François Villon (1431 - ?)                      

François Villon composed this quatrain in prison, under sentence of death by hanging and awaiting execution.

There are several translation of the stanza into English (see below the french text). My preferred version is a composite of translation is my own very slightly altered translation

Je suis François dons il me poise,
Né de Paris emprés Pontoise;
Et de la corde d’une toise
Sçaura mon col que mon cul poise.

I’m French, which weighs me down of late, 
Paris born - that’s Pontoise situate.
And from a rope, six foot or eight,
My neck will soon feel my arse’s weight.

The above translation is a composite of Peter Dale's and of H. B. McCaskie's various translations.

Peter Dale:

I’m Frank, which weighs me down of late,
Born in Paris – by Pontoise situate.
And from a rope, six foot to eight,
My neck will know my arse’s weight.
                    ~ ~ ~
Francis I am, which weighs me down
Born in Paris near Pontoise town,
And with a stretch of rope my pate
Will learn for once my arse’s weight.

H.B. McCaskie:

I’m Frances, I regret to say,
Paris born (that’s Pontoise way)
So in six foot of rope one day
Neck must learn what buttocks weigh.

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