Welcome to La Trobe University Library
Bypass navigation and go to content

Library Home
By Text
By composer
By Genre
By Manuscript
Complete Manuscripts
By Liturgical Feast
By Text
By Melody
By Descriptor
Scribe Software
What's New

Medieval Music Database

Se je souspir parfondement

virelai by Guillaume de Machaut


New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 335v (2/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 492 (2/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB) (lost); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 162 (2/1).


WOLF, Johannes. Geschichte der Mensural-Notation von 1250-1460 nach den theoretischen und praktischen Quellen, 3 vols., Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1904. [reprinted Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1965], p. 45 (Pn22546, diplomatic).


1. WOLF, Johannes. Geschichte der Mensural-Notation von 1250-1460 nach den theoretischen und praktischen Quellen, 3 vols., Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1904. [reprinted Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1965], Vol. III, p. 71 (Pn22546).
2. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 89.
3. Geschichte der Musik in Beispielen, edited by Arnold Schering, Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1931, p. 26b.
4. 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. 189.
5. Schirmer Scores: A Repertory of Western Music, edited by Joscelyn Godwin, New York: Schirmer Books, 1975, p. 19.
6. Medieval Music, edited by W. Thomas Marrocco and Nicholas Sandon, London: Oxford University Press, 1977, no. 68.

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 623.


1. MACHABEY, Armand. 'Guillaume de Machault'. La revue musicale, XII (1931), pp. 336-337., pp. 336-337.
2. 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. 194.
3. 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, pp. 39-40, Chapter 4.3.
4. 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.
5. ARLT, Wulf. 'Aspekte der Chronologie und des Stilwandels im französischen Lied des 14. Jahrhunderts', Forum Musicologicum (Aktuelle Fragen der musikbezogenen Mittelalterforschung), vol. III, Basel: Amadeus Verlag, 1975, pp. 256-258.
6. COVINGTON, K. 'A theory of dissonance in the fourteenth-century', Indiana Theory Review, II/1 (1978): 29-40.
7. 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. Recorded History of French Song, vol. 1, Pierre Deniau (T); instrumental ensemble (1947): Lumen 2.50.001 (33405) [78rpm.].
2. The Ars Nova in France. Guillaume de Machaut: La Messe de Nostre Dame; Ten Secular Works, Brussels Pro Musica Antiqua, directed by Safford Cape (1956): Archiv ARC 3032 [US].
3. [Guillaume de Machaut], Illinois Collegium Musicum, Thomas Binkley (lute), directed by George Hunter (1956): Westminster XWN 18166.
4. French Troubadour Songs, H. Cuenod (T), G. Leeb (lute) (1958): Westminster XWN 18683.
5. Medieval Music at the Prague Court, Musica Antiqua Vienna, Pro Arte Antiqua Vienna, Prague Madri, directed by Rene Clemenic, Miroslav Venhoda (1965): Supraphon SUAST 50598/GSST 50598/GS 10598 (CZE).
6. Ah Sweet Lady: The Romance of Medieval France [Medieval Roots], New York Pro Musica, directed by John White (1967): Decca 9431/ DL 79431/ DL 79438.
7. The Art of Courtly Love. Vol. I. Guillaume Machaut and His Age [Contemporaries], Early Music Consort of London, directed by David Munrow (1973): HMV SLS 863(3) (GB).
8. A Tapestry of Music for the Black Prince and His Knights, St. George's Canzona, directed by John Sothcott (1978): Enigma K53571 (GB).


Se je souspir parfondement
Et tendrement
Pleure en recoy.
C'est par ma foy.
Pour vous, quant vo faitis corps gent.
Dame, ne voy.

Vostre dous maintieng simple et coy.
Vo bel arroy.
Cointe et plaisant.
Et vo maniere sans effroy.
Pris m'ont cil troy
Si doucement
Qu'a vous tres amoureusement
Doing et ottroy
Le cuer de moy
Qui loing de vous esbatement
N'a n'esbanoy.

Se je souspir parfondement...

Se je souspir parfondement...

Si que je port plus grief anoy
Qu'onques mais n'oy.
Mais, par m'ame, je le conjoy
Et le recoy
Tres humblement.
Que aligier poues mon tourment
D'un seul ottroy.
Et plus qu'un roy
Moi faire vivre liement;
Ainsi le croy.

Se je souspir parfondement...

Se je souspir parfondement...

Dame, mis m'aves en tel ploy.
Bien le percoy.
Que, vraiement.
En vous sens, temps et vie employ
Et toudis croy
En ce talent.
Et se loing sui d'aligement
Et povrement
De mercy j'oy
Ne m'en desvoy.
Car si grant honnour nullement
Avoir ne doy.

Se je souspir parfondement...


If I sigh deeply
And tenderly
Weep in secret.
It is, I swear.
For you, when your slender fair body.
Lady, I do not see.

Your sweet demeanour, simple and modest.
Your fine adornment.
Pretty and pleasing.
And your unabashed manner.
These three have seized me
So sweetly
That to you most lovingly.
I give and grant
My very heart.
Which far from you no enjoyment
Or pleasure finds.

If I sigh deeply...

If I sigh deeply...

So that I bear more grievous pain
Than I ever heard tell of.
In secret;
But, by my soul, I accept it
And receive it
Most humbly.
For you can relieve my torment
With a single gift
And make me to live
More happily than a king;
So I believe.

If I sigh deeply...

If I sigh deeply...

Lady, you have put me in such plight.
Well I see
That, in truth.
For you I employ my thoughts, my time and my life.
And always believe
In this good fortune.
And if I am far from relief
And hear very little
Of mercy
I do not swerve.
For such a great honour
I do not deserve at all.

If I sigh deeply...

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

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

Cantus Planus
Latin Dictionary