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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI. 1876–79.

Austria: Greifenstein, the Castle

King Richard’s Lament

By Richard I, Cœur-de-Lion (1157–1199)

Anonymous translation

NO captive knight, whom chains confine,

Can tell his fate and not repine;

Yet with a song he cheers the gloom

That hangs around his living tomb.

Shame to his friends!—the king remains

Two years unransomed and in chains.

Now let them know, my brave barons,

English, Normans, and Gascons,

Not a liege-man so poor have I,

That I would not his freedom buy.

I will not reproach their noble line,

But chains and a dungeon still are mine.

The dead,—nor friends nor kin have they!

Nor friends nor kin my ransom pay!

My wrongs afflict me, yet far more

For faithless friends my heart is sore.

O, what a blot upon their name,

If I should perish thus in shame!

Nor is it strange I suffer pain,

When sacred oaths are thus made vain,

And when the king with bloody hands

Spreads war and pillage through my lands.

One only solace now remains,—

I soon shall burst these servile chains.

Ye Troubadours, and friends of mine,

Brave Chail, and noble Pensauvine,

Go, tell my rivals in your song,

This heart hath never done them wrong.

He infamy, not glory, gains,

Who strikes a monarch in his chains.