The Ballade of Lovely Ladyes of Long Agoe

Original Text: 

Wilfrid Thorley, Fleurs de Lys: A Book of French Poetry Freely Translated into English Verse (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1920) 49-50. Internet Archive.

1O tell me where and in what lande
2    Is Flora and the Roman lass?
3Where's Thaïs or the Ladye grande
4    That was her equal in all grace?
5    Saye where doth Echo hyde her face
6Whose voice bye streame and pool doth straye,
7    Whose beauty more than mortal was? --
8But where are the white snowes borne awaye?
9Where nowe is learnéd Heloïse
10    For whom poor Abelard lost all
11Quick fuel of love's agonies.
12    And answered toe the holye call?
13    Likewyse I aske what doth befall
15    Flung to the Seine for burial? --
16But where are the white snowes borne awaye?
17Queene Blanche as anye lily wan,
18    Whose voice was sweet as syrens fayne;
19Berte, Bicé, Alice loved of man,
20    Or Ermengarde that ruled in Mayne?
21    Or Jean the goode lass from Lorrayne
22Burnt by the Englysh rabble? Saye
23    Where are they Virgin Sovereigne? --
24But where are the white snowes borne awaye?
25    Prince, not thys weeke, thys year shall deigne
26To thee their hidynge to betraye;
27    The onlye answer thou shalt gaine --
28But where are the white snowes borne awaye?

Notes

14] Queene: Marguerite de Bourgogne. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012