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26 June, 2013

Ja Nus Hons Pris... (No Man Who's Jailed...)

by Richard I, the Lionhearted

Ja nus hons pris ne dira sa reson
Adroitement, s'ensi com dolans non;
Mes par confort puet il fere chanšon.
Moult ai d'amis, mes povre sont li don;
Honte en avront, se por ma reanšon
Sui ces deus yvers pris.

Ce sevent bien mi honme et mi baron,
Englois, Normant, Poitevin et Gascon,
Que je n'avoie si povre conpaignon,
Cui je laissasse por avoir en prixon.
Je nel di pas por nule retrašon
Mes encor sui ge pris.

Or sai je bien de voir certainement
Que mors ne pris n'a ami ne parent,
Quant hon me lait por or ne por argent.
Moult m'est de moi, mes plus m'est de ma gent,
Qu'apres ma mort avront reprochier grant,
Se longuement sui pris.

N'est pas mervei1le, se j'ai le cuer dolent,
Quant mes sires tient ma terre en torment.
S'or li menbroit de nostre serement,
Que nos fe´smes andui communaument,
Bien sai de voir que ceans longuement
Ne seroie pas pris.

Ce sevent bien Angevin et Torain,
Cil bacheler qui or sont riche et sain,
Qu'enconbrez sui loing d'aus en autrui main.
Forment m'amoient, mes or ne m'aimment grain
De beles armes sont ores vuit li plain,
Por tant que je sui pris.

Mes conpaignons, cui j'amoie et cui j'ain,
Ceus de Cahen et ceus dou Percherain,
Me di, chanšon, qu'il ne sont pas certain;
Qu'onques vers aus nen oi cuer faus ne vain.
S'il me guerroient, il font moult que vilain,
Tant con je serai pris.

El
Contesse suer, vostre pris souverain
Vos saut et gart cil a cui je me clain
Et par cui je sui pris.

E2
Je ne di pas de celi de Chartain,
La mere Loo s.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

No man who's jailed can tell his purpose well
adroitly, as if he could feel no pain;
but to console him, he can write a song.
I've many friends, but all their gifts are poor;
they'd be ashamed to know for ransom now
two winters I've been jailed.

My men-at-arms and barons know full well;
the English, Normans, Gascons, Poitevins,
I've no companion, poor though he may be,
whom I'd abandon, leaving him in jail
and I don't say this merely to reproach
but still, I have been jailed.

Now I know well, and see with certainty,
that death holds neither friends nor relatives
when I'm released for silver or for gold
it's much for me and even more for mine,
for when I'm dead they'll greatly be reproached
if I for long am jailed.

It's no surprise if my heart's hurting me
because my father's torturing my land.
If he would but recall the oath we swore,
the one the two of us in common made
I know full well that in this place
I'd not so long be jailed.

While Angevin and Tourangeau are good,
these men-at-arms who now are well and rich,
but I am far from them, in other hands.
They loved me much, now love me not at all,
and now the plain is empty of their arms
and therefore I am jailed.

The company I loved a˝d still I love
all those of Caen and those of Percheraine,
tell me, O song, that they cannot be sure:
my heart is never false or vain to them.
If they make war on me, no villain would,
so long as I am jailed.

El
O countess, sister, your high price protects
and saves for you the one I claim against,
and by whom I am jailed.

E2
Of her of Chartres, I say not a word,
the mother of Louis.
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