BALLADE A S'AMYE FALSE BEAUTY THAT COSTS ME SO DEAR ...
François Villontr. A.S.Kline
Faulse beauté qui tant me couste chier,
Rude en effect, ypocrite doulceur,
Amour dure plus que fer a maschier,
Nommer que puis, de ma desfaçon seur,
Cherme felon, la mort d'ung povre cuer,
Orgueil mussié qui gens met au mourir,
Yeulx sans pitié, ne veult Droit de Rigueur
Sans empirer, ung povre secourir?

Mieulx m'eust valu avoir esté serchier
Ailleurs secours. C'eust esté mon onneur.
Riens ne m'eust sceu lors de ce fait hachier.
Trotter m'en fault en fuyte et deshonneur.
Haro, haro! le grant et le mineur!
Et qu'esse cy? Mourray sans coup ferir?
Ou Pitié veult, selon ceste teneur,
Sans empirer, ung povre secourir?

Vng temps viendra qui fera dessechier,
Jaunir, flestrir vostre espanye fleur.
Je m'en risse, se tant peusse maschier
Lors. Mais nennil, ce seroit donc foleur.
Viel je seray; vous, laide, sans couleur.
Or beuvez fort, tant que ru peut courir.
Ne donnez pas a tous ceste douleur:
Sans empirer, ung povre secourir.

Prince amoureux, des amans le greigneur,
Vostre mal gré ne vouldroye encourir
Mais tout franc cuer doit par Nostre Seigneur
Sans empirer, ung povre secourir.
False beauty that costs me so dear,
Rough indeed, a hypocrite sweetness,
Amor, like iron on the teeth and harder,
Named only to achieve my sure distress,
Charm thatís murderous, poor heartís death,
Ocovert pride that sends men to ruin,
Implacable eyes, wonít true redress
Succour a poor man, without crushing?

Much better elsewhere to search for
Aid: it would have been more to my honour:
Retreat I must, and fly with dishonour,
Though none else then would have cast a lure.
Help me, help me, you greater and lesser!
End then? With not even one blow landing?
Or will Pity, in line with all I ask here,
Succour a poor man, without crushing?

That time will come that will surely wither
Your bright flower, it will wilt and yellow,
Then if I can grin, Iíll call on laughter,
But, yet, that would be foolish though:
Youíll be pale and ugly: and Iíll be old,
Drink deep then, while the streamís still flowing:
And donít bring trouble on all men so,
Succour a poor man, without crushing.

Amorous Prince, the greatest lover,
I want no evil thatís of your doing,
But, by God, all noble hearts must offer
To succour a poor man, without crushing.

Click here 3 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2004


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