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Ballad IV

Christine de Pizan 1364 (Republic of Venice) – 1430 (Poissy)



Farewell, my lady dear and dread,
Farewell, of all sovereign and queen,
Farewell, perfect and sacred head,
Farewell, who dost all honour mean,
Farewell, true heart, loyal and clean,
Farewell, best flower the world doth bear,
Farewell, yet not farewell, O white and fair !

Farewell, O wise, that no ill said,
Farewell, river that made life green,
Farewell, in whom fame harboured,
Farewell, voice that all ears could win,
Farewell, solace of all my teen,
Farewell, whose grace is wide as air,
Farewell, yet not farewell, O white and fair !

Farewell, soft look that through me sped,
Farewell, more fair than Helen queen,
Farewell, body and sweet soul wed,
Farewell, thou most gracious demesne,
Farewell, pole-star, joyous and keen,
Farewell, fountain of valour rare,
Farewell, yet not farewell, O white and fair !

Farewell, Princess of noblest mien,
Farewell, thou aweing smile serene,
Farewell, without fault, sin's despair,
Farewell, yet not farewell, O white and fair !

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan was an Italian French late medieval author. She served as a court writer for several dukes and the French royal court during the reign of Charles VI. She wrote both poetry and prose works such as biographies and books containing practical advice for women. She completed forty-one works during her 30-year career from 1399–1429. She married in 1380 at the age of 15, and was widowed 10 years later. Much of the impetus for her writing came from her need to earn a living for herself and her three children. She spent most of her childhood and all of her adult life in Paris and then the abbey at Poissy, and wrote entirely in her adopted language, Middle French. Her early courtly poetry is marked by her knowledge of aristocratic custom and fashion of the day, particularly involving women and the practice of chivalry. more…

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