A Thing is in my mind

A THING is in my mind,—
To have my joy again,
Which I had almost put away from me.
It were in foolish kind
For ever to refrain
From song, and renounce gladness utterly.
Seeing that I am given into the rule
Of Love, whom only pleasure makes alive,
Whom pleasure nourishes and brings to growth:
The wherefore sullen sloth
Will he not suffer in those serving him;
But pleasant they must seem,
That good folk love them and their service thrive;
Nor even their pain must make them sorrowful.

So bear he him that thence
The praise of men be gain'd,—
He that would put his hope in noble Love;
For by great excellence
Alone can be attain'd
That amorous joy which wisdom may approve.
The way of Love is this, righteous and just;
Then whoso would be held of good account,
To seek the way of Love must him befit,—
Pleasure, to wit.
Through pleasure, man attains his worthiness:
For he must please
All men, so bearing him that Love may mount
In their esteem; Love's self being in his trust.

Trustful in servitude
I have been and will be,
And loyal unto Love my whole life through;
A hundred-fold of good
Hath he not guerdoned me
For what I have endured of grief and woe?
Since he hath given me unto one of whom
Thus much he said,—thou mightest seek for aye
Another of such worth so beauteous.
Joy therefore may keep house
In this my heart, that it hath loved so well.
Meseems I scarce could dwell
Ever in weary life or in dismay
If to true service still my heart gave room.

Serving at her pleasaunce
Whose service pleasureth,
I am enriched with all the wealth of Love.
Song hath no utterance
For my life's joyful breath
Since in this lady's grace my homage throve.
Yea, for I think it would be difficult
One should conceive my former abject case:—
Therefore have knowledge of me from this rhyme.
My penance-time
Is all accomplished now, and all forgot,
So that no jot
Do I remember of mine evil days.
It is my lady's will that I exult.

Exulting let me take
My joyful comfort, then,
Seeing myself in so much blessedness.
Mine ease even as mine ache
Accepting, let me gain
No pride towards Love; but with all humbleness,
Even still, my pleasurable service pay.
For a good servant ne'er was left to pine:
Great shall his guerdon be who greatly bears.
But, because he that fears
To speak too much, by his own silence shent,
Hath sometimes made lament,—
I am thus boastful, lady; being thine
For homage and obedience night and day.

Now, when it flowereth,
And when the banks and fields
Are greener every day,
And sweet is each bird's breath,
In the tree where he builds
Singing after his way,—
Spring comes to us with hasty step and brief,
Everywhere in leaf,
And everywhere makes people laugh and play.

Love is brought unto me
In the scent of the flower
And in the bird's blithe noise.
When day begins to be,
I hear in every bower
New verses finding voice:
From every branch around me and above,
A minstrels' court of love,
The birds contend in song about love's joys.

What time I hear the lark
And nightingale keep Spring,
My heart will pant and yearn
For love. (Ye all may mark
The unkindly comforting
Of fire that will not burn.)
And, being in the shadow of the fresh wood,
How excellently good
A thing love is, I cannot choose but learn.

Let me ask grace; for I,
Being loved, loved not again.
Now springtime makes me love,
And bids me satisfy
The lover whose fierce pain
I thought too lightly of:
For that the pain is fierce I do feel now.
And yet this pride is slow
To free my heart, which pity would fain move.

Wherefore I pray thee, Love,
That thy breath turn me o'er,
Even as the wind a leaf;
And I will set thee above
This heart of mine, that 's sore
Perplexed, to be its chief.
Let also the dear youth, whose passion must
Henceforward have good trust,
Be happy without words; for words bring grief.
Author of original: 
Rinaldo D'Aquino
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