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When Nightingales Their Lulling Song

When nightingales their lulling song
For me have breathed the whole night long,
Thus soothed, I sleep; - yet, when awake,
Again will joy my heart forsake,
Pensive in love, in sorrow pining
All other fellowship declining:
Not such was once my blest employ,
When all my heart, my song, was joy.

And none who knew that joy, but well
Could tell how bright, unspeakable,
How far above all common bliss,
Was then my heart's pure happiness;
How lightly on my fancy ranged,
Gay tale and pleasant jest exchanged,
Dreaming such joy must ever be
In love like that I bore for thee.

They that behold me little dream
How wide my spirit soars from them,
And, borne on fancy's pinion, roves
To seek the beauteous form it loves:
Know, that a faithful herald flies
To bear her image to my eyes,
My constant thought, for ever telling
How fair she is, all else excelling.

I know not when we meet again,
For grief hath rent my heart in twain:
For thee the royal court I fled,--
But guard me from the ills I dread,
And quick I'll join the bright array
Of courteous knights and ladies gay.

Ugonet, faithful messenger!
This to the Norman queen go bear,
And sing it softly to her ear.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:06 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,136
Words 218
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8, 6, 3

Bernard de Ventadorn

Bernart de Ventadorn, also known as Bernard de Ventadour or Bernat del Ventadorn, was a prominent troubadour of the classical age of troubadour poetry. He was born in 1135, and died in 1194. Now thought of as "the Master Singer" he developed the cançons into a more formalized style which allowed for sudden turns. He is remembered for his mastery as well as popularisation of the trobar leu style, and for his prolific cançons, which helped define the genre and establish the "classical" form of courtly love poetry, to be imitated and reproduced throughout the remaining century and a half of troubadour activity. Bernart was known for being able to portray his woman as a divine agent in one moment and then, in a sudden twist, as Eve – the cause of man's initial sin. This dichotomy in his work is portrayed in a "graceful, witty, and polished" medium. more…

All Bernard de Ventadorn poems | Bernard de Ventadorn Books

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    "When Nightingales Their Lulling Song" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Jun 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/4274/when-nightingales-their-lulling-song>.

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