The Ballad of Dead Ladies

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Francois Villon (1431 – 1463)

Tell me now in what hidden ways is

Lady Flora, the lovely Roman?

Where’s Hipparchia, and where is Thais,

Neither of them the fairer woman?

Where is Echo, beheld of no man,

Only heard on river and mere, -

She whose beauty was more than human? . . .

But where are the snows of yester-year?

Where’s Héloise, the learned nun,abelard.heloise

For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,

Lost manhood and put priesthood on?

( From Love he won such dule and teen! )

And where, I pray you, is the Queen

Who willed that Buridan should steer

Sewed in a sack’s mouth down the Seine? . . .

But where are the snows of yester-year?

White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,

With a voice like any mermaiden, -

Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice,

And Ermengarde the lady of Maine, -

And that good Joan whom Englishmen

At Rouen doomed and burned her there, -

Mother of God, where are they then? . . .

But where are the snows of yester-year?

Nay, never ask this week, fair lord,

Where they are gone, nor yet this year,

Save with thus much for an overword, -

But where are the snows of yester-year?

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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2 Responses to The Ballad of Dead Ladies

  1. Mad Ness says:

    Snows gone? In 1450? Obviously AGW.

  2. Him Larry says:

    “Where are the snows of yester-day?” Coming to you courtesy of the incoming ice age. Enjoy sun while you can.

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