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Ballade To Our Lady

François Villon

WRITTEN FOR HIS MOTHER 

Dame du ciel, regents terrienne, 
Emperiere des infemaux palus.... 

Lady of Heaven and earth, and therewithal 
Crowned Empress of the nether clefts of Hell,—

I, thy poor Christian, on thy name do call, 
Commending me to thee, with thee to dwell, 
Albeit in nought I be commendable. 

But all mine undeserving may not mar 
Such mercies as thy sovereign mercies are; 
Without the which (as true words testify) 
No soul can reach thy Heaven so fair and far. 
Even in this faith I choose to live and die. 
Unto thy Son say thou that I am His, 
And to me graceless make Him gracious. 
Said Mary of Egypt lacked not of that bliss, 
Nor yet the sorrowful clerk Theopbilus, 
Whose bitter sins were set aside even thus 
Though to the Fiend his bounden service was. 
Oh help me, lest in vain for me should pass 
(Sweet Virgin that shalt have no loss thereby!) 
The blessed Host and sacring of the Mass 
Even in this faith I choose to live and die. 

A pitiful poor woman, shrunk and old, 
I am, and nothing learn'd in letter-lore. 
Within my parish-cloister I behold 
A painted Heaven where harps and lutes adore, 
And eke an Hell whose damned folk seethe full sore: 
One bringeth fear, the other joy to me. 
That joy, great Goddess, make thou mine to be,—
Thou of whom all must ask it even as I; 
And that which faith desires, that let it see. 
For in this faith I choose to live and die. 

O excellent Virgin Princess! thou didst bear 
King Jesus, the most excellent comforter, 
Who even of this our weakness craved a share 
And for our sake stooped to us from on high, 
Offering to death His young life sweet and fair. 
Such as He is, Our Lord, I Him declare, 
And in this faith I choose to live and die. 


Dante Gabriel Rossetti, trans.

Added: 2 Dec 2001 | Last Read: 27 Jul 2017 8:46 PM | Viewed: 4392 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2135/ | Viewed on 27 July 2017.
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