Ja nus hons pris

Richard I Lionheart, King of England / Riccardo I Cuor di Leone, re d'Inghilterra
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OriginalEnglish Translation by Henry Adams
Ja nus hons pris ne dira sa raisonNo prisoner can tell his honest thought
Adroitement, se dolantement non;Unless he speaks as one who suffers wrong;
Mais par effort puet il faire chançon.But for his comfort as he may make a song.
Mout ai amis, mais povre sont li don;My friends are many, but their gifts are naught.
Honte i avront se por ma reançonShame will be theirs, if, for my ransom, here
— Sui ça deus yvers pris.—I lie another year.
Ce sevent bien mi home et mi baron–They know this well, my barons and my men,
Ynglois, Normant, Poitevin et Gascon–Normandy, England, Gascony, Poitou,
Que je n'ai nul si povre compaignonThat I had never follower so low
Que je lessaisse por avoir en prison;Whom I would leave in prison to my gain.
Je nou di mie por nule retraçon,I say it not for a reproach to them,
—Mais encor sui [je] pris.—But prisoner I am!
Or sai je bien de voir certeinnementThe ancient proverb now I know for sure;
Que morz ne pris n'a ami ne parent,Death and a prison know nor kind nor tie,
Quant on me faut por or ne por argent.Since for mere lack of gold they let me lie.
Mout m'est de moi, mes plus m'est de ma gent,Much for myself I grieve; for them still more.
Qu'aprés ma mort avront reprochementAfter my death they will have grievous wrong
—Se longuement sui pris.—If I am a prisoner long.
N'est pas mervoille se j'ai le cuer dolant,What marvel that my heart is sad and sore
Quant mes sires met ma terre en torment.When my own lord torments my helpless lands!
S'il li membrast de nostre soirementWell do I know that, if he held his hands,
Quo nos feïsmes andui communement,Remembering the common oath we swore,
Je sai de voir que ja trop longuementI should not here imprisoned with my song,
—Ne seroie ça pris.—Remain a prisoner long.
Ce sevent bien Angevin et Torain–They know this well who now are rich and strong
Cil bacheler qui or sont riche et sain–Young gentlemen of Anjou and Touraine,
Qu'encombrez sui loing d'aus en autre main.That far from them, on hostile bonds I strain.
Forment m'amoient, mais or ne m'ainment grain.They loved me much, but have not loved me long.
De beles armes sont ore vuit li plain,Their plans will see no more fair lists arrayed
—Por ce que je sui pris—While I lie here betrayed.
Mes compaignons que j'amoie et que j'ain–Companions whom I love, and still do love,
Ces de Cahen et ces de Percherain–Geoffroi du Perche and Ansel de Caieux,
Di lor, chançon, qu'il ne sunt pas certain,Tell them, my song, that they are friends untrue.
C'onques vers aus ne oi faus cuer ne vain;Never to them did I false-hearted prove;
S'il me guerroient, il feront que vilainBut they do villainy if they war on me,
—Tant con je serai pris.—While I lie here, unfree.
Contesse suer, vostre pris soverainCountess sister! Your sovereign fame
Vos saut et gart cil a cui je m'en clainMay he preserve whose help I claim,
—Et por cui je sui pris.—Victim for whom am I!
Je ne di mie a cele de Chartain,I say not this of Chartres' dame,
—La mere Loës.—Mother of Louis!

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