by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
Translation by Josef Václav Sládek (1845 - 1912)

There was three kings into the east
Language: English 
There was three kings into the east,
  Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
  John Barleycorn should die. 

They took a plough and plough'd him down,
  Put clods upon his head, 
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
  John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
  And show'rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again, 
  And sore surpris'd them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
  And he grew thick and strong,
His head weel arm'd wi' pointed spears,
  That no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter'd mild,
  When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
  Show'd he began to fail.

His coulour sicken'd more and more,
  He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
 To show their deadly rage.

They've taen a weapon, long and sharp,
  And cut him by the knee;
Then ty'd him fast upon a cart,
  Like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
  And cudgell'd him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
  And turn'd him o'er and o'er.

They filled up a darksome pit
  With water to the brim,
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
  There let him sink or swim.

They laid him out upon the floor,
  To work him farther woe,
And still, as signs of life appear'd,
  They toss'd him to and fro.

They wasted, o'er a scorching flame,
  The marrow of his bones;
But a Miller us'd him worst of all,
  For he crush'd him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very heart's blood,
  And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
  Their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
  Of noble enterprise,
For if you do but taste his blood,
  'Twill make your courage rise.

'Twill make a man forget his woe;
  'Twill heighten all his joy:
'Twill make the widow's heart to sing,
  Tho' the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
  Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
  Ne'er fail in old Scotland!

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, adapted by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist [an adaptation] CZE DUT RUS ; composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-07-28 11:33:57
Line count: 60
Word count: 357

Jan Ječmínek
Language: Czech (Čeština)  after the English 
Tré králů bylo z východu,
   tré králů, každý rek,
a přísahali slavný slib,
   že zemře Ječmínek.

I vzali pluh a nad hlavou
   mu naorali zem,
a přísahali slavně zas,
   že konec s Ječmínkem.

Však mile přišlo jaro v kraj
   a přišel déšť a jas;
Jan Ječmínek se opět zved’
   všem na veliký žas.

I přišly parné letní dny,
   on tlousť a sílil dál,
zbroj ostnatou měl na hlavě,
   by každý se ho bál.

Tu přišla jeseň lahodná,
   on blednul, Bůh ví čím,
a shýbal kyčle, věšel skráň,
   ba šlo to s kopce s ním.

Pleť chorobnou měl víc a víc
   a tváře samou vrášť;
tu nepřátelé zvedli se
   a smrtelná jich zášť.

Zbraň dlouhou, ostrou vzali naň
   a pod kolena tli,
pak svázali ho na fůru,
   jak byl by škůdník zlý.

S té svalili ho na záda
   a tloukli doň, ó žel!
a ten ho věšel na vítr
   a jiný obracel.

Pak vody samý na pokraj
   ve tmavý vlili důl,
tam vrhli Jana Ječmínka,
   by plul, neb utonul.

Pak roztáhli ho na půdu,
   by vrchol byl všech běd,
a vidouce, že ještě živ,
   jej převraceli hned.

Pak morek z kostí nad ohni
   mu smahli znov a znov,
leč nejhůř mlynář dělal s ním
   jej hodiv pod žernov.

Ba krev ze srdce vytáhli
   a pili do kola,
a čím víc pil, tím veselej
   to v každém plápolá.

Jan Ječmínek byl smělý rek
   a rytířskou znal ctnost,
jen srknete-li jeho krev,
   hned budí rekovnost.

Hned v muži uspí trampoty
   a živ-li rád, je radš',
a srdce vdovy rozzpívá.
   byť v očích měla pláč.

Tož zdráv nám buď Jan Ječmínek,
   teď pohár každý sem!
ať na věky zná jeho rod
   ta stará Škotská zem!

Confirmed with BURNS, Robert. Výbor z písní a ballad, translated by Josef Václav Sládek, Praha: J. Otto, 1892.


Authorship

Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2019-08-11 00:00:00
Last modified: 2019-08-12 09:11:16
Line count: 60
Word count: 281