by: Barbour, John
c.1320 - 1395
Alas! that folk that ever wes free,
And in freedom wont for to be,
Throu thar great mischance and fo1ly,
War treatit than sa wickitly,
That thar faeis thar judgis war;
Quhat wretchitness may man have mar?
Ah! freedom is a noble thing!
Freedom mays man to haiff liking;
Freedom all solace to man giffis:
He levis at ease that freely levis.
A noble hart may haiff nane eis,
Na ellis nocht that may him pleis,
Giff freedom faill: for free liking
Is yarnit owre all other thing.
Na he that ay has levit free
May nocht knaw weill the property,
The anger, na the wretchit doom
That is couplit to foul thirldom.
But giff he had assayit it,
Than all per quer he suld it wit;
And suld think freedom mar to prize
Than all the gold in warld that is. . .
And thirldom is weill wer than deid;
For quhill a threll his life may leid,
It merris him, body and banis;
And deid annoyis him bot anis.
Schortly to say, is nane can tell
The haill conditioun of a threll.