You Who Love with True Love

From Les chansons de croisade [Songs of the Crusades], by Joseph Bédier and Pierre Aubrey. 1909.

Image of You Who Love with True Love

In this work, written circa 1189, an anonymous poet writes of crusading as the demonstration of an individual’s love of God.

[I.] You who love with true love, awake! Sleep no more! The lark tells us know that the day is here And tells us in her songs That the day of peace has come Which God, in his great tenderness, Will give to those who for love of him Take the cross and for their burden Suffer pain both night and day. Then he will see who truly love him.

[II.] Anyone deserves to be condemned Who has deserted his lord in need. So will he be, remember it well. He will have much pain and much insult On the Day of our Last Judgment When God his sides, palms and feet Will show bleeding and wounded. For even he who has done his best Will be so sore afraid That he will tremble, whether he wants to or not.

[III.] He who was put on the cross for us Did not love us with a simulated love. He loved us like the finest friend And lovingly for us Carried with so much anguish The holy cross very gently Between his arms, before his breast, Like a gentle lamb, simple and devout. Then he was nailed with three nails Painfully through his hands and through his feet.

[IV.] I have heard it said proverbially, ‘A sensible merchant spends money from his purse;’ And, ‘He has a fickle heart Who sees what is good and chooses what is evil’. Do you know what God has promised To those who wish to take the cross? God help me, a very fair wage: Paradise, by firm promise. He who can gain his prize If mad if he waits until tomorrow.

Translated in Louise and Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades: Idea and Reality 1095–1274. London: Edward Arnold, 1981. pp. 89–90.

Image of You Who Love with True Love

[V.] For us there is no tomorrow, We can be sure of that. Many a man imagines that he has a very healthy heart And four days later he can no longer prize Either all his goods or his knowledge When he sees that death holds him on a rein, So that neither foot nor hand Can he move to shake it off or remove it. He leaves his feather-bed and takes to the straw litter, But realizes his mistake too late.

Translated in Louise and Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades: Idea and Reality 1095–1274. London: Edward Arnold, 1981. pp. 89–90.

Metadata Details
Item Type book section
Title You Who Love with True Love
Publication Title Les chansons de croisade [Songs of the Crusades]
Short Title You Who Love, 1189
Publication Creator Joseph Bédier and Pierre Aubrey
Publication Date 1909
Language Middle French
Call Number Y 7684 .08
Location General Collections 2nd floor