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Fredome (14th century) 
by John Barbour
An oft-quoted extract from the long narrative poem The Brus, taken from Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918 (pages 14 and 15)

A! Fredome is a noble thing!
Fredome mays man to haiff liking;
Fredome all solace to man giffis,
He levys at ese that frely levys!
A noble hart may haiff nane ese,
Na ellys nocht that may him plese,
Gyff fredome fail; for fre liking
Is yarnyt our all othir thing.
Na he that ay has levyt fre
May nocht knaw weill the propyrtè,

The angyr, na the wretchyt dome
That is couplyt to foule thyrldome.
Bot gyff he had assayit it,
Than all perquer he suld it wyt;
And suld think fredome mar to prise
Than all the gold in warld that is.
Thus contrar thngis evirmar
Discoweryngis off the tothir ar.

liking] pleasure. na ellys nocht] nor aught else. yarnyt] yearned for. our] above.

perquer] thoroughly, by heart.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.