Songs of Old France

- Rondel I
- Ballade I
- Triolets I
- Triolets II
- Lay
- Lay/Rondel
- Rondel II
- Rondel III
- His Epitaph
- Rondel IV
- Ballade II
- Ballade III
- Song
- Source Info


That Villon made at his mother's request as a prayer to Our Lady.

Lady of Heaven and Regent of Earth,
Dread Empress of marshes infernal,
Receive me your Christian humblest worth,
An elect to your comforts eternal,
Though I merit no pleasures supernal.
Lady, my mistress, the graces of you—
Much greater than I am a sinner—can do
What, lacking, no soul may merit, surely,
Nor enter heaven, I speak what is true.
In this faith I would live and would die.

Oh say to your Son that I am all his;
That my sins to his mercy be given:
Forgive me as Egypt's† woman, I wis,
Clerk Theophilus,‡ too, was forgiven;
Who by you was absolved and shriven,
Although a pact he made with the Devil.
Preserve me that I keep from such evil;
And, Virgin, I pray you not to deny
The sacrament, mass's holy revel.
In this faith I would live and would die.

A poor and an ancient woman am I,
Knowing nothing; no letters I have read;
At the parish convent I see, hard by,
Paradise with harps and lutes there painted,
And a hell where they boil the damned.
One brings fear, the other joyfulness;
May this joy be mine, you high Goddess
To whom sinners all for succour must fly.
Grant me faith without feint or idleness.
In this faith I would live and would die.


You bore to us, Virgin, worthy princess,
Jesus whose reign is for ever, endless.
The All-Powerful bearing our weakness,
To aid us came down from heaven on high;
Offered to death his sweet youthfulness;
Our Lord is such; such Him I confess.
In this faith I would live and would die.

* This translation does not follow the strict rhyming scheme of the ballad, which allows three rhymes only.
† Saint Mary Magdalene.
‡ See “Miracle de Théophile,” by Guatier de Coinsi.

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By: Percy Allen
Contributed by: Rich Lawson