vendredi 3 octobre 2014

If Freedom Fail

Gif Fredome failye
by John Barbour (c. 1320-1395): from 'The Bruce' (lines 219-240)

Alas, that folk that evir wes fre [free]
- And in fredome wount [accustomed] for to be - 
Throw thar [Through their] gret myschance and foly
War tretyt than sa wykkytly [Were treated then so wickedly] 
That thar fays [foes] thar jugis war [judges were]!
Quhat wrechitnes may man have mar [more]?
A! Fredome is a noble thing!  
Fredome mays [permits] man to haiff liking [have happiness];  
Fredome all solace to man giffis,  
He levys at es [ease] that frely levys!  
A noble hart may haiff nane es [have no ease]
Na ellys nocht [Nor anything else] that may him ples,  
Gif fredome failye [If freedom fail]; for fre liking [free choice]  
Is yarnyt our [yearned above] all othir thing. 
Na, he that ay has levyt fre [has always lived free] 
May nocht knaw weill the propyrte [(particular) state]
The angyr na [nor] the wretchyt dome [fate]  
That is cowplyt [coupled] to foule thyrldome. 
Bot gyff [unless] he had assayit [experienced] it,  
Than all perquer [par coeur/thoroughly] he suld it wyt [know];  
And suld think fredome mar to prys [more to prize]
Than all the gold in warld that is!