Ballade

François Villon 1431 (Paris) – 1463



I know flies in milk
I know the man by his clothes
I know fair weather from foul
I know the apple by the tree
I know the tree when I see the sap
I know when all is one
I know who labors and who loafs
I know everything but myself.

I know the coat by the collar
I know the monk by the cowl
I know the master by the servant
I know the nun by the veil
I know when a hustler rattles on
I know fools raised on whipped cream
I know the wine by the barrel
I know everything but myself.

I know the horse and the mule
I know their loads and their limits
I know Beatrice and Belle
I know the beads that count and add
I know nightmare and sleep
I know the Bohemians' error
I know the power of Rome
I know everything but myself.

Prince I know all things
I know the rosy-cheeked and the pale
I know death who devours all
I know everything but myself.

Trans. by Galway Kinnell

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 29, 2023

54 sec read
166

Quick analysis:

Scheme xxaxxxxB caxdxxeB xxxxxcxB xdxB e
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 841
Words 183
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8, 4, 1

François Villon

François Villon born in Paris in 1431 and disappeared from view in 1463, is the best known French poet of the late Middle Ages. more…

All François Villon poems | François Villon Books

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    "Ballade" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/13663/ballade>.

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