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Translation

  has taken him away from me;
Oh, dearly beloved, I had you for so short a time!
Now I am so sorrowful I cannot be more so.”
110
23 Then the father takes some of his best servants,
Through many lands he has them search for his child;
Two of them soon come as far as Alsis (Edessa).
There they found Lord Alexis sitting,
But they did not recognise his face or his appearance.
115
24 The boy has so changed his soft young flesh,
His father’s two servants did not recognise him;
Into his very hands they have given alms.
He took them as the other brothers did.
They did not recognise him and returned home immediately.
120
25 They did not recognise him, nor have they questioned him.
Lord Alexis praises God in heaven
For these servants of his from whom he receives alms.
He was their lord, now he is receiving sustenance from them.
I cannot tell you how he rejoiced at this.
125
26 They go back to the city of Rome,
They announce to his father that they could not find him.
There is no need to ask if he was sorrowful.
His good mother began to lament
And repeatedly to express sorrow for the loss of her dear son.
130
27 “Alexis, my son, why did your mother bear you?
You have fled from me, I am left grieving.
I do not know the place or the country
Where I should go to look for you; I am quite distraught.
Never again will I be happy, dear son, and neither will your father.”
135
28 She went into the chamber, full of grief,
She strips it bare, so that nothing was left;
There were no hangings or decorations left.
To such sad thoughts did she turn her mind
That from that day on she showed no joy.
140
29 “Chamber,” she said, “never again will you be adorned,
Nor will joy be shown in you.”
She destroyed it, as if an enemy had laid it waste.
She has sackcloth put up, and tattered curtains.
Its great honour she has turned to great grief.
145
30 The mother sat down on the ground in grief;
So did the bride of Lord Alexis in truth.
“My lady,” she said, “ I have suffered so great a loss,
Now I will live like a turtle-dove;
Since I do not have your son, I wish to be with you.”
150
31 The mother says, “If you want to stay with me,
I will take care of you for the sake of Alexis.
You will never suffer any harm from which I can protect you.
Let us grieve together for the loss of our beloved:
You will do so for your lord and I for my son.”
155
32 It cannot be otherwise, they resign themselves;
But they cannot forget their grief.
Lord Alexis in the city of Alsis (Edessa)
Serves his Lord with good will:
His enemy (the devil) cannot lead him astray.
160
33 For seventeen years there was nothing to report,
He tortured his body in the service of Our Lord.
Not for the sake of any man or woman,
Nor for any honours that might come to him,
Will he turn away from this service, for as long as he has to live.
165
34 When he has so fixed his whole heart on God
That he has no desire to leave the city,
God, because of his love for him, made the statue speak
To the attendant who served at the altar.
It orders him: “Call the man of God!”
170
35 The statue said: “Send for the man of God,
For he has served God well and in a way pleasing to him,/
 
 

 


Transcription

le m’at tolut · e chers amis si pou vus ai out · or sui si graime que ne/ puis estra plus · Dunc prent li pedre de se meilurs serganz · par/ multes terres fait querre sun amfant · jusque an alsis en vindrent/ dui errant · iloc truverent danz alexis sedant · mais n’a[n erased] conurent/ sum vis ne sum semblant · Des at li emfes sa tendra carn mudede· / nel reconurent li dui sergant sum pedre · a lui medisme unt l’almos/ne dunethe · il la receut cume li altre frere · nel reconurent sempres/ s’en returnerent · Nel reconurent ne ne l’unt anterciet · danz alexis/ an lothet deu del ciel d’icez sons sers qui il est provenders · il fut lur sire/ or est lur almosners · ne vus sai dire cum il s’en firet liez · Cil s’en repairent/ a rome la citet · nuncent al pedre que nel pourent truver · set il fut graim/ ne l’estot demander · la bone medre s’em prist a dementer · e sun ker filz/ suvent a regreter · Filz aleis pur quei portat ta medre · tu m’ies fuit/ dolente an sui remese · ne sai le leu ne nen sai la contrede · u t’alge querre/ tute en sui esguarethe · ja mais n’iere lede · kers filz nu l’ert tun pedre · / Vint en la cambre plaine de marrement · si la despeiret que n’i remest nient ·/ n’i remest palie ne neul ornement · a tel tristur aturnat sun talent/ unches puis cel di ne se contint ledement · Cambra dist ela ia mais n’e/stras parede · ne ia ledece n’ert an tei demenede · si l’at destruite cum dis/ l’ait host depredethe· sas i fait pendre curtines
deramedes · sa grant/ honur a grant dol ad aturnede · Del duel s’asist la medre jusq[ue] a t[er]re · / si fist la spuse danz alexis a certes · dama dist ele ío i ai si grant perte · / ore vivrai an guise de turtrele · quant n’ai tun filz ansembl’ot tei/ voil estra · Co di la medre se a mei te vols tenir · sit guardarai pur/ amur alexis · ia n’avras mal dunt te puisse guarir · plainums an/semble le doel de n[ost]re ami · tu de tun seinur iol frai pur mun filz · / Ne poet estra altra turnent el consirrer · mais la dolur ne pothent/ ublier · danz alexis en alsis la citet · sert sun seinur par bone volentet · / ses enemis nel poet anganer · Dis e seat anz n’en fut nient a dire · / penat sun cors el damnedeu servise · pur amistet ne d’ami ne d’amie · / ne pur honurs ki l’en fussent tramise · n’en volt turner tant cum/ il ad a vivre · Quant tut sun quor en ad si afermet · que ja sum voil/ n’istrat de la citied · / deus fist l’imagine pur sue amur parler · al/ servitor ki serveit al alter · có li cumandet apele l’ume deu · / Có dist l’imagena fai l’ume deu venir · q[ua]r il ad deu bien servit & a gret/

Translation

  has taken him away from me;
Oh, dearly beloved, I had you for so short a time!
Now I am so sorrowful I cannot be more so.”
110
23 Then the father takes some of his best servants,
Through many lands he has them search for his child;
Two of them soon come as far as Alsis (Edessa).
There they found Lord Alexis sitting,
But they did not recognise his face or his appearance.
115
24 The boy has so changed his soft young flesh,
His father’s two servants did not recognise him;
Into his very hands they have given alms.
He took them as the other brothers did.
They did not recognise him and returned home immediately.
120
25 They did not recognise him, nor have they questioned him.
Lord Alexis praises God in heaven
For these servants of his from whom he receives alms.
He was their lord, now he is receiving sustenance from them.
I cannot tell you how he rejoiced at this.
125
26 They go back to the city of Rome,
They announce to his father that they could not find him.
There is no need to ask if he was sorrowful.
His good mother began to lament
And repeatedly to express sorrow for the loss of her dear son.
130
27 “Alexis, my son, why did your mother bear you?
You have fled from me, I am left grieving.
I do not know the place or the country
Where I should go to look for you; I am quite distraught.
Never again will I be happy, dear son, and neither will your father.”
135
28 She went into the chamber, full of grief,
She strips it bare, so that nothing was left;
There were no hangings or decorations left.
To such sad thoughts did she turn her mind
That from that day on she showed no joy.
140
29 “Chamber,” she said, “never again will you be adorned,
Nor will joy be shown in you.”
She destroyed it, as if an enemy had laid it waste.
She has sackcloth put up, and tattered curtains.
Its great honour she has turned to great grief.
145
30 The mother sat down on the ground in grief;
So did the bride of Lord Alexis in truth.
“My lady,” she said, “ I have suffered so great a loss,
Now I will live like a turtle-dove;
Since I do not have your son, I wish to be with you.”
150
31 The mother says, “If you want to stay with me,
I will take care of you for the sake of Alexis.
You will never suffer any harm from which I can protect you.
Let us grieve together for the loss of our beloved:
You will do so for your lord and I for my son.”
155
32 It cannot be otherwise, they resign themselves;
But they cannot forget their grief.
Lord Alexis in the city of Alsis (Edessa)
Serves his Lord with good will:
His enemy (the devil) cannot lead him astray.
160
33 For seventeen years there was nothing to report,
He tortured his body in the service of Our Lord.
Not for the sake of any man or woman,
Nor for any honours that might come to him,
Will he turn away from this service, for as long as he has to live.
165
34 When he has so fixed his whole heart on God
That he has no desire to leave the city,
God, because of his love for him, made the statue speak
To the attendant who served at the altar.
It orders him: “Call the man of God!”
170
35 The statue said: “Send for the man of God,
For he has served God well and in a way pleasing to him,/
 
 

 

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