D’oc, d’oïl, de sí, d’ok

Someone just quoted me a bit of Clément Marot I didn’t know (OK, let’s be honest: I’d didn’t even know Marot):

En tant qu’Ouy et Nenny se dira,
Par l’univers le monde me lira.

Which Leigh Hunt (The Companion, 1828) translates as:

As long as Love says Yes and No,
The universe shall read Marot.

More info on les langues d’oc, d’oïl, de sí, d’ok ;-) here.

Elsewhere in the same volume, a lovely translation of a verse from Mr Chapelle’s Trip to Languedoc and Provence (no original available):

The hackney here is neither a carriage nor a writer, but a workaday nag in the Chaucerian sense:

Dame Richesse on hir honde gan lede
A yong man full of pmelyhede,
That she best loved of ony thing;
His lust was mych in housholding.
In clothyng was he ful fetys,
And loved to have well hors of prys.
He wende to have reproved be
Of theft or moordre, if that he
Hadde in his stable an hakeney.

More here from Mark Liberman and here from John Bellenden Ker’s Essay on the Archæology of Our Popular Phrases and Nursery Rhymes

Upon a hackney he came jumbling,
Trotting alternately and stumbling.
His riding-coat and bonnet both,
Not satisfied with being cloth,
Were furr’d with bear-skin–think of that–
And he was hot, and he was fat.
Unbutton’d all, his horse in froth,
His whole apparel wild and wroth,
He seem’d, along his headlong course,
Like Icarus tumbled on a horse.

The translator (I’m assuming it’s Mr Hunt, not having checked) writes:

I only wish it were as easy for my amount of English to give as true an idea of the lightness and grace of the original, as it is to dispense with these chains of its volatility [ie its rhyming scheme]. Our language on such occasions is not accustomed to need restraint, but abandonment. In our lightest moments we have more of the bee than the butterfly. We lag in the sunshine; are for being equally pungent and useful; and are apt to degenerate into the drone.

Maybe this was true in the 1820s.

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