Ballad of good doctrine to those ill of life

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Francois Villon (1431 – 1463)

I

Peddle indulgences, as you may:

Cog the dice for you cheating throws:

Try if counterfeit coin will pay,

At risk of roasting at last, like those

That deal in treason. Lie and glose,

Rob and ravish: what profits it?

Who gets the purchase, do you suppose?

Taverns and wenches, every whit.

II

Rhyme, rail, wrestle and cymbal play:

Flute and fool it in mummers’ shows:

Along with the strolling players stray

From town to city, without repose;

Act mysteries, farces, imbroglios:

Win money at gleek or a lucky hit

At pins: like water, away it flows;

Taverns and wenches, every whit.

III

Turn from your evil courses I pray,

That smell so foul in a decent nose:

Earn your bread in some honest way.

If you have no letters, beat hemp or toze.

Enough shall you have if you think but fit:

But cast not your wage to each wind that blows;

Taverns and wenches, every whit.

Envoi

Doublets, pourpoints and silken hose,

Gowns and linen, woven or knit,

Ere your wede’s worn, away it goes;

Taverns and wenches, every whit.

About Avadoro Worden

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