Ballad, by the way of ending

…from the quills of the dead white poets

 

Francois Villon (1431 – 1463)

I

Here is ended (both great and small)

Poor Villon’s Testament! When he is dead,

Come, I pray, to his funeral,

Whilst the bell tinkles overhead.

Come in cramozin garmented;

For to love martyr did he die.

Thereof he swore on his manlihead,

Whenas he felt his end draw nigh.

II

For me, I warrant it true in all;

For of his love, in shameful stead,

He was beaten off, like a bandy-ball.

From here to Roussillon as he fled,

There’s ne’er a bramble but tore some shred

Of hose or jerkin from hip to thigh;

So, without leasing, Villon said,

Whenas he felt his end draw nigh.

III

In such ill places his life did fall,

He had but a rag when he was sped:

And (yet more luckless) when death did call,

Love ‘s prickle galled him; its wounds still bled

In him. His heart was heavy as lead

And salt tears stood in his dying eye:

At his despairs we were wondered,

Whenas he felt his end draw nigh.

ENVOI

Prince, that art gent as a yearling gled,

Hear what he did with his latest sigh:

He drank a long draught of the vine-juice red,

Whenas he felt his end draw nigh.

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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One Response to Ballad, by the way of ending

  1. Average American says:

    Yeah, let’s get a long draught of vine-juice red, vote Sanders and end it all.

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