NO, I AM NOT AS OTHERS ARE
by: François Villon
- O, I am not, as others are,
- Child of the angels, with a wreath
- Of planets or of any star.
- My father's dead, and lies beneath
- The churchyard stone: God rest his breath!
- I know that my poor old mother
- (And she too knows) must come to death,
- And that her son must follow her.
- I know that rich and poor and all,
- Foolish and wise, and priest and lay,
- Mean folk and noble, great and small,
- High and low, fair and foul, and they
- That wore rich clothing on the way,
- Being of whatever stock or stem,
- And are coiffed newly every day,
- Death shall take every one of them.
- Paris and Helen are both dead.
- Whoever dies, dies with much pain;
- For when his wind and breath are sped
- His gall breaks on his heart, and then
- He sweats, God knows that sweat of men!
- Then shall he pray against his doom
- Child, brother, sister, all in vain:
- None will be surety in his room.
- Death makes him tremble and turn pale,
- His veins stretch and his nose fall in,
- His flesh grow moist and his neck swell,
- Joints and nerves lengthen and wax thin;
- Body of woman, that hath been
- Soft, tender, precious, smooth and even,
- Must thou be spoiled in bone and skin?
- Yes, or else go alive to heaven.
POEMS BY FRANÇOIS VILLON
"No, I am not as Others are"
was translated into English by Arthur Symons (1865-1945).