I was translating a text, but then the author quoted an old poem by an author named John Ball.
I have seen it written in two different forms:
"Be war or ye be wo; Knoweth your frend from your foo"
"Be ware ere ye be woo; Know your friend from your foe."
Know, I think I would be right in saying that the second verse means "Know your friend from your foe", as in the second spelling, and that "be war" or "be ware" means "beware".
How would "or ye be wo"/"ere ye be woo" be written in modern English? I don't know if the fact that I'm not a native speaker makes it harder, but I can't quite understand what that's supposed to mean. Is woo "wooed"? "Beware when you're wooed"? or what?