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François Villon

I know all except myself.

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My days are gone a-wandering.

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Good talkers are only found in Paris.

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But where are the snows of yester year?

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L'envoy

Princess, by whom my hope is fed,
My heart thee prays in lowlihead
To prune the ill boughs overgrown,
Nor slay Love's tree, nor plant instead
Another tree, save this alone.

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Le Testament: Rondeau

Death, I cry out at your harshness,
That stole my girl away from me,
Yet you're not satisfied I see
Until I languish in distress.

Since then I've lost all liveliness:
What harm alive, to you, was she?
Death, I cry out at your harshness,
That stole my girl away from me.

Two we were, with one heart blessed:
If heart's dead, yes, then I foresee,
I'll die, or I must lifeless be,
Like those statues made of lead.

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Rondel

Goodbye! the tears are in my eyes;
Farewell, farewell, my prettiest;
Farewell, of women born the best;
Good-bye! the saddest of good-byes.
Farewell! with many vows and sighs
My sad heart leaves you to your rest;
Farewell! the tears are in my eyes;
Farewell! from you my miseries
Are more than now may be confessed,
And most by thee have I been blessed,
Yea, and for thee have wasted sighs;
Goodbye! the last of my goodbyes.

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Le Testament: Epitaph et Rondeau

Epitaph

Here there lies, and sleeps in the grave,
One whom Love killed with his scorn,
A poor little scholar in every way,
He was named François Villon.
He never reaped a morsel of corn:
Willed all away, as all men know:
Bed, table, and basket all are gone.
Gallants, now sing his song below:

Rondeau

Oh, grant him now eternal peace,
Lord, and everlasting light,
He wasn't worth a candle bright,
Nor even a sprig of parsley.
Of eyebrows, hair, and beard he's free,
A turnip scraped with a spade, all right:
Oh, grant him now eternal peace.

[...] Read more

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Ballade

I know flies in milk
I know the man by his clothes
I know fair weather from foul
I know the apple by the tree
I know the tree when I see the sap
I know when all is one
I know who labors and who loafs
I know everything but myself.

I know the coat by the collar
I know the monk by the cowl
I know the master by the servant
I know the nun by the veil
I know when a hustler rattles on
I know fools raised on whipped cream
I know the wine by the barrel
I know everything but myself.

I know the horse and the mule
I know their loads and their limits

[...] Read more

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Ballad Of The Ladies Of Yore

Tell me where, in what country,
Is Flora the beautiful Roman,
Archipiada or Thais
Who was first cousin to her once,
Echo who speaks when there's a sound
On a pond or a river
Whose beauty was more than human?
But where are the snows of yesteryear?
Where is the leamed Heloise
For whom they castrated Pierre Abelard
And made him a monk at Saint-Denis,
For his love he took this pain,
Likewise where is the queen
Who commanded that Buridan
Be thrown in a sack into the Seine?
But where are the snows of yesteryear?

The queen white as a lily
Who sang with a siren's voice,
Big-footed Bertha, Beatrice, Alice,

[...] Read more

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