Ballad of the Gibbet.

[An epitaph in the form of a ballad that Françoys Villon wrote of himself and his
company, they expecting shortly to be hanged.]
Brothers and men that shall after us be,1
Let not your hearts be hard to us :2
For pitying this our misery3
Ye shall find God the more piteous.4
Look on us six that are hanging thus,5
And for the flesh that so much we cherished6
How it is eaten of birds and perished,7
And ashes and dust fill our bones’ place,8
Mock not at us that so feeble be,9
But pray God pardon us out of His grace.10
Listen, we pray you, and look not in scorn,11
Though justly, in sooth, we are cast to die,12
Ye wot no man so wise is born13
That keeps his wisdom constantly.14
Be ye then merciful and cry15
To Mary’s Son that is piteous,16
That His mercy take no stain from us,17
Saving us out of the fiery place.18
We are but dead, let no soul deny19
To pray God succour us of His grace.20
The water of heaven has washed us clean,21
The sun has scorched us black and bare,22
Ravens and rooks they have pecked at our een,23
And lined their nests with our beards and hair ;24
Round are we tossed, and here and there,25
This way and that at the wild wind’s will,26
Not for a moment our bodies are still27
Birds they are busy about my face.28
Be not as we, nor fare as we fare29
Pray God pardon us out of His grace.30