Ballade: Du Concours De Blois

François Villon born in Paris in 1431 and disappeared from view in 1463, is the best known French poet of the late Middle Ages.






I'm dying of thirst beside the fountain,
Hot as fire, and with chattering teeth:
In my own land, I'm in a far domain:
Near the flame, I shiver beyond belief:
Bare as a worm, dressed in a furry sheathe,
I smile in tears, wait without expectation:
Taking my comfort in sad desperation:
I rejoice, without pleasures, never a one:
Strong I am, without power or persuasion,
Welcomed gladly, and spurned by everyone.
 
Nothing is sure for me but what's uncertain:
Obscure, whatever is plainly clear to see:
I've no doubt, except of everything certain:
Science is what happens accidentally:
I win it all, yet a loser I'm bound to be:
Saying: ‘God give you good even!' at dawn,
I greatly fear I'm falling, when lying down:
I've plenty, yet I've not one possession,
I wait to inherit, yet I'm no heir I own,
Welcomed gladly, and spurned by everyone.
 
I never take care, yet I've taken great pain
To acquire some goods, but have none by me:
Who's nice to me is one I hate: it's plain,
And who speaks truth deals with me most falsely:
He's my friend who can make me believe
A white swan is the blackest crow I've known:
Who thinks he's power to help me, does me harm:
Lies, truth, to me are all one under the sun:
I remember all, have the wisdom of a stone,
Welcomed gladly, and spurned by everyone.
 

Merciful Prince, may it please you that I've shown
There's much I know, yet without sense or reason:
I'm partial, yet I hold with all men, in common.
What more can I do? Redeem what I've in pawn,
Welcomed gladly, and spurned by everyone.

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