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Medieval Music Database

Se mesdisans en acort

virelai by Guillaume de Machaut


New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 326v (1/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 486 (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB), fol. 324v (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1586 (MachC), fol. 154 (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 9221 (MachE), fol. 159v (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 157v (1/1);
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Library, French MS 15, number 192 (text).


1. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 76.
2. The Works of Guillaume de Machaut, Second Part, edited by Leo Schrade, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1956. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century III, p. 174.
3. Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), p. 8.

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 598.


1. MACHABEY, Armand. Guillaume de Machault, 130?-1377: La vie et l'oeuvre musicale, 2 vols, Paris: Richard-Masse-Editeur, 1955. Bibliothèque d'études musicales, pp. 183-184.
2. GÜNTHER, Ursula. Der musikalische Stilwandel der französischen Liedkunst in der zweiten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts, dargestelt an Virelais, Balladen und Rondeax von Machaut., Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hamburg: 1957, Chapter 4.3.
3. GÜNTHER, Ursula. 'Contribution de la musicologie à la biographie et à la chronologie de Guillaume de Machaut', Guillaume de Machaut, poète et compositeur. Colloque - Table Ronde, 1978, pp. 95-116.
4. BENT, Margaret. 'The Machaut manuscripts Vg, B and E', Musica Disciplina, XXXVII (1983), p. 79.


1. Guillaume de Machaut: 1. The Musical Art of Machaut. 2. Le Remède de Fortune. 3. Veoir Dit., Ensemble Guillaume de Machaut of Paris (1975-1977): Adés 7078 (3 discs).
2. The study of love, Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page (1992): Hyperion CDA66619.


Se mesdisans en acort
Sont pour moy grever a tort.
C'est par leur enie.
Car desservi ne l'ay mie;
Pour ce de leur genglerie
Bien me reconfort.

Mais pour eaus mettre en esmay.
Plus que ne sueil je seray
Joieuse et jolie.
Et si aray le cuer gay
Et sagement me tenray
Sans faire folie.
Einsi feray leur deport
Muer en grant desconfort
Et s'ay de m'aie
Bonne volente et lie
Et loyaute dont garnie
Sui jusqu'a la mort.

Se mesidans en acort...

Se mesdisans en acort...

Einsi me deporteray
De tout ce que dire orray.
N'en melancolie
Ja mon cuer n'en meteray.
Pour ce que pure me scay
De leur tricherie;
Ne cuers qui est de bon port
Ne doit doubter leur raport
Plein de felonnie.
N'onques en jour de ma vie
Ma pensee en vilonnie
Ne prist son ressort.

Se mesdisans en acort...

Se mesdisans en acort...

Pour ce de riens ne m'esmay
Qu'en loyaute fiance ay.
Et, quoy que nulz die.
Tant com mon devoir feray
Leur parler ne doubteray.
Que pas ne deffie
Et en derrier point et mort.
Mais quant leur gengle plus fort
Seur moy se deslie.
Tant sui je plus envoisie.
Car Dieus scet, ou je me fie.
Comment je me port.

Se mesdisans en acort...


If evil tongues are in accord
To say ill of me wrongfully.
It is by envy.
For I have not deserved it at all;
Therefore about their tattling
I console myself.

But to put them to confusion.
More than I used I will be
Cheerful and pretty.
And I will keep a happy heart
And conduct myself wisely
Without acting foolishly.
So I will cause their glee
To change to great dismay
And so I have to support me
Good will and a light heart
And loyalty with which
I am furnished till my death.

If evil tongues are in accord...

If evil tongues are in accord...

Thus I will be glad
Of all that I will hear said.
Nor in melancholy
Will I ever set my heart.
Because I know myself innocent
Of their lies;
Nor should any well-disposed heart
Be afraid of their report
Full of malice.
Nor on any day of my life
Did my thoughts in villainy
Take their source.

If evil tongues are in accord...

If evil tongues are in accord...

Therefore nothing dismays me
For I have confidence in loyalty
And, whatever anyone says.
So long as I do my duty
I will not fear their talk
Which does not challenge
But pricks and bites from behind.
But when their gossip most strongly
Unleashes itself against me.
Then I am the more joyful.
For God knows, in whom I trust.
How I conduct myself.

If evil tongues are in accord...

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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