Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BALLAD OF THE GIBBET, by FRANCOIS VILLON



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BALLAD OF THE GIBBET, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Brothers and men that shall after us be
Last Line: Pray god, pardon us out of his grace.
Alternate Author Name(s): Montcorbier, Francois De
Subject(s): Forgiveness; Clemency


Brothers and men that shall after us be,
Let not your hearts be hard to us:
For pitying this our misery
Ye shall find God the more piteous.
Look on us six that are hanging thus,
And for the flesh that so much we cherished
How it is eaten of birds and perished,
And ashes and dust fill our bones' place,
Mock not at us that so feeble be,
But pray God pardon us out of His grace.
Listen we pray you, and look not in scorn,
Though justly, in sooth, we are cast to die;
Ye wot no man so wise is born
That keeps his wisdom constantly.
Be ye then merciful, and cry
To Mary's Son that is piteous,
That his mercy take no stain from us,
Saving us out of the fiery place.
We are but dead, let no soul deny
To pray God succor us of His grace.
The rain out of heaven has washed us clean,
The sun has scorched us black and bare,
Ravens and rooks have pecked at our eyne,
And feathered their nests with our beards and hair.
Round are we tossed, and here and there,
This way and that, at the wild wind's will,
Never a moment my body is still;
Birds they are busy about my face.
Live not as we, not fare as we fare;
Pray God pardon us out of His grace.
Prince Jesus, Master of all, to thee
We pray Hell gain no mastery,
That we come never anear that place;
And ye men, make no mockery,
Pray God, pardon us out of His grace.






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