twilight ballad

This is the hour of my bleak thoughts.
My Demon sleeps.
The red Demon
of my hellish mirth
sleeps in the gloomy twilight
of this mind of mine.
I smoke…
Desperately, intensely,
I smoke. Always!
Always! Always! Always!
I would like to think, to write, to sing…
But my Demon sleeps
The red Demon of my hellish mirth
sleeps in the gloomy twilight
of this mind of mine.
And no thoughts come…
Nor even laughter and curses!
This is the dark hour
of my black melancholy…

Renzo Novatore

ballade of the ladies of times past

Tell me where, in which country
Is Flora, the beautiful Roman;
Archipiada (Alcibiades?), born Thaïs
Who was her first cousin;
Echo, speaking when one makes noise
Over river or on pond,
Who had a beauty too much more than human?
Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

Where is the very wise Héloïse d’Argenteuil,
For whom was castrated, and then (made) a monk,
Pierre Esbaillart (Abelard) in Saint-Denis?
For his love he suffered this sentence.
Similarly, where is the Queen (Marguerite de Bourgogne)
Who ordered that Buridan
Were thrown in a sack into the Seine?
Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

The queen Blanche (white) as a lily (Blanche de Castille)
Who sang with a Siren’s voice;
Bertha of the Big Foot, Beatrix, Aelis;
Erembourge who ruled over the Maine,
And Joan (Joan of Arc), the good (woman from) Lorraine
Whom the English burned in Rouen;
Where are they, oh sovereign Virgin?
Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

Prince, do not ask me in the whole week
Where they are – neither in this whole year,
Lest I bring you back to this refrain:
Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

François Villon