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Medieval Music Database

Foy porter

virelai by Guillaume de Machaut


New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 330 (1/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 489v (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB), fol. 328 (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1586 (MachC), fol. 197v (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 9221 (MachE), fol. 162 (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 160 (1/1).


1. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 81.
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. 181.
3. Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), p. 11.

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 611.


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, p. 188.
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. REANEY, Gilbert. 'The Middle Ages', [in] A History of Song, edited by Denis Stevens, 2nd edition, New York: W. W. Norton, 1970, p. 33.
4. 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.
5. BENT, Margaret. 'The Machaut manuscripts Vg, B and E', Musica Disciplina, XXXVII (1983), p. 79.


1. Guillaume de Machaut. La Messe de Notre Dame, Virelais, Rondeaux, Ballades, Lai, The Purcell Choir with instrumental ensemble, John Caldwell, directed by Frank Ll. Harrison, Grayston Burgess (1969): Oiseau-Lyre SOL 310 (GB) [ZTT-717-IG].
2. Douce Dame: Music of Courtly Love from Medieval France and Italy, The Waverly Consort, directed by Michael Jaffee (1973): Vanguard VSD 71179.
3. [Guillaume de Machaut], Music for a While, directed by Richard Taruskin (1977): Arch Records 1750 S 1773.
4. The Mirror of Narcissus: Songs by Guillaume de Machaut, Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page (1983): Hyperion A66087 (GB).


Foy porter.
Honneur garder.
Et pais querir.
Doubter, servir
Et honnourer
Vous weil jusques au morir.
Dame sans per.

Car tant vous aim, sans mentir.
Qu'on porroit avant tarir
La haute mer
Et ses ondes retenir
Que me peusse alentir
De vous amer.
Sans fausser;
Car mi penser.
Mi souvenir.
Mi plaisir
Et mi desir
Sont sans finer
En vous que ne puis guerpir

Foy porter...

Foy porter...

Il n'est joie ne joir
N'autre bien qu'on puist sentir
Qui ne me samble languir.
Quant vo douceur adoucir
Wet mon amer.
Dont loer
Et aourer
Et vous cremir.
Tout souffrir.
Tout conjoir.
Tout endurer
Weil plus que je ne desir

Foy porter...

Foy porter...

Vous estes le vray saphir
Qui puet tous mes maus garir
Et terminer:
Esmeraude a resjoir.
Rubis pour cuers esclarcir
Et conforter.
Vo parler.
Vo regarder.
Vo maintenir
Font fuir
Et enhair
Et despiter
Tout vice et tout bien cherir
Et desirer.

Foy porter...


Keep faith.
Preserve honour.
And seek peace.
Fear and serve
And honour you
I will until I die.
Peerless lady.

For I love you so, without a lie.
That one could sooner dry
The wide seas
And hold back its waves
Than I could slacken
My love for you.
Without deceit;
For my thoughts.
My memories.
My pleasures
And my desires
Are forever
On you whom I cannot leave
Or begin to forget.

Keep faith...

Keep faith...

There is no joy or pleasure
Nor other good thing one may feel
Or imagine
Which does not seem to me to weaken.
When your kindness wishes
To sweeten my bitterness.
For which I will praise
And adore
And respect you.
Suffer all things.
Accept all things.
Endure all things
More than I desire
To be rewarded.

Keep faith...

Keep faith...

You are the true sapphire
Which can heal all my hurts
And end them:
Emerald for rejoicing.
Ruby to lighten the heart
And comfort it.
Your speech.
Your looks.
Your bearing
Cause to flee
And become hateful
And despised
Every vice, and every good to be cherished
And desired.

Keep faith...

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

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

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