françois villon

What Lasts

english translation

What Lasts

original French poem


Adapted from “Miscellaneous Poems”
with lines from “Le Testament”

Je suis Françoys dont il me poise,
Né de Paris emprès Pontoise
Et de la corde d'une toise
Sçaura mon col que mon cul poise.

Line 2 of “Le Lais” in “Le Testament”:
Je, Françoys Villon escollier,

See also:  “Le Testament,” ll. 48, 9-32, 721-8, and, in “The Legacy,” line 92 and
ll. 186-8.


François Villon

François Villon (1431 – c. 1463) was born François Montcorbier. A promising graduate of the University of Paris, adept in law and the classics, he fled to the countryside in 1455 after killing a priest in a brawl. For the rest of his life he was a violent vagabond, a thief, and arguably the finest lyric poet in French literature. Between imprisonments, in extreme poverty, he produced volumes of poems, including The Testament. When his death sentence in Paris was commuted to a ten-year banishment, he left the city and was never heard from again.



Diane Furtney

Diane Furtney, after her Tulsa upbringing and with a psychology degree from Vassar College, worked a year in Israel (1967), then took an assortment of jobs, sometimes in clinical psychology, in several US cities. Besides nonfiction ghostwriting, she has authored two prizewinning poetry chapbooks (Destination Rooms and It Was a Game) and two comic mystery novels (pseudonym D.J.H. Jones).


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