One hundred Saracens I murdered in her name, All those wins I dedicated to my Dame! But as a snake our monarch bites - He called a tourney for knights... I hate all kings as kings and baseness are the same! Today my rival is a Round Table knight, The king believes that he will crush me with his might... I hold my shield, I clench my lance, I try to catch her smile and glance - The king ignites in me no interest, no fright! His coat of arms displays the gallows and a sling, A round hole in between my lance will bring, Though heís a favorite today, The king supports him, as they say, But frankly speaking, I donít care for the king! The monarch said to me: ďRelax and rest in peace! The fightís not long and very soon your pains will cease!Ē The king will marry her in case I lose this battle in disgrace... But I despise this king - my God, forgive me, please! In clouds of dust on snorting horses we begin, Eyes, red with hatred, faces twisted with a grin... I raise my lance, the grip is tight, The king is nervous - itís all right! Today, I swear, I donít care for the king! I brought him down, and away heíll now pass, Heís bleeding, watering the field of feather-grass... The king is trembling, heís enraged, But she and I will be engaged, Today Iíve proven that the king is but an ass! Yet, in my castle we have not enjoyed the stay, The king has sent me off crusading far away. My Dame is gone, Iíve lost my win, Since Iím a vassal, heís a king... It is too early for neglecting kings today!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton