Guillaume de Machaut - De Fortune Me Doi Plaindre Et Loer (Ballade 23)
Type of Spiritual Experience
Guillaume de Machaut ( c. 1300 – April 1377) was a medieval French poet and composer. He is one of the earliest composers on whom significant biographical information is available. According to Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Machaut was "the last great poet who was also a composer". Well into the 15th century, Machaut's poetry was greatly admired and imitated by other poets.
Whether he can be classified as a true troubador or not is in some doubt, but there are aspects of his life that rather indicate he was one.
Guillaume de Machaut was employed as secretary to John I, Count of Luxembourg and King of Bohemia from 1323 to 1346, and also became a canon (1337). By 1340, Machaut was living in Reims, having relinquished his other canonic posts at the request of Pope Benedict XII. In 1346, King John was killed fighting at the Battle of Crécy, and Machaut, who was famous and much in demand, entered the service of various other aristocrats and rulers, including King John's daughter Bonne (who died of the Black Death in 1349).
Machaut survived the Black Death that devastated Europe, and spent his later years living in Reims composing and supervising the creation of his complete-works manuscripts. His poem Le voir dit (probably 1361–1365) purports to recount a late love affair with a 19-year-old girl, Péronne d'Armentières, "although the accuracy of the work as autobiography is contested".
When he died in 1377, other composers such as François Andrieu wrote elegies lamenting his death.