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Bardic Arts

We All Make Vers and Cansos To the Spring
by
Gerhardt von Nordflammen

We all make vers and cansos to the spring.
You know; “when the green buds tremble”, and such.
Alright, youth, I’ll grant’s an attractive thing.
But to mistake young for youth, that’s too much.

Spring turns, the young must age.
Love only the new rose ...
Beware, you’ve built yourself a cage:
The young may pass, youth grows.

Spring? I’ve known breathless waiting, that’s its charm.
But when the buds flower, I love it more.
Spring may promise, but summer gives the warm
Fulfillment that the heart is yearning for.

I love summer, no regrets.
The open flower’s truth,
Fine love and real joy begets.
Have them and you’ve got youth.

And when autumn comes, why I’ll love that too.
Cherish rich harvest, then ruddy twilight.
The rip riot of every shade and hue,
The crisp chill that presages winter’s bite.

Then my love will be as fresh
As when youth and young were one.
In and past the passing flesh,
Love lives, all is new begun.

Nor shall I forsake winter, though it seem
Harsh, cold, gray, severe and dead ... Understand.
‘Tis those who never see within ... esteem
Mere surface, come to grief at winter’s hand.

When all seems dead, look inside.
The supple flame burns on.
None who loved have ever died,
Forms pass, truth passes on.

I love a woman, I do confess.
First she was white, now she’s red.
She shall be black, and then be dead.
Guiraut will settle for nothing less.


In the Canso style -- "A love song, usually addressed directly or indirectly to the woman (or man) who is the object of one’s passion.." -- GvN
Guiraut is Gerhardt's "alter-ego", this is from a series of poems Gerhardt published in his second folio.
© 1984, Lawrence Hyink III


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