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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 Lords (No. 1)
By François Villon (1431–1463?)
 
(Following on the Same Subject)

From the ‘Greater Testament’: Translation of John Payne

WHERE is Calixtus, third of the name,
  That died in the purple whiles ago,
Four years since he to the tiar came?
  And the King of Arragon, Alfonso?
  The Duke of Bourbon, sweet of show,        5
And the Duke Arthur of Brittaine?
  And Charles the Seventh, the Good? Heigho!
But where is the doughty Charlemaine?
 
Likewise the King of Scots, whose shame
  Was the half of his face (or folk say so),        10
Vermeil as amethyst held to the flame,
  From chin to forehead all of a glow?
  The King of Cyprus, of friend and foe
Renowned; and the gentle King of Spain,
  Whose name, God ’ield me, I do not know?        15
But where is the doughty Charlemaine?
 
Of many more might I ask the same,
  Who are but dust that the breezes blow;
But I desist, for none may claim
  To stand against Death, that lays all low:        20
  Yet one more question before I go,—
Where is Lancelot, King of Behaine?
  And where are his valiant ancestors, trow?
But where is the doughty Charlemaine?
 
ENVOI
Where is Du Guesclin, the Breton prow?
        25
  Where Auvergne’s Dauphin, and where again
The late good Duke of Alençon? Lo!
  But where is the doughty Charlemaine?
 
 
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