Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DISPUTE OF THE HEART AND BODY OF FRANCOIS VILLON, by FRANCOIS VILLON



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THE DISPUTE OF THE HEART AND BODY OF FRANCOIS VILLON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Who is this I hear? Lo, this is I, thine heart
Last Line: I say no more. -- I care not though thou cease. --
Alternate Author Name(s): Montcorbier, Francois De
Subject(s): Bodies; Hearts; Villon, Francois (1431-1463)


WHO is this I hear? -- Lo, this is I, thine heart,
That holds on merely now by a slender string.
Strength fails me, shape and sense are rent apart,
The blood in me is turned to a bitter thing,
Seeing thee skulk here like a dog shivering. --
Yea, and for what? -- For that thy sense found sweet. --
What irks it thee? -- I feel the sting of it. --
Leave me at peace. -- Why? -- Nay now, leave
} me at peace;
I will repent when I grow ripe in wit. --
I say no more. -- I care not though thou cease. --
What art thou, trow? -- A man worth praise, perfay. --
This is thy thirtieth year of wayfaring. --
'Tis a mule's age. -- Art thou a boy still? -- Nay. --
Is it hot lust that spurs thee with its sting,
Grasping thy throat? Know'st thou not anything? --
Yea, black and white, when milk is specked with flies,
I can make out. -- No more? -- Nay, in no wise.
Shall I begin again the count of these? --
Thou art undone. -- I will make shift to rise. --
I say no more. -- I care not though thou cease. --

I have the sorrow of it, and thou the smart.
Wert thou a poor mad fool or weak of wit,
Then might'st thou plead this pretext with thine heart;
But if thou know not good from evil a whit,
Either thy head is hard as stone to hit,
Or shame, not honor, gives thee most content.
What canst thou answer to this argument? --
When I am dead I shall be well at ease. --
God! what good luck? -- Thou art over eloquent. --
I say no more. -- I care not though thou cease. --

Whence is this ill? -- From sorrow and not from sin.
When Saturn packed my wallet up for me
I well believe he put these ills therein. --
Fool, wilt thou make thy servant lord of thee?
Hear now the wise King's counsel; thus saith he;
All power upon the stars a wise man hath;
There is no planet that shall do him scathe. --
Nay, as they made me I grow and I decrease. --
What say'st thou? -- Truly this is all my faith. --
I say no more. -- I care not though thou cease. --

Would'st thou live still? -- God help me that I may! --
Then thou must -- What? turn pentitent and pray? --
Read always -- What? -- Grave words and good to say;
Leave off the ways of fools, lest they displease. --
Good; I will do it. -- Wilt thou remember? -- Yea. --
Abide not till there come an evil day.
I say no more. -- I care not though thou cease. --





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