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Medieval Music Database

Tres bonne et belle, mi oueil

virelai by Guillaume de Machaut


New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 28v (text), 330v (3/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843, fol. 195v (text), 251v (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 205 (text), 489v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB), fol. 45v (text), 328v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1587 (olim 612), fol. 35v (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 9221 (MachE), fol. 161v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 160 (3/1);
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Library, French MS 15, number 220 (text).


1. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 82.
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. 182.
3. La Louange des Dames, edited by Nigel Wilkins, Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1972, New York: Barnes and Noble, 1973, p. 164 (NYw).
4. Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), p. 12.

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 185.


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. 188-190.
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. SALOP, Arnold. 'The secular polyphony of Guillaume de Machaut', [chapter 2 of his] Studies on the History of Musical Style, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1971, pp. 73, 74.
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.


1. Dances of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Zurich Ricercare Ensemble, Lionel Rogg (chamber organ, harps, directed by Michel Piguet, Rene Clemencic: Harmonia Mundi HMU 2472(2) (FRA).
2. [Machaut], Deller Consort, Ancient Instrument Ensemble of Zurich, directed by Alfred Deller, Austin Miskell: Harmonia Mundi HMU 34917.
3. [Guillaume de Machaut], Illinois Collegium Musicum, Thomas Binkley (lute), directed by George Hunter (1956): Westminster XWN 18166.
4. Ballades, Rondeaux & Virelais from the 14th and 15th Centuries, Ancient Instrument Ensemble of Zurich, directed by Austin Miskell (1967): Odyssey 32 16 0178.
5. The study of love, Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page (1992): Hyperion CDA66619.


Tres bonne et belle, mi oueil
Joyeuse pasture
Prennent en vostre figure.
Simple et sans orgueil.
Et mes cuers en vostre accueil
Vie et douce norreture.

Quant vo maniere meure.
Rassise et seure
Voy, d'onneur sui en l'escueil;
Et quant vo regardeure
Riant par mesure
Vient seur moy, tout bien recueil;
Car je sui si a mon weil
Qu'en moy joie dure
Qui de plus grant m'asseure.
Adont le fruit cueil
D'espoir, se vrais estre weil
Vers vous, dame nette et pure.

Tres bonne et belle, mi oeuil...

Tres bonne et belle, mi oeuil...

Si que chose ne m'est dure
Que pour vous endure.
Qui n'a dessous le soleil
Feminine creature.
Ou mis ait Nature
Si doulz vis ne corps pareil.
Et pour ce a vous servir weil.
Sanz penser laidure.
Com cils qui d'autre n'a cure.
N'autre amer ne sueil.
Ainsois a ce m'apareil
Humblement, sanz mespresure.

Tres bonne et belle, mi oeuil...

Tres bonne et belle, mi oeuil...

Se Desirs par sa pointure
Me tient en ardure
Loing de vous, dont mon vis mueil
Soubs celee couverture.
Dame, c'est droiture.
Si que pas ne m'en merveil.
Mais lors vos graces concueil
Qu'en mon cuer figure;
La repreng envoiseure.
Et pas ne me dueil
Se mesdisans en ont dueil.
Car c'est leur desconfiture.

Tres bonne et belle, mi oeuil...


Most good and fair, my eyes
Feed joyfully
On your face.
Simple and without pride.
And my heart finds in your welcome
Life and sweet nourishment.

When your wise demeanour.
Composed and assured
I see, I am overcome by honour;
And when your gaze.
Modestly smiling.
Lights on me, I receive all good things;
For I am in such a pleasing state
That in me remains a joy
Which assures me of even greater;
Thence I gather the fruit
Of hope, if I will be true
To you, fair and pure lady.

Most good and fair, my eyes...

Most good and fair, my eyes...

So that nothing is hard to me
Which I endure for you.
For there is not under the sun
A feminine creature
In whom Nature has set
Such a sweet face or such a body.
And for this I wish to serve you.
Without thinking shame.
Like a man who cares for no other
Nor is used to love any other.
Rather do I devote myself to this
Humbly, and without false esteem.

Most good and fair, my eyes...

Most good and fair, my eyes...

If Desire by its wounding
Keeps me burning
Far from you, for which cause my face is moistened
Under cover of secrecy.
Lady, it is only just.
So that I do not wonder at it;
But when I perceive your graces
Which I picture in my heart.
Then I am again light-hearted
And do not sorrow
If slanderers moan at it.
For it is to their confusion.

Most good and fair, my eyes...

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

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

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