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More poems by François VillonFrançois Villon | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by François VillonBooks by François Villon

Epitaph In The Form Of A Ballade

François Villon

Freres humains qui apres nous vivez, 
N'ayez les coeurs contre nous endurcis ... 
Men, brother men, that after us yet live, 
Let not your hearts too hard against us be; 
For if some pity of us poor men ye give, 
The sooner God shall take of you pity. 
Here are we five or six strung up, you see, 
And here the flesh that all too well we fed 
Bit by bit eaten and rotten, rent and shred, 
And we the bones grow dust and ash withal; 
Let no man laugh at us discomforted, 
But pray to God that he forgive us all. 
If we call on you, brothers, to forgive, 


Ye should not hold our prayer in scorn, though we 
Were slain by law; ye know that all alive 
Have not wit always to walk righteously; 
Make therefore intercession heartily 
With him that of a virgin's womb was bred, 
That his grace be not as a dr-y well-head 
For us, nor let hell's thunder on us fall; 
We are dead, let no man harry or vex us dead, 
But pray to God that he forgive us all. 


The rain has washed and laundered us all five, 
And the sun dried and blackened; yea, perdie, 
Ravens and pies with beaks that rend and rive 
Have dug our eyes out, and plucked off for fee 
Our beards and eyebrows; never we are free, 
Not once, to rest; but here and there still sped, 
Driven at its wild will by the wind's change led, 
More pecked of birds than fruits on garden-wall; 
Men, for God's love, let no gibe here be said, 
But pray to God that he forgive us all. 
Prince Jesus, that of all art lord and head, 
Keep us, that hell be not our bitter bed; 
We have nought to do in such a master's hall. 
Be not ye therefore of our fellowhead, 
But pray to God that he forgive us all. 


Algernon Charles Swinburne, trans.

Added: 2 Dec 2001 | Last Read: 19 Dec 2018 2:13 AM | Viewed: 4052 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2136/ | Viewed on 19 December 2018.
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