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François Villon

(c. 1431 – after 5 January 1463 / Paris)

Le Testament: Ballade: ‘Item: Donne A Ma Povre Mere'


Item

This I give to my poor mother
As a prayer now, to our Mistress
- She who bore bitter pain for me,
God knows, and also much sadness -
I've no other castle or fortress,
That my body and soul can summon,
When I'm faced with life's distress,
Nor has my mother, poor woman:

Ballade

‘Lady of Heaven, earthly queen,
Empress of the infernal regions,
Receive me, a humble Christian,
To live among the chosen ones,
Though I'm worth less than anyone.
Your grace, my Lady and Mistress
Is greater than my sinfulness,
Grace without which, I tell no lie,
None deserve their blessedness.
In this faith let me live and die.

Say to your Son that I am His.
Through Him all my sins are lost:
Forgive me, as Mary Egypt was,
Or, so they say, Theophilus,
Who by your grace was still blameless,
Though he vowed the Devil a guest.
Protect me always from like excess,
Virgin, who bore, without a cry,
Christ whom we celebrate at Mass.
In this faith let me live and die.

I am a woman, poor and old,
I can neither read nor spell.
At Mass in church, here, I behold,
A painted Heaven, with harps: a Hell,
Where the damned are boiled, as well.
One gives me joy: one strikes me cold,
Grant me the joy, Great Goddess,
On whom all sinners must rely,
Fill me with faith and no slackness.
In this faith let me live and die.

V irgin, you bore, O High Princess,
I ssue, whose kingdom is endless,
L ord, who took on a littleness
L ike ours: to save us left the sky,
O ffering his lovely youth to death.
N ow, such is our Lord: such we confess:
In this faith let me live and die.

Submitted: Thursday, March 29, 2012

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