Ballade [The goat scratches so much it can't sleep]
The goat scratches so much it can't sleep The pot fetches water so much it breaks You heat iron so much it reddens You hammer it so much it cracks A man's worth so much as he's esteemed He's away so much he's forgotten He's bad so much he's hated We cry good news so much it comes. You talk so much you refute yourself Fame's worth so much as its perquisites You promise so much you renege You beg so much you get your wish A thing costs so much you want it You want it so much you get it It's around so much you want it no more We cry good news so much it comes. You love a dog so much you feed it A song's loved so much as people hum it A fruit is kept so much it rots You strive for a place so much it's taken You dawdle so much you miss your chance You hurry so much you run into bad luck You grasp so hard you lose your grip We cry good news so much it comes. You jeer so much nobody laughs You spend so much you've lost your shirt You're honest so much you're broke "Take it" is worth so much as a promise You love God so much you go to church You give so much you have to borrow The wind shifts so much it blows cold We cry good news so much it comes. Prince a fool lives so much he grows wise He travels so much he returns home He's beaten so much he reverts to form We cry good news so much it comes.
From The Poems of François Villon translated by Galway Kinnell, published by Houghton Mifflin, © 1965. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.