Le Débat du cueur et du corps de Villon
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Le Débat du cueur et du corps de Villon" is the title of a poem by Villon. It is an instance of body politic. It was translated by Swinburne as "The Dispute Of The Heart And Body Of Francois Villon" and published in Poems and Ballads .
Who is this I hear?--Lo, this is I, thine heart, That holds on merely now by a slender string. Strength fails me, shape and sense are rent apart, The blood in me is turned to a bitter thing, Seeing thee skulk here like a dog shivering.-- Yea, and for what?--For that thy sense found sweet.-- What irks it thee?--I feel the sting of it.-- Leave me at peace.--Why?--Nay now, leave me at peace; I will repent when I grow ripe in wit.-- I say no more.--I care not though thou cease.--
What art thou, trow?--A man worth praise, perfay.-- This is thy thirtieth year of wayfaring.-- 'Tis a mule's age.--Art thou a boy still?--Nay.-- Is it hot lust that spurs thee with its sting, Grasping thy throat? Know'st thou not anything?-- Yea, black and white, when milk is specked with flies, I can make out.--No more?--Nay, in no wise. Shall I begin again the count of these?-- Thou art undone.--I will make shift to rise.-- I say no more.--I care not though thou cease.--
I have the sorrow of it, and thou the smart. Wert thou a poor mad fool or weak of wit, Then might'st thou plead this pretext with thine heart; But if thou know not good from evil a whit, Either thy head is hard as stone to hit, Or shame, not honour, gives thee most content. What canst thou answer to this argument?-- When I am dead I shall be well at ease.-- God! what good hope!--Thou art over eloquent.-- I say no more.--I care not though thou cease.--
Whence is this ill?--From sorrow and not from sin. When Saturn packed my wallet up for me I well believe he put these ills therein.-- Fool, wilt thou make thy servant lord of thee? Hear now the wise king's counsel; thus saith he: All power upon the stars a wise man hath; There is no planet that shall do him scathe.-- Nay, as they made me I grow and I decrease.-- What say'st thou?--Truly this is all my faith.-- I say no more.--I care not though thou cease.--
Wouldst thou live still?--God help me that I may!-- Then thou must--What? turn penitent and pray?-- Read always--What?--Grave words and good to say; Leave off the ways of fools, lest they displease.-- Good; I will do it.--Wilt thou remember?--Yea.-- Abide not till there come an evil day. I say no more.--I care not though thou cease.
[The end] Algernon Charles Swinburne's poem: Dispute Of The Heart And Body Of Francois Villon