Practice English Speaking&Listening with: François Villon's "Frères Humains" read by OÁC - subs

Difficulty: 0

Yes, sir, poet! and so much, That while fencing I will

hop! — ex tempore,

Compose a ballade for you.

— A ballade?

— You have no idea of what it is, I think? — Now...

— The ballade, therefore, is composed

of three Verse eight lines apiece... — Oh!

— And an envoi of four...

The definition of the french ballade given here

by Rostand's Cyrano is somehow incomplete.

It corresponds to the "petite ballade".

As you can see here.

The "grande ballade"

is the pattern chosen by Villon

for "Frères Humains"

Brother Humans who live after us,

Do not have hearts hardened against us,

For, if you take pity on us poor,

God will sooner have mercy on you.

You see us

tied here, five, six:

As for the flesh, that we nourished too much,

It is long since


and rotten,

And we, the bones, become ashes and powder.

Of our fate let no one make fun,

But pray God that us all will absolve !

If we call you brothers,

you must not Have scorn for it,

although we were slain By justice.

Nevertheless you know

That all men do not have unruffled common sense;

Forgive us, since we have passed on,

Before the son of the Virgin Mary,

So that his grace may not run dry for us,

Saving us from infernal thunderbolts.

We are dead,

let no soul harrow us;

But pray God that us all will absolve!

Rain has drained and washed us,

And the sun has dried and blackened us:

Magpies and crows have carved out our eyes And torn off our beards and eyebrows.

We never sit for a moment;

Now here, then there, as the wind changes,

Tosses us around to its pleasure, without cease,

More pecked out by birds

than thimbles.

Therefore, do not be of our brotherhood;

But pray God

that us all will absolve!

Prince Jesus,

who masters us all,

Prevent Hell from having lordship over us:

With him, we have nothing to do

nor trade.



is no place for mockery;

But pray God

that us all will absolve!

rendered into English by O. Á. Christie

The Description of François Villon's "Frères Humains" read by OÁC - subs