Pourquoi non (Pierre de la Rue)

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  • (Posted 2007-10-11)  CPDL #15175:        (Finale 2002)
Editor: Benoît Huwart (submitted 2007-10-11).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 49 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Pourquoi non
Composer: Pierre de la Rue

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularChanson

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1501 in Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, Volume 1, no. 40, p. 18
    2nd published: 1929 in Das Chorwerk, no. 3.11

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

Pourquoi non,
Ne veuil je mourir?
Pourquoi non,
Ne dois je quérir,
La fin de ma dolente vie.
Quand j'aime qui ne m'aime mie,
Et sers sans guerdon acquérir.

English.png English translation

Why do I
not wish to die?
This life of misery,
if it cannot be mended,
were it not better ended?
I love her: not a fig does she care
and my reward for serving her
is naught but empty air.

Translation by Mick Swithinbank