Said to be composed by Richard the Lionheart, addressing it to his sister, when he was a captive of Duke Leopold of Austria. A very nice read. Only that the pride as a royal put him in jail, the same pride is visible in this poem as well.
‘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 añd 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.
O countess, sister, your high price protects
and saves for you the one I claim against,
and by whom I am jailed.
Of her of Chartres, I say not a word,
the mother of Louis.’