A Double Ballad of Good Counsel

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Francois Villon (1431 – 1463)

Now take your fill of love and glee,

And after balls and banquets hie;

In the end ye’ll get no good for fee,

But just heads broken by and by;

Light loves make beasts of men that sigh;

They changed the faith of Solomon,

And left not Samson lights to spy;

Good luck has he that deals with none!

Sweet Orpheus, lord of minstrelsy,

For this with flute and pipe came nigh

The danger of the dog’s heads three

That ravening at hell’s door doth lie;

Fain was Narcissus, fair and shy,

For love’s love lightly lost and won,

In a deep well to drown and die;

Good luck he has that deals with none!

Sardana, flower of chivalry,

Who conquered Crete with horn and cry,

For this was fain a maid to be

And learn with girls the thread to ply;

King David, wise in prophecy,

Forgot the fear of God for one

Seen washing either shapely thigh;

Good luck has he that deals with none!

For this did Amnon, craftily

Feigning to eat of cakes of rye,

Deflower his sister fair to see,

Which was foul incest; and hereby

Was Herod moved, it is no lie,

To lop the head of Baptist John

For dance and jig and psaltery;

Good luck has he that deals with none!

Next of myself I tell, poor me,

How thrashed like clothes at wash was I

Stark naked, I must needs agree;

Who made me eat so sour a pie

But Katherine of Vauelles? thereby

NoƩ took third part of that fun;

Such wedding-gloves are ill to buy;

Good luck has he that deals with none!

But for that young man fair and free

To pass those young maids lightly by,

Nay, would you burn him quick, not he;

Like broom-horsed witches though he fry,

They are sweet as civet in his eye;

But trust them, and you’re fooled anon;

For white or brown, and low and high,

Good luck has he that deals with none!

About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
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