Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
The Ballad of Dead Ladies
 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–82)
 
 
Translation from François Villon, 1450
 
 
TELL me now in what hidden way is
  Lady Flora the lovely Roman?
Where ’s Hipparchia, and where is Thais,
  Neither of them the fairer woman
  Where is Echo, beheld of no man,        5
Only heard on river and mere,—
  She whose beauty was more than human?…
But where are the snows of yester-year?
 
Where ’s Héloise, the learned nun,
  For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,        10
Lost manhood and put priesthood on?
  (From Love he won such dule and teen!)
  And where, I pray you, is the Queen
Who will’d that Buridan should steer
  Sew’d in a sack’s mouth down the Seine?…        15
But where are the snows o yester-year?
 
White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,
  With a voice like any mermaiden,—
Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice,
  And Ermengarde the lady of Maine,—        20
  And that good Joan whom English-men
At Rouen doom’d and burn’d her there,—
  Mother of God, where are they then?…
But where are the snows of yester-year?
 
Nay, never ask this week, fair lord,        25
  Where they are gone, nor yet this year,
Save with thus much for an overword,—
  But where are the snows of yester-year?
 

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