corby's picture

My heart is filled with gladness when I see

Strong castles besieged, stockades broken and overwhelmed,

Many vassals struck down,

Horses of the dead and wounded roving at random.

And when Battle is joined, let all men of good lineage

Think of naught but the breaking of heads and arms,

For it is better to die than to be vanquished and live...

I tell you I have no such joy as when I hear the shout

"On! On!" from both sides and the neighing of riderless steeds,

And groans of "Help me!" Help me!"

And when I see both great and small

Fall in ditches and on the grass

And see the dead transfixed by spear shafts!

Lords, mortgage your domains, castles, cities, but never give up war!

Bertrand de Boron, Vicomte de Hauteforte, a 13th c nobleman of Aquitaine