François Villon: Ballad of the Hanged (From Middle French)

Ballad of the Hanged
François Villon
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Brother men who live on now we are dead,
Do not look cruelly on our swinging view,
For if you pity us poor men instead 
Then God will be more moved to pity you. 
You see us strung up, five or six guys, who
Overindulged the flesh which here, today,
Has rotted off and gotten pecked away,
As we the bones to ash and powder fall. 
Let none laugh at our horrible decay,
But pray to God that He forgive us all. 

If we dare call you brothers, don't be led
To scorn us. After all, you know it's true
That not all men are equal in the head, 
Though we died justly for what we did do. 
Commend us, since our flesh is cold, unto
The Virgin Mary's son, in hopes He may 
Not let his grace run dry on us. O pray
He keep us from the Hellish thunderball. 
We're dead. Nobody harries us today
But pray to God that He forgive us all. 

The rain has drubbed and laundered us, and red
Sunlight has parched and blackened us clean through. 
Crows, magpies cored the eyes from out our head,
Ripping our beards off and our eyebrows too. 
We can't rest so much as to cuss, wrenched to
And fro. Wherever wind would have us sway,
It flings us constantly in pointless play,
More pocked than thimbles as the birdbeaks maul. 
Brothers, don't join our brotherhood, we say. 
But pray to God that He forgive us all. 

Prince Jesus, in eternal majesty,
Spare us the hold of Satan's mastery.
We want no business by that protocol.
Men, there is no cause here for mockery.
But pray to God that He forgive us all.
The Original:

Ballade des Pendus
François Villon

Freres humains qui après nous vivez,
N'ayez les cuers contre nous endurcis,
Car, se pitié de nous povres avez,
Dieu en aura plus tost de vous mercis.
Vous nous voiez cy attachez cinq, six:
Quant de la char, que trop avons nourrie,
Elle est pieça devoree et pourrie,
Et nous, les os, devenons cendre et pouldre.
De nostre mal personne ne s'enrie;
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous vueille absouldre

Se freres vous clamons, pas n'en devez
Avoir desdaing, quoy que fusmes occis
Parjustice. Toutefois, vous sçavez
Que tous hommes n'ont pas bon sens rassis;
Excusez nous, puis que sommes transis,
Envers le fils de la Vierge Marie,
Que sa grace ne soit pour nous tarie,
Nous preservant de l'infernale fouldre.
Nous sommes mors, ame ne nous harie;
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous vueille absouldre!

La pluye nous a buez et lavez,
Et le soliel dessechiez et noircis;
Pies, corbeaulx nous ont les yeux cavez,
Et arrachié la barbe et les sourcis.
Jamais nul temps nous ne sommes assis;
Puis ça, puis la, comme le vent varie,
A son plaisir sans cesser nous charie,
Plus becquetez d'oyseaulx que dez a couldre.
Ne soiez donc de nostre confrarie;
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous vueille absouldre

Prince Jhesus, qui sur tous seigneurie,
Garde qu'Enfer n'ait de nous la maistrie:
A luy n'ayons que faire ne que souldre.
Hommes, icy n'a point de mocquerie;
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous veuille absouldre!

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