On this date in 1191, Richard I, the Lionheart, arrives at Acre, which was then under siege, as part of the Third (or Kings’) Crusade.  Today’s writing is a poem by Richard I, known as King Richard’s Lament.  The following is an 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.