A Secret Sorrow

Author unknown
Genre Lyric, Poem
Keywords 14th century, love song, lyric, Old Czech
Title (in Czech) Tajná žalost
Title (in English translation) A Secret Sorrow
Editor Andrea Svobodová – Kateřina Voleková
Translator Walter Schamschula
Edited source Praha, Národní knihovna České republiky, XVII F 9, fol. IIr
Introduction Walter Schamschula – Andrea Svobodová
TEI P5 XML Encoding Matěj Čermák – Michal Mocňák – Ondřej Tichý
Summary of content An Old Czech love song in which a lover expresses his anguish at the departure of his beloved.
Show edition

Introduction to the Text

Tajná žalost (‘A Secret Sorrow’) is one of the best Old Czech love songs. It constitutes part of the so-called Vyšehrad Codex, a major portion of which consists of works by Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného (Thomas of Štítné, c. 1333-1405). It is interesting in its stanzaic pattern: alternating rhyme (abab), which is quite unusual for the second half of the 14th century, its probable date of origin. This is syllabic poetry with each verse composed of eight syllables.

Introduction to the Sources

The song has been preserved in a single copy within a codex from 1396 (Praha, Národní knihovna České republiky, XVII F 9, fol. IIr; available online).

About this Edition

The given transcription was made according to the manuscript, taking into account the edition of Walter Schamschula (cf. Schamschula 1991, see Existing editions below).

The present translation has been taken, with the permission of Walter Schamschula, from the text of his edition. No textual changes have been made to the text, and only obvious typographical errors have been removed (cf. Schamschula 1991, see Existing editions below). The introductory information, based on Schamschula´s edition, has been supplemented from new contributions on the topic.

Existing Editions

Tajná žalost, in: Staročeská lyrika, Jan Vilikovský (ed.), Praha 1940, pp. 31-32 [standardized transcription].

Výbor z české literatury od počátků po dobu Husovu, Bohuslav Havránek a kol. (eds.), Praha 1957, p. 398 [standardized transcription].

Tajná žalost, in: Česká středověká lyrika, Jan Lehár (ed.), Praha 1990, p. 216 [standardized transcription].

Tajná žalost/A secret sorrow, in: An Anthology of Czech Literature. 1st Period: from the Beginnings until 1410, Walter Schamschula (ed.), Frankfurt am Main – Bern – New York – Paris 1991, pp. 75-76 [standardized transcription].

Existing translations

Tajná žalost/A secret sorrow, in: An Anthology of Czech Literature. 1st Period: from the Beginnings until 1410, Walter Schamschula (ed.), Frankfurt am Main – Bern – New York – Paris 1991, pp. 75-76.

Further Reading

Vilikovský, Jan: Staročeská lyrika, Praha 1940, p. 176.

Jakobson, Roman: Verš staročeský, Československá vlastivěda 3, 1934, pp. 429-459.

A Secret Sorrow

Edition


MECZ [online], A Secret Sorrow, ed. unknown, trans. Walter Schamschula. KREAS Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Retrieved 12.08.2022, from https://mecz.kreas.ff.cuni.cz/publication/a-secret-sorrow/ Bibtex citation

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