Saturday, December 16, 2006

First-rate Poetry, Villon revised 12/17/06

Ballad of the ladies of old Poème de François Villon Poem by François Villon

Tell me where, in what land, tell me
Is Flora, lovely Roman lady?
Where Archippa, where Thais fair,
Who was her cousin? Please tell me!
Where now is Echo, who bellered
Back at you o'er rivers and ponds,
Whose beauty surpassed any human's?
O where went the snows of past winters?


Where is Heloise chaste and wise,
For whom celibate and monk-made
Was Abelard in
Saint-Denis?
For her love so much he suffered .
And likewise, where now is the queen
Who commanded that Buridan
Be bagged and cast into the
Seine?
O where went the snows of past winters?

And Joan so dear of Lorraine
,
Whom the English lit bright at
Rouen?
Where are they all, Sovereign Lady?
O where went the snows of past winters?

My Prince, seek not endlessly the knowledge
Where now are they, why passed the time;
But only remember this chorus:
O where went the snows of past winters?

Translation, Harsin

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