Ballade Des Dames Du Temps Jadis

Ballade des dames du temps jadis
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The Ballade des dames du temps jadis ("Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past") is a poem by François Villon which celebrates famous women in history and mythology, and a prominent example of the "Ubi Sunt ?" genre. It forms part of his larger work, the Grand Testament.
The section is simply labelled Ballade by Villon; the title des dames du temps jadis was added by Clément Marot in his 1533 edition of Villon's poems.
Contents [hide]
1 Translations and adaptations
2 In popular culture
3 Text of the Ballad
4 External links
5 Notes
[edit]Translations and adaptations

Particularly famous is its interrogative refrain, Mais où sont les neiges d'antan? This was translated into English by Rossetti as "Where are the snows of yesteryear?", for which he coined the new word yesteryear to translate Villon's antan. The French word was used in its original sense of "last year", although both antan and the English yesteryear have now taken on a wider meaning of "years gone by".
The refrain is taken up in the bitter and ironic Berthold Brecht/Kurt Weill "Nannas Lied",[1] expressing the short-term memory without regrets of a hard-bitten prostitute, in the refrain
Wo sind die Tränen von gestern abend?
Wo ist der Schnee vom vergangenen Jahr?
Where are the tears of yesterday evening?
Where is the snow of yesteryear?
The ballad has been made into a song (using the original Middle French text) by French songwriter Georges Brassens, and by the Czech composer Petr Eben, in the cycle Sestero piesní milostnych (1951).

Text of the Ballad
The original text is mostly taken from Oxford Book of French Verse. The translation is deliberately close to the original.
Dictes moy où, n'en quel pays,
Est Flora, la belle Romaine;
Archipiada, ne Thaïs,
Qui fut sa cousine germaine;
Echo, parlant quand bruyt on Maine
Dessus rivière ou sus estan,
Qui beaulté ot trop plus qu'humaine?
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan!

Où est la très sage Helloïs,
Pour qui fut chastré et puis moyne
Pierre Esbaillart à Saint-Denis?
Pour son amour ot cest essoyne.
Semblablement, où est la royne
Qui commanda que Buridan
Fust gecté en ung sac en Saine?
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan!

La royne Blanche comme lis,
Qui chantoit à voix de seraine;
Berte au grant pié, Bietris, Allis;
Haremburgis qui tint le Maine,
Et Jehanne, la bonne Lorraine,
Qu'Englois brulerent à Rouan;
Où sont elles, Vierge souvraine?
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan!

Prince, n'enquerez de sepmaine
Où elles sont, ne de cest an,
Qu'à ce reffrain ne vous remaine:
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan!

Tell me where, in which country
Is Flora, the beautiful Roman;
Archipiada (Alcibiades[2] ?), and 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 Heloise,
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
Be thrown in a sack into the Seine?
Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

The queen "blanche" (white) as 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!

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