater spirit;)

Voldrent la veintre li Deo inimi, voldrent la faire diaule servir.
(The enemies of God wanted to harm her, they wanted to her to serve the Devil;)

Elle no’nt eskoltet les mals conselliers qu’elle Deo ranaeiet, chi maent sus en ciel, ne por or ned argent ne paramenz por manatce regiel ne preiement.
(She did not listen to their wicked advice, those men who ordered her to recant God who stays up in the sky, neither for gold nor silver nor by threat or prayers from the king;)

Niule cose non la pouret omque pleier, la polle sempre non amast lo Deo menestier.
(Never did he do anything to persuade or please her; the young girl always continue to love serving God;)

E por o fut presentede Maximiien, chi rex eret a cels dis soure pagiens.
(And therefore she was presented to Maximian, who was a pagan king at that time;)

Il li enortet, dont lei nonque chielt, qued elle fuiet lo nom chrest iien.
(He addressed her, and still she did not obey him, that she abandon the name that was Christ;)

Ell’ent adunet lo suon element;
(She takes his punishment;)

Melz sostendreiet les empedementz qu’elle perdesse sa virginitet;
(She found the punishments better than that she lose her own virginity;)

Por os furet morte a grand honestet.
(Therefore, she died for this great honor;)

Enz enl fou lo getterent com arde tost;
(They threw her into a furnace with a burning fire;)

Elle colpes non avret, por o nos coist;
(She did not suffer pains, for she did not burn at all;)

A czo nos voldret concreidre li rex pagiens;
(At this, the pagan king did not wish to give up;)

Ad un spede li roveret tolier lo chieef;
(He ordered her head to be carried on a pike;)

La domnizelle celle kose non contredist: volt lo seule lazsier, si ruovet Krist.
(The mistress did not protest this matter: she wishes to leave the earth, if so Christ wishes;)

In figure de colomb volat a ciel.
(She flies into the sky in the form of a dove;)

Tuit oram que por nos degnet preier qued auuisset de nos Christus mercit post la mort et a lui nos laist venir par souue clementia.
(Before every face, she deemed us worthy to pray for, so that Christ might help and have mercy upon us after her death, and she left us to go to him by his mercy.)

Image: Portrait of St. Eulalia, Barcelona, Spain