Charles d’Orleans, a member of the French royal family, writing poetry in the first half of the fifteenth century, wrote many of his poems while a prisoner in England after Henry V’s victory a Agincourt in 1415. He was in England for over 20 years and so had the leisure to write many fine poems; and of course poetry was an accepted and admired activity for an educated, high-born person of the age, probably more so then than in modern times.
This poem is a plea to be free of cares, sadness and melancholy. Anybody who feels oppressed by the daily grind, precarious living or seemingly insuperable circumstances can understand what the poet is saying in this poem.
Charles D’Orleans (1391–†1465)
ALLEZ-VOUS-EN, allez, allez,
Soussi, Soing et Melencolie,
Me cuidez-vous, toute ma vie,
Gouverner, comme fait avez?
Je vous promet que non ferez;
Raison aura sur vous maistrie:
Allez-vous-en, allez, allez,
Soussie, Soing et Merencolie.
Se jamais plus vous retournez
Avecques vostre compaignie,
Je pri à Dieu qu’il vous maudie
Et ce par qui vous reviendrez:
Allez-vous-en, allez, allez.
It is a very short poem and there are really only three basic ideas:
1) Care and sadness must get away from me and no longer govern my life
2) Reason will prevail and reveal happier, carefree possibilities
3) If care and melancholy return, may they be cursed by God
The repetition of “Allez-vous-en, allez, allez” at the beginning, middle and end of the poem really underscores the main point. Will it happen, or is it wishful thinking?
The Poetry Dude