Ballade des pendus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Ballade des pendus, also known as Epitaphe Villon or Frères humains, is the best-known poem by François Villon. It is commonly acknowledged, although not clearly established, that Villon wrote it in prison while he awaited his execution. It was published posthumously in 1489 by Antoine Vérard.

Form[edit]

The poem is in the form of a large ballade.

  • All lines have 10 syllables.
  • The last line is the same in each stanza.
  • The first three stanzas have 10 lines, and the last has 5 lines.
  • Each stanza has the same rhyme scheme.
  • There are several enjambments.

Text of the ballad with English translation[edit]

The translation deliberately follows the original as closely as possible.

Frères humains, qui après nous vivez,
N'ayez les cœurs contre nous endurcis,
Car, si pitié de nous pauvres avez,
Dieu en aura plus tôt de vous mercis.
Vous nous voyez ci attachés, cinq, six:
Quant à la chair, que trop avons nourrie,
Elle est piéça dévorée et pourrie,
Et nous, les os, devenons cendre et poudre.
De notre mal personne ne s'en rie;
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous veuille absoudre!

Si frères vous clamons, pas n'en devez
Avoir dédain, quoique fûmes occis
Par justice. Toutefois, vous savez
Que tous hommes n'ont pas bon sens rassis.
Excusez-nous, puisque sommes transis,
Envers le fils de la Vierge Marie,
Que sa grâce ne soit pour nous tarie,
Nous préservant de l'infernale foudre.
Nous sommes morts, âme ne nous harie,
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous veuille absoudre!

La pluie nous a débués et lavés,
Et le soleil desséchés et noircis.
Pies, corbeaux nous ont les yeux cavés,
Et arraché la barbe et les sourcils.
Jamais nul temps nous ne sommes assis
Puis çà, puis là, comme le vent varie,
A son plaisir sans cesser nous charrie,
Plus becquetés d'oiseaux que dés à coudre.
Ne soyez donc de notre confrérie;
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous veuille absoudre!

Prince Jésus, qui sur tous a maistrie,
Garde qu'Enfer n'ait de nous seigneurie:
A lui n'ayons que faire ne que soudre.
Hommes, ici n'a point de moquerie;
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous veuille absoudre!

Human brothers who live after us,
Do not have (your) hearts hardened against us,
For, if you take pity on us poor (fellows),
God will sooner have mercy on you.
You see us tied here, five, six:
As for the flesh, that we nourished too much,
It has long since been eaten and rotten,
And we, the bones, become ashes and powder.
Of our pain let no one make fun,
But pray God that he wills to absolve us all!

If we call you brothers, you must not
Have scorn for it, although we were killed
By justice. Nevertheless you know
That all men do not have (their) common sense (firmly) seated.
Forgive us, since we have passed away,
Before the son of the Virgin Mary,
So that his grace may not run dry for us,
Preserving us from the infernal blast.
We are dead, let no soul harry us,
But pray God that he wills to absolve us all!

Rain has drained and washed us
And the sun has dried and blackened us;
Magpies and crows have carved out our eyes,
And torn off our beards and eyebrows.
We never sit for a moment;
Now here, then there, as the wind changes,
(it) tosses us around at its pleasure, without cease
More pecked by birds than thimbles.
Therefore, do not be of our brotherhood,
But pray God that he wills to absolve us all!

Prince Jesus, who commands to all,
Prevent Hell from having lordship over us:
With him, we have nothing to do nor trade.
Men, there is no mockery here,
But pray God that he wills to absolve us all.