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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Ballad of Old-Time Ladies
By François Villon (1431–1463?)
 
From the ‘Greater Testament’: Translation of John Payne

TELL me where, in what land of shade,
  Bides fair Flora of Rome, and where
Are Thaïs and Archipiade,
  Cousins-german of beauty rare,
  And Echo, more than mortal fair,        5
That when one calls by the river-flow
  Or marish, answers out of the air?
But what is become of last year’s snow?
 
Where did the learn’d Heloïsa vade,
  For whose sake Abelard might not spare        10
(Such dole for love on him was laid)
  Manhood to lose and a cowl to wear?
  And where is the queen who willed whilere
That Buridan, tied in a sack, should go
  Floating down Seine from the turret-stair?        15
But what is become of last year’s snow?
 
Blanche, too, the lily-white queen, that made
  Sweet music as if she a siren were;
Broad-foot Bertha; and Joan the maid,
  The good Lorrainer, the English bare        20
  Captive to Rouen and burned her there;
Beatrix, Eremburge, Alys,—lo!
  Where are they, Virgin debonair?
But what is become of last year’s snow?
 
ENVOI
Prince, you may question how they fare
        25
  This week, or liefer this year, I trow:
Still shall the answer this burden bear,
  But what is become of last year’s snow?
 
 
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