maryann corbett

Ballade IV from Les Cent Ballades

english translation

Ballade IV from Les Cent Ballades

original French poem

Ballade IV

Par envie, qui le monde desroye,
Est trayson couvertement nourrie
En mains faulz cuers, qui se mettent en voye
De mettre a fin leur fausse lecherie,
Et en leurs fais usent de tricherie,
Dont ilz prenent sur maint grant avantage,
En traïson, non pas par vacellage.

En grant pouoir fu la cité de Troye,
Un temps qui fu, sur toute seigneurie
Et la regnoit de ce monde, a grant joye,
En haulte honneur, fleur de chevalerie;
Qui par Grigois fu puis arse et perie,
Et Troyens pris et menez en servage,
En traïson, non pas par vacellage.

Alixandre qui du monde ot la proye
Si fu trahy; aussi grant desverie
Reffist Mordret a Artus par tel voye,
Dont maint dient qu'il est en faerie.
Le preux Hector, ou ot bonté florie,
Ne l'occist pas Achillès par oultrage,
En traïson, non pas par vacellage.

Princes, je dis, nel tenez moquerie,
Que l'en se gard de tel forsennerie,
Voire qui puet, car on fait maint domage
En traïson, non pas par vacellage.

 

Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan (1364 – c. 1430) was the daughter of the official astrologer to the French court, who gave her the same education that a son would have received. When her husband died of plague, leaving her a widow with three children at the age of 25, she began a career of writing, both prose and poetry, which marks her as a first European woman to support herself entirely by her pen.

 

Maryann Corbett

Maryann Corbett’s third book of poetry, Mid Evil, won the 2014 Richard Wilbur Award and is forthcoming from The Evansville Press. Her poems, essays, reviews, and translations have appeared widely in journals in print and online and in a variety of anthologies and have also won the Lyric Memorial Award and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize.

 

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