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Songs

Ballade que Villon feit à la requeste de sa mère pour prier Nostre Dame (1910) L119


Part of a series or song cycle:

Trois Ballades de François Villon (L119)


Ballade que Villon feit à la requeste de sa mère pour prier Nostre Dame

Dame du ciel, régente terrienne,
Emperière des infernaulx paluz,
Recevez-moy, vostre humble chrestienne,
Que comprinse soye entre vos esleuz,
Ce non obstant qu’oncques riens ne valuz.
Les biens de vous, ma dame et ma maistresse,
Sont trop plus grans que ne suys pecheresse,
Sans lesquelz bien ame ne peult merir
N’avoir les cieulx, je n’en suis menteresse.
En ceste foy je vueil vivre et mourir.
À vostre Filz dictes que je suys sienne;
De luy soyent mes pechez aboluz:
Pardonnez-moy comme à l’Egyptienne,
Ou comme il feut au clerc Théophilus,
Lequel par vous fut quitte et absoluz,
Combien qu’il eust au diable faict promesse.
Preservez-moy que je n’accomplisse ce!
Vierge portant sans rompure encourir
Le sacrement qu’on celebre à la messe.
En ceste foy je vueil vivre et mourir.
Femme je suis povrette et ancienne,
Qui riens ne sçay, oncques lettre ne leuz;
Au moustier voy dont suis paroissienne,
Paradis painct où sont harpes et luz,
Et ung enfer où damnez sont boulluz:
L’ung me faict paour, l’aultre joye et liesse.
La joye avoir fais-moy, haulte Deesse,
A qui pecheurs doibvent tous recourir,
Comblez de foy, sans faincte ne paresse.
En ceste foy je vueil vivre et mourir.

Ballad made at his mother's request for a prayer to Our Lady

Lady of heaven, Regent of earth,
Empress of the infernal swamps,
Take me, your humble Christian,
To be numbered among your elect
Though my worth has been as nothing.
Your mercy, my Lady and my Mistress,
Is much greater than my sinfulness,
Wihout it no soul can merit
Nor enter Heaven, I do not lie.
In this faith I wish to live and die.
Say to your Son that I am his,
By him may my sins be pardoned.
May he forgive me as he forgave the Egyptian woman
Or the clerk Theophilus,
Who was acquitted and absolved by you,
Though he had made a pact with Satan.
Preserve me from doing such a thing,
Virgin, who bore without incurring blemish
The sacrament we celebrate at mass.
In this faith I wish to live and die.
I am a poor old woman,
Ignorant and unlettered.
In my parish church I see
A painted paradise with harps and lutes,
And a hell where the damned are boiled:
One fills me with fright, the other with joy and bliss
Let me have that joy, high Goddess,
To whom all sinners in the end must come,
Full of faith, without hypocrisy or sloth.
In this faith I wish to live and die.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

Composer

(Achille) Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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(As part of a song cycle/series:)