Richard Coer De Lyon

Richard Coer De Lyon

Richard! If only you were with us now,

You’d ride your courser to the prow,

Fixing lanceheads of sharpened steel,

Battle weight not a storm could keel,

Your gaze makes each foe a sack of ash,

Brother Havelock breathes fire all night,

Charring the skies with grim delight,

Richard! If only you were with us now,

You’d eat for supper no fatted cow,

But pick the bones of these villains,

You’d plant your banner in the tower,

It isn’t long before the darkened hour,

You’d sound the horns of victory,

And make a joke of their misery,

Richard! If only you were with us now,

I hear the rushing hooves aground,

I hear the horses homeward bound,

The sharpened points are aimed so well,

It is no surprise the hordes were felled,

Men of Poitiers and Gascony,

Here the summonings as they flee,

You’d spurn the riches of the traitors,

And spice their thighs and legs with flavor,

You make a mockery of those scum,

To your majesties beat of the battle drum,

I hear the warrior’s war song humming,

I hear the iron hooves as they go a’thumping,

Says Ricard the lion heart, the pith of man:

“Seynyours! or suis, or sus! Leave off your humping,

To arms I say, it isn’t right your mumbling!”

Richard! If only you were with us now,

I hear the angels sing aloud,

The song is sweeter than the grape,

It puts us in a graceful state,

The men of plows and sickles arm,

They all reply to your good charm,

They organize in big battalions,

And storm the gates of Orgulous,

You’d make the foe choke on spiced wine,

It won’t be in comfort that they dine,

You’d stuff their throats with capons

And beat them with their own bones,

They wouldn’t have an appetite,

After a few courses in your sight,

They’d flee from the wrestling ring,

Your gaze alone is a scorpion sting,

Richard! If only you were with us now,

I hear you shouting to the crowd:

“Arise, it isn’t time for sleep,

There isn’t time for those to weep,

Swiftly to the sea we ride,

The wakened dead dearly arise,

Onward, to the galleys in the skies,

Gather round, to the East we fly!”

Richard! If only you were with us now,

For all Christ’s kingdom in the clouds,

You’d make quick work of these paid guns,

You’d light a torch beneath their buns,

You trade grief for endless joy,

You make their armor seem a toy,

Blackened soot on your shining arms,

Doesn’t deter you nor does it alarm,

Your warriors are no Margarets or Bridgets,

Their blood smudged faces are in the thickets,

Alas, your battle call alone will crush,

I see the partridge sweep from the thrush,

But, lo, the falcon gnaws him down,

From mid-air the song is heard aloud,

You make foes weep with battle blows,

Your fury casts them into dungeon holes,

Richard! If only you were with us now,

You’d put a shiver in their step,

You’d make the fiercest of them weep,

You’d throw them over cliffs so steep,

I hear you shouting the battle cry:

“To arms, par Dieu! To arms!”

When the dead are piled up,

When the plunder vanishes by the mutt,

When the rose has pricked the nettle,

When all the soldiers are in a bad fettle,

You won’t negotiate a truce,

Nor hide behind a nearby spruce,

You’ll smack your spurs all the harder,

With cut up flanks you’ll stuff the larder,

Richard! If only you were with us now,

Surely we’d be much better off,

For all these pretty gallants scoff,

They have a whole host of gossips,

But you are like a scourge to the possum,

You were a devil to the foe,

You were a wily menace of woe,

By the Son upon the rood,

In all the fiery hells you stood,

Not a bit of your skin was scratched,

You were the fire to their thatch,

No cat nor boar could rend you,

Since Jesu and God did mend you,

Soot colored your face all black,

Your sword gave them a good smack

For are you not the biggest cat?

With jilted moves and a roaring grin,

The lion makes the loudest din,

A lion to the hearts of men,

A lion venturing out the den!

Richard! If only you were with us now,

You’d strike their gilded pride down,

You’d cleft the trunk of every clown,

You’d burn their saffron robes alight

Like Christmas trees glowing in the night!

You’d make a wave of vengeance crash,

Against the rocky reefs they’d clash,

What’s that? I hear you in your tomb yell out:

“Good men, Az armys! Bring the horses round!

Let the gonfalons flutter in the air,

Bring me my robe and bring me my chair,

Let the oaths of honor be renewed,

I swear to uphold God, par Dieu!

Let the many succumb to the few.”

The lion roars and rises from the grave,

In his paw a glimmering glave,

His face blazes fiercer than the sun,

No man he gives quarter who has run,

So if you turn your back on him,

Make sure you’re shriven at the start!

He fights like a storm, a passionate art,

Richard! If only you were with us now,

You’d send them a gift they wouldn’t like,

It wouldn’t be mutton nor pike,

An unransomed head, freshly boiled,

Not a single envoy has his pants unsoiled,

The old prince isn’t much of a talker,

It is yes or no with him, in faith,

But even the fearless foe will shiver,

Even the mighty giant’s quiver,

Richard! If only you were with us now,

You’d make the ocean thunder aloud,

You’d charge into the press no doubt,

For all the world is confounded, blurry,

So would you fill it with your fury,

That shrilling noise you make never ends,

Until the day of judgment descends,

Your brave battalion lasts a thousand years,

Your foes are scared their joy will turn to tears,

So be it, let all the generations hear,

The song you sang so very clear,

When terror struck the hearts of men,

It was from the lion out his den,

All pay homage to the lion heart,

For Richard, God’s love will never part.

 

 

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