The Song of King Edward, that he himself made
(taken from STUDER, PAUL, An Anglo-Norman Poem by Edward II, King of England in Modern Language Review Vol. 16)
In winter woe befell me ;
By cruel Fortune thwarted,
My life now lies a ruin.
Full oft have I experienced,
There's none so fair, so wise,
So courteous nor so highly famed,
But, if Fortune cease to favour,
Will be a fool proclaimed.
My clamour rises yet in vain ;
When favour once is lost,
Soon does man's love grow cold.
Too fondly have I trusted,
And honours done to many
Who now seek, my destruction ;
They love me little, pity me less,
In prison they torment me.
Torment me, aye ! most cruelly
Ev'n though 'twere well deserved.
Their evil faith in Parliament
From high has brought me low.
Lord of Salvation, I me repent ;
For all my sins forgiveness crave :
May from the pain the flesh endureth
The soul receive both joy and mercy.
Mejcy, I trow, I needs shall reap
From precious gifts and kindly deeds
Which oft upon my friends and kin,
Within my power I did bestow.
If I have erred, it grieveth me :
But to their counsel was I sworn.
What I have sinned against the faith,
Alas ! dear Lord, full well Thou knowest.
Thou knowest well and openly,
For nought is there so well concealed
But is to Thee fully revealed,
Both good and ill all equally;
Thereon will rest Thy judgments dread.
Deal with my sins mercifully !
But nonetheless Thy will be done,
For body and soul to Thee I yield.
I yield me all to Jesu,
Craving His grace and pardon.
Once was I feared and dreaded,
But now all men despise me,
And hail me 'crownless king, 3
A laughing stock to all.
My dearest friends deceived me :
Too late I see it openly.
And openly have they defied me,
Those who betrayed me thus ;
Methought I had their love,
Now have they all forsaken me.
For many a jewel and many a gift
I have now their reward.
The tears are mine, but theirs the laugh ;
The game's unfairly dealt.
They've dealt to me a joyless game.
And 'mid such grief my heart complains
Of her whom fondly I believed
A faithful wife turned to deceit !
Fair Isabel I dearly loved,
But now love's spark is dead ;
And with my love my joy is gone,
As 'tis from many a heart.
And now 'twere time indeed
That I in death should sleep,
Since honours all I've lost
And yet why be dismayed ?
What God hath thus ordained
Full meekly will I bear,
And serve Him faithfully.
His service be my constant thought.
Ah ! why was it not ever so ?
What marvel then that I am sad,
And earthly grandeur faileth me ?
O let my contrite heart be near
To Him who suffered on the cross,
That truly now I may repent
Of all the sins that e'er I did.
For ever in captivity
Those felons make me languish,
Who in their crass insanity
Three kings have now elected.
85 Upon the youngest, in stately pomp,
. A crown of gold they've placed.
Keep him, Jesu, the Son of Mary,
From traitors, whom God confound !
May God confound his enemies,
And make of him a monarch wise,
Endowed both with might and will
Fair fame to uphold and chivalry !
And let them all be brought to shame
Who seek to harm or injure him !
And then at last shall be fulfilled
The inmost wish of all my heart.
My heart no longer will lament,
Arid weep o'er earthly honours ;
But let sweet Jesu, Who redeemed us
By His most precious blood,
Moved by the prayers of all the Saints
Who in His glory share,
Lead us ere long to that great joy
Which shall be without end.
An end I'll make and say no more.
Hie thee, my song, on wings !
Go to the Doe beyond Kenire [ = Kenil worth ?]
Aiid tell it her in brief.
That when the stag is roused to wrath
And turns upon the hounds,
She may forgo the leech's care,
Bearing herself so wise.
Both wise and fool I would entreat,
Make prayers for me, ye all,
To Mary, the mother all merciful,
Who bore the almighty Lord,
That through the joys she had of Him
She may her Son beseech,
For all my sins and treacherous deeds
To grant me mercy yet.