Pitiful and pitied by no one, why have I come to the ignominy of this detestable old age, who was ruler of two kingdoms, mother of two kings? My guts are torn from me, my family is carried off and removed from me. The young king [crown prince Henry,? 1183] and the count of Britanny [prince Geoffrey,? 1186] sleep in dust, and their most unhappy mother is compelled to be irremediably tormented by the memory of the dead. Two sons remain to my solace, who today survive to punish me, miserable and condemned. King Richard [the Lionheart] is held in chains [in captivity with Emperor Henry VI of Germany]. His brother, John, depletes his kingdom with iron [the sword] and lays it waste with fire. In all things the Lord has turned cruel to me and attacked me with the harshness of his hand. Truly his wrath battles against me: my sons fight amongst themselves, if it is a fight where where one is restrained in chains, the other, adding sorrow to sorrow, undertakes to usurp the kingdom of the exile by cruel tyranny. Good Jesus, who will grant that you protect me in hell and hide me until your fury passes, until the arrows which are in me cease, by which my whole spirit is sucked out?
You are aware of only one unrest; Oh, never learn to know the other!Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast, And one is striving to forsake its brother. Unto the world in grossly loving zest, With clinging tendrils, one adheres; The other rises forcibly in questOf rarefied ancestral spheres. If there be spirits in the airThat hold their sway between the earth and sky, Descend out of the golden vapors thereAnd sweep me into iridescent life. Oh, came a magic cloak into my handsTo carry me to distant lands,I should not trade it for the choicest gown, Nor for the cloak and garments of the crown.