Je ne puis vivre ainsy (Antoine Busnois)
- Editor: Paul R. Marchesano (submitted 2009-09-25). Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 142 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes: The root has been numbered for modern performance convenience. The 15th century French text exhibits some variation in form and spelling from modern French.
Title: Je ne puis vivre ainsy
Composer: Antoine Busnois
Description: The musical form of Je ne puis vivre is that of a Bergerette, or Virelai of one stanza. A refrain is followed by two shorter contrasting verses, a verse set to the refrain music, and a final refrain (ABBAA).
Je ne puis vivre ainsy manages to implant an unusually high level of emotion in its text, from the erotic plea to spend "one hour, or less, or more" with the woman in question, to the pathetic hope that she, "with eyes streaming with hot tears, will have mercy."
Je ne puis vivre ainsy is also one of several of Busnois' chansons which betrays in various verbal and symbolic puzzles the name of a real woman. In this case, the first letters of each line of the poem together form the acrostic "Jaqueline d'Aquevile."
Original text and translations
Je ne puis vivre ainsy toujours
I cannot live like this forever