Location: Sacramento, California

I am a retired lawyer and administrative law judge, aged but active, with a variety of interests.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Another Poem by François Villon


You’re a con man, say,
a sharper or crap-shooter,
a canny counterfeiter,
or a robber (who pillages
and steals), and as a faithless,
lying cheat, get in trouble
like all your ilk: whither,
think you, goes the loot?
All to barrooms and the broads!

Writing poems, telling jokes,
banging cymbals or tooting flutes,
as - shameless fools - some men do;
humbug, hoodwink, sleight-of-hand;
staging farces and morality plays;
games of skittles, cards and dice:
the gains from such will wend their way
all to barrooms and the broads.

Do you recoil from nasty ways?
Then reap that field, mow that lea,
tend your horses and your mules:
you’ll earn enough to be content,
unlettered as you are, but choose
to beat, or comb, the hemp,
don’t your hard-earned wages go
all to barrooms and the broads?

Breeches, doublets, or silken
hose: your precious threads
will follow suit -
all to barrooms and the broads!

François Villon (1431-14??)
(Translation by James M. Moose)


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