Thursday, 30 November 2017

Garnier: Life of Thomas at Pontigny

Lines 3611 - 3675
Stanzas 723-735

723
Dous anz a Punteigni li sainz hum sujorna.
Mais a clerc ne a lai sun estre ne mustra ;
Neïs a ses privez, quanque pout, se cela.
Les eises de sun cors fuï e esluigna,
3615 E el servise Deu jor e nuit se pena.

724
Dunc comença sun cors durement a grever
E les grosses viandes, chous e nes, a user ;
E les bons mes se fist priveement embler,
E sis faiseit as povres en la vile porter.
3620 Car si clerc l’en volsissent, sel seüssent, blasmer.

725
Mult sovent le blasmeient que tel vie meneit ;
Kar il ert granment fiebles e trop se destraigneit.
Les testes a ses hummes, ço diseient, coupeit :
Cacié erent pur lui, e se il lur moreit,
3625 Ja mais en lur païs un sul n’en revendreit.

726
Iluec curreit un’ewe de mestier en mestier.
La se baignout les seirs pur sa char refreidier.
A Willame de Capes se fist un seir guaitier.
« Sire, vus nus volez, fait il, les quers trenchier. »
3630 Ainc puis ne l’i mena, quant l’en volt castïer.

727
Mais l’une de ses faces idunc li a festri,
Si que dedenz la buche tresqu’as denz li purri ;
Mult grant enfermeté lungement en suffri.
Dous osselez l’en traist Willames, sil guari.
3635 Pur ço qu’um le seüst, amentiveir l’oï.

728
Une nuit quant mult fu penez en oreisun,
E il fu endormiz, vit en avisiun :
Entre lui e le rei, quil haï senz raisun,
Erent devant la pape en plait e en tençun ;
3640 Tuit li cardenal erent contre li a bandun.

729
E ço li fu avis voleient li tolir
Hors del chief a lur deiz les oilz e effuïr.
L’apostolies tut suls le voleit maintenir,
Ki bien cunut sa cause ; mais nel poeit oïr,
3645 Car lur criz e lur noise l’orent fait enroïr.

730
Al consistorie od lui ne remist nuls hum vis.
Ocisëur felun li furent dunc tramis ;
La corune li unt, ço li esteit avis,
A lur espees rese. – Bien li ad Deus pramis
3650 Qu’il sereit en sa cause pur saint’iglise ocis.

731
Uns des convers as monies (ne le m’unt pas nummé)
Out mult esté grevé de grant enfermeté
E out d’idropisie le ventre mult enflé.
La mere Deu priout e iver e esté
3655 Qu’ele preiast sun fiz qu’il li donast santé.

732
Tant requist nuit e jur la mere al creatur
Qu’ele li tramesist santé de sa dolur,
Qu’a lui vint une nuit la dame de dulçur ;
Dist li que il alast a Thomas senz demur,
3660 Fesist li manïer sun ventre tut entur.

733
Li freres l’endemain al saint humme en ala,
E en sun escritorie, la u il le trova,
Pur la pitié de Deu tant li quist e preia
Que li ber od sa main sun ventre mania ;
3665 E cil li traist par tut la main e demena.

734
A beivre li duna, mais ne sai quei, de fi.
Guaires ne demura que li freres chaï,
Venim e pureture, grant merveille, vomi,
E jut mult lungement. Tuz greilles sus sailli.
3670 Par les mains al saint humme de s’enferté guari.

735
Mulz malades guari de sun relief demaine.
La fille a un riche humme en devint tute saine
Qui out esté fievrose mainte lunge semaine.
N’out el païs nul humme si plain de fievre vaine,
3675 Par sun relief n’eüst santé tute certaine.

736
Mais quant li reis Henris vit bien e entendi
Qu’il purreit remaneir tuz dis a Punteigni,
Ne a lui ne as suens nule rien ne failli,
E li reis Loëwis e Franceis l’unt cheri,
3680 Al plus tost qu’il purra, l’ostera de cel ni.

737
Custume est ancïene, si l’ai oï cunter,
Que tuit li blanc abé de ça e de la mer
Chascun tierz an se solent a Cistaus asembler ;
Car a celui se deivent tuit li altre acliner
3685 E de trestut lur ordre par sun conseil errer.

738
L’an secunt que li ber icel eissil suffri,
E qu’il out pres dous anz esté a Punteigni,
Li reis, qui mult le het, ne l’ad mis en obli,
Ses briés a cel abé ad tramis, dunt vus di ;
3690 Manda lui qu’il retint sun mortel enemi.

739
Iço seüst il bien, e pur veir li mandeit,
Que s’il sun enemi plus lunges reteneit,
E se nul recovrier en tut lur ordre avreit,
Blancs monies e abez tuz li enveiereit,
3695 K’en trestute sa terre un sul n’en remandreit.

740
Quant li brief furent lit, oiant tuz, e mustré
Tuit li altre chaïrent as piez le grant abé.
Pur sei e pur tuz ad chascun merci crié ;
Prient li qu’il ne sueffre que seient deserté,
3700 Ne perdent pur un homme quanqu’il unt laboré.

741
Ensemble en unt parlé, si unt lur conseil pris :
Ne sufferunt qu’il seient en si grant perte mis,
Qu’il perdent lur catels e celles e païs,
K’um destruie les lius qu’il unt a Deu conquis ;
3705 Mielz est k’um en face un que tanz hummes chaitis.

742
E a lui e as suens volent mielz purchacier
En altre liu, loinz d’els, quanqu’il avra mestier.
(Jo crei bien que li reis lur out fait denuncier
Qu’il les fereit tuz fors de sa terre chacier,
3710 S’il ne faiseient d’els l’arcevesque esluignier.)

743
Quant li abes Guarins ad cel conseil oï,
K’um voleit l’arcevesque chacier de Punteigni,
A l’abé de Cistaus fierement respundi :
« Par noz ordres, fait il, ne puet pas estre einsi,
3715 Que nus chaçum de nus pur ço le Deu ami.

744
Car Alissandre pape le nus ad comandé,
E il a ja od nus pres de dous anz esté ;
Ne nus aparceümes que fuissum rien grevé,
Pur lui ne pur les suens, ne en vin ne en blé ;
3720 En altretant de terme n’i out ainc mains guasté.

745
Pur la cristïenté, qu’il voleit maintenir,
L’a fait li reis Henris fors del païs fuïr.
Ne pur el ne fist l’um le nostre ordre establir
Fors pur les suffraitus aidier e sustenir ;
3725 Ne ne devum cestui pur nule rien faillir. »

746
N’unt pas purquant laissié, pur dan Guarin l’abé,
Ne facent qu’el commun conseil ourent trové.
(Kar li abes Guicharz, ki ainz i out esté,
Ert dunc fait arcevesques de Leons la cité ;
3730 Car saint Thomas l’aveit l’apostolie loé.)

747
Mais l’abes de Cisteaus a saint Thomas manda
Par dan Guarin l’abé tut ço qu’el brief trova,
Que li reis les manace qu’il les desertera.
Or li doinst tel conseil, pur Deu li deprea,
3735 Que lur seit profitable e de ça e de la.

748
A l’arcevesque out um ainceis tut ço mustré,
Car si messagier orent a cel capitle esté
E orent le conseil oï e esculté.
« Mult sereit grant pechié, fait il dunc a l’abé,
3740 Se tant produme esteient pur mei sul deserté.

749
Mais li pius Jesu Crist vus sace gré des biens
Que vus e li vostre unt fait a mei e as miens.
En viande e en dras unc ne nus failli riens.
Deus me conseillera, qui tuz dis m’est prochiens,
3745 Qui l’orguillus abat, le povre oste des fiens.

Translation

723
For two years our holy man stayed at Pontigny, but revealed his being neither to cleric [monks (of the choir)] nor lay [brother]; even from his close circle, whenever he could, he kept himself hidden[from them]. Bodily comforts he shunned and refused to accept, and in the service of God he punished himself day and night. 3615
                                
724
Then he began harshly to punish his body, consuming only coarse foods, cabbages and root vegetables; the fine foods he ordered secretly to be taken away. and carried to the poor in the town. Because if the monks had come to learn about it they would without doubt have criticized him. 3620


725
Very often he was blamed for the life he led, because he was extremely weak and had deprived himself too much. So they say, he cut off the heads of his men: they had gone into exile because of him, and if he died they would never because of it, not one, be able to return to their own country. 3625

726
There was a stream that flowed from engineered water basin to water basin [perhaps to feed a water mill], in which he bathed himself in the evenings to cool down his flesh. He instructed William de Capes to watch over him one evening.
<<Sire, you wish for us>> he said, <<to cut open our hearts.>>.
Thus never again did he [Becket] take him [William] anywhere with him , since he wished to chastise him for it.

727
But then one of his cheeks began to [swell up and] fester, so that the inside of his mouth was rotting right up to his teeth. Very gravely had he suffered for a long time from this infirmity. William [reached in and] pulled out two small bones [wisdom teeth?] and he recovered. [you ask] how did I hear of this? It was brought to my attention.

728
One night when he had suffered much in prayer, and he had fallen asleep, he had a dream [vision] that he was before the Pope at a hearing and in a dispute between him and the king, who hated him without reason. All the cardinals had banded together against him.


729 And in this dream he saw they were wanting to treat him violently, by digging out of his head his eyes with their fingers. The Pope alone amongst them wanted to defend him for he well understood his cause but could not hear him; he [Thomas] could not heard because of their clamour and noise, which made him sound as if he was hoarse.

730
In the consistory when there was no one to be seen with him, murderous felons were sent to kill him. They severed the crown of head with their swords. Just as God had advised him that well God would fulfill His promise that he would be killed in his cause for Holy Church.

731
One of the lay brothers (they did not tell me him name) who was suffering from a grave infirmity, and because of dropsy his stomach was badly swollen. He [the lay brother] had prayed to the Mother of God winter come summer that her Son would give him [the lay brother] back his health.

732
So much did he implore night and day the mother of the Creator that she would heal his sickness that she, the lady of kindness, came to him one night saying that he should go to Thomas without delay, that he [Thomas] should rub with his hands his [the lay brother's] belly all around.

733
The very next morning the brother went to the holy man, and found him there in his study, for the mercy of God he sought and prayed that our hero with his hand would touch his belly. And this man dragged and directed his hand everywhere.

734
He gave him a drink, but I know not what of it was made. There was not a long delay that the brother fell down, poison and putrefaction, a great miracle, he vomitted, and lay down for a long time. All thin he rose to his feet. By the hands of the holy man he had been cured of his infirmity.

735
Many illnesses he cured by his personal intervention. The daughter of a rich man had become completely healthy, who had been with a fever for many long weeks. There was not a man in the country so fully physically weak from fever who was not fully brought to certain health by his alleviations.

736
But when king Henry saw well and heard that he could stay indefinitely at Pontigny, that neither he nor his people wanted for anything, and that king Louis and the French cared for him, [he wanted] at the very soonest that he could to have him cast out from this refuge.

737
[There is] an custom both this side and across the sea that every third year the white abbots [of the Cistercian order] ought to assemble at Citeaux, because to he [the abbot of Citeaux] it was encumbent upon all the others to submit, and throughout their order act according to his counsel.

738
During the second year that our hero had been suffering in exile here, and when he had nearly been for two years at Pontigny, the king who hated him much, and who had not forgotten it, sent to this abbot [of Cîteaux], of whom we have spoken about to you, a letter telling him that he was sheltering his mortal enemy.

739
This same [abbot] knew it well, and truly he [the king had] ordered it that if he [the abbot] gave his enemy any more shelter, and if he found any help in any part of their order, he[the king] would all white monks and abbots [Cistercians] send back to him that throughout his lands not one would remain therein.

740
When this letter had been read out and explained [by the abbot], with all listening, all the others fell at the feet of the great abbot, each crying mercy for themselves and for the sake of them all, begging him that he should not allow them to abandon, nor lose, for the sake of just one man, all that which they had laboured for.

741
After discussing it together thus they came to a decision: they would not allow it that they should be put to so great a loss because of it, that they would lose their chattels both land and goods, that they would be forced to abandon those places which they had conquered for God. It is better to expel just one man, than everyone [else].

742
And to him and his circle of associates they wanted best to chase him away to another place faraway from them, as much as he would need. (I believe well that the king had made it known to them that they would all he driven off his land if they did not drive the archbishop faraway from them.)

743
When the abbot Guarin had listened to this plan, that they wanted to chase the archbishop from Pontigny, he replied to the abbot of Citeaux firmly: <<By [the rules of] our sacred order,>> he said, <<it cannot be so that we chase this friend of God away from us.>>

744
>> Since Pope Alexander entrusted him to us, and he has now been with us for nearly two years, we have realised that we have not gone wanting for anything, neither because of him, nor his men, neither for wine nor for wheat [bread].
During similar period of time has there not been consumed so little

745
>> For the sake of Christianity, which he [Becket]] wanted to uphold, King Henry forced him to flee from [his] country [into exile]. There is no other reason for which our order was founded except to assist and sustain those who are in need. There is no reason in the world for which can fail the archbishop.>>

746
However they did not stop from their scheme, on account of Lord Guarin the abbot
not doing otherwise than that they had concluded in common council. (As abbot Guichard, who had been there before but had been made archbishop of the City of Lyons, as St. Thomas had praised him to the Pope).

747
But the abbot of Citeaux told St. Thomas through Lord Guarin abbot [of Pontigny] in the letter about all that therein which the king [Henry] threatened how he would destroy them.

That which would be profitable both on this side and that side [of the Channel - La Manche].

747 Through Lord Guarin, the abbot of Cîteaux made known to St. Thomas the contents of the letter, to know that the king threatened to drive them away. And he prayed him, in the name of God, to give him counsel that would be of benefit to both parties.

However the abbot of Cîteaux made known to St. Thomas, through the abbot Garin, the integral content of the letter: the king threatened to ruin them. Let him give him a piece of advice - he begged it for God's sake - which is profitable to them on both sides of the Channel.

748
All this had been previously reported to the archbishop because his informants had been present at this meeting of the chapter [of the abbey] and had witnessed and heard the discussion.
<<Much will it be a great sin,>> said he then to the abbot, <<if so many good men would be ruined because of me alone.

749
>> But may the pious Jesus Christ thank you for the good that you and yours have shown to me and mine. In food and in clothing never have we have lacked for anything. God will advise me, as He is always by me, He who brings down the proud, and drags the poor out from the dunghills.>>

https://biblehub.com/kjv/psalms/113.htm



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