Guillaume de Cabestany

Guillaume de Cabestany was castellan of Cabestany. A real character, we find him in 1175 during the signing of his father Arnau's will. He participated in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 against the Saracens.

Guillaume de Cabestany

Guillaume de Cabestany

He was also a poet, his poems were sometimes written in Occitan:

Aissi cum selh que baissa el fuelh,

E take from the flors la gensor

(Like one who bends a branch,

and take the most beautiful flower)

In love with Saurimonde, wife of Raimond de Castell-Rossello, he celebrated her in his verses and knew how to please her. The husband, transported by jealousy, took William far from the castle and, having killed him by treachery, tore out his heart which he made his wife eat.

When he had revealed the secret to Saurimonde, the latter said that “this dish had been so good and so tasty that no one else would ever take the taste out of his mouth”. The husband, hearing this answer, ran to get his sword. Frightened Saurimonde rushed from the top of the tower of her castle and perished in the fall.

King Alfonso II of Aragon came to the scene and ordered the barbarian husband to be arrested. He demanded that the two victims be buried in the same tomb in front of the door of the Saint Jean church in Perpignan.

A solemn service was instituted for the repose of their souls, and there lasted a time when the knights and noble ladies of Catalonia, Cerdagne, Roussillon and Narbonne came to attend every year. The king had Raymond put to death in his prison and confiscated his castles and lands to give them to the parents of Guillaume and Saurimonde.

Here is an extract from a piece of poetry that Guillaume addressed one day to his beloved. Obviously, the translation is with.

In sovinensa

Tenc la cara e'l doltz ris,

Vostra valensa,

E'l belh cors blanc e lis;

If you per crezensa

Estes va god tan fis,

Vius ses falhensa

Will enter paradise.


Sox, cum seria

Than god thank you no i trobles

Ab yours, friend,

La genser qu'anc nasques;

That god nueg e dia,

Of genolhs of pes

Sancta Maria

Prec Vostr'amor mi de;

May God flee noyritz children

Per far your comans:

And ja diens no m'enans,

If ever I see myself, get out of it.

Franca res de bon aire,

Suffer that God kisses los guans,

Only als sui doptans

     Guillems de Cabestanh