Huc usque, me miseram!
rem bene celaveram
et amavi callide.
res mea tandem patuit,
nam venter intumuit,
partus instat gravide.
hinc mater me verberat,
hinc pater improperat,
ambo tractant aspere.
sola domi sedeo,
egredi non audeo
nec inpalam ludere.
cum foris egredior,
a cunctis inspicior,
quasi monstrum fuerim.
cum vident hunc uterum,
alter pulsat alterum,
silent, dum transierim.
semper pulsant cubito,
me designant digito,
ac si mirum fecerim.
nutibus me indicant,
dignam rogo iudicant,
quod semel peccaverim.
quid percurram singula?
ego sum in fabulo
et in ore omnium.
ex eo vim patior,
iam dolore morior,
semper sum in lacrimis.
hoc dolorem cumulat,
quod amicus exulat
propter illud paululum.
ob patris sevitiam
recessit in Franciam
a finibus ultimis.
sum in tristitia
de eius absentia
in doloris cumulum.

(Carmina Burana 126)

Until now, poor wretched me,
I’d concealed things well,
and loved cunningly.
Finally, my secret’s out,
for my belly’s swollen up,
showing I’m pregnant and soon due.
On one side my mother beats me,
on the other my father yells at me,
both of them are hard on me.
All alone I sit at home;
I daren’t go out
and amuse myself in public.
If I go outdoors,
everybody looks at me
as if I were a monster.
When they see my belly,
one pokes the other,
and they’re silent till I’ve gone past.
People always nudge each other,
point at me with a finger
as if I’d performed a marvel;
Criticize me with nodding heads,
think I should be burnt on the pyre,
just because I’ve sinned once.
Why should I tell each little thing?
I’m the subject of a story;
I’m in everybody’s mouth.
Because of him I suffer this abuse.
I’m so miserable I’m dying.
I’m always in tears.
And this adds to my troubles,
that my lover’s gone off
because of that trifle.
On account of his father’s rage,
he’s taken off to France
right out of the country.
I’m lonesome
because of his absence.
What a pile of trouble I’ve had!
(tr. Anne L. Klinck)



O Fortuna,
velut luna
statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decrescis,
vita detestabilis.
nunc obdurans
et tunc curans
ludo mentis aciem,
dissolvis ut glaciem.

sors immanis
et inanis,
rota tu volubilis,
status malus,
vana salus
semper dissolubilis.
et velata
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
dorsum nudum
fero tui sceleris.

sors salutis
et virtutis
mihi nunc contraria.
est affectus
et defectus
semper in angaria.
hac in hora
sine mora
corde pulsum tangite;
quod per sortem
sternit fortem
mecum omnes plangite.

(Carmina Burana 17)

Oh, Fortune,
like the moon
that is constantly changing,
you are always waxing
or waning,
despicable for your changeful nature.
for your amusement you now harden,
now soften
the keen edge of your intentions,
melting poverty
or power
like ice.

Fortune, you are monstrous
and vacuous,
you are a revolving wheel,
an unsure foothold,
a treacherous refuge,
always ready to melt away.
and veiled,
you exercise your power on me too;
my back is now bare
from gambling
thanks to your villainy.

My fortunate position
of safety and strength
has now been turned upside down.
or failure
are now always dependent on my service to another.
without delay,
strum the lutes!
Join with me, all of you, in lamenting
that Fortune has arbitrarily brought
a strong man down.

(tr. David A. Traill)