Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Love is in the air or the ear


~ cuniform tablet ~

The oldest love poem is the Love Song of Shu-Sin found in the library of king Ashurbanipal in Mesopotamia circa 2000 BCE. Found in the mid-1800s, this uniform tablet surpassed the Song of Solomon from the Bible as the oldest love song. The second stanza reads:

"You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
Bridegroom, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber,
You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
Lion, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber."

Love songs became popular in the middle ages when people began thinking of love in other than religious forms. Developed from the Troubadour musical traditions, secular love became a popular topic. Quant la doulce jouvencelle is a medieval love song from around 1430 performed by the duet Asteria.

Under the Lime-Tree (Unter der Linden), was a Bavarian love song written by Walther von der Vogelweide in the late 12th century.

Under the lime-tree, on the daisied ground,
   Two that I know of made their bed;
There you may see, heaped and scattered round,
   Grass and blossoms, broken and shed,
All in a thicket down in the dale;
              Tandaradei -- 
Sweetly sang the nightingale.

Ere I set foot in the meadow, already
   Some one was waiting for somebody;
There was a meeting -- O gracious Lady!
   There is no pleasure again for me.
Thousands of kisses there he took,
               -- Tandaradei -- 
See my lips, how red they look!

Leaf and blossom he had pulled and piled
   For a couch, a green one, soft and high;
And many a one hath gazed and smiled,
   Passing the bower and pressed grass by;
And the roses crushed hath seen,
               -- Tandaradei -- 
Where I laid my head between.

In this love passage, if any one had been there,
   How sad and shamed should I be!
But what were we a doing alone among the green there,
   No soul shall ever know except my love and me,
And the little nightingale.
               -- Tandaradei -- 
She, I think, will tell no tale.

In Chapter 007 - For a Song of The Bastard's Battle, Nicolette plays "Under the Lime Tree" on the zither Eryk made for her when they were twelve.