Ballade Villon

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I saw François tonight as he stepped on the grate
   in a cape of leather tongues cut from the shoes
of frogs – those lily pond lords – to celebrate   
   punishment by the sharp-clawed lady whose
   curse, laid on a husband’s sweaty haste to booze
has of late dried up, but our poet runs on
to escape the sink of the rue Saint Antoinne
   in a player’s rank and borrowed hose, sword on hip,
floppy hat hiding a hard face for song,
   oh yes, and that villainous lip.        

Descending wet steps with swaggering gait,
   all slips considered and nothing to lose –
save all he had was on his back – swords scrape
   on cobbles, he tugs at his hat, confused
   by boos from the watchmen: “Is that you Françoise?
on y danse au Pomme de Pin, tous en ronde:
will you sing a song and ponce around?  Quel con!”
   François stopped short,  he was ready to rip
and everyone fall about laughing, eyes on,
   oh yes, that glorious, villainous lip.

 “My genitals,” he called to them, “I execrate
   the ruby treasure of your every, strawberry nose,
bright from sniffing out curs who saturate
   with puddles your stinking, kennel homes: you choose,
   each night, to light the hot kerbs for jades who cruise
our Paris gutters while I am for le tour Nygon
where pear-shaped gags the rats are racked on
   we have exchanged for sack and song, and skip
to lick at red wounds:  rut with your women.”
   Oh yes, that glorious, villainous lip.           


Your honour, be fair, consider the poor one
at every turn thrown back in a dungeon,
    if our lawless scholars let barking dogs nip,
then what is to be left us of Villon? 
   Oh yes, that glorious, villainous lip.           

ballade formhistorical figures

◄ The dolphins seemed unfriendly


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