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The Ballade des pendus, literally "ballad of the hanged", also known as Epitaphe Villon or Frères humains, is the best-known poem by François Villon. It is commonly acknowledged, although not clearly established, that Villon wrote it in prison while he awaited his execution. It was published posthumously in 1489 by Antoine Vérard.
The poem is in the form of a large ballade.
- All lines have 10 syllables.
- The last line is the same in each stanza.
- The first three stanzas have 10 lines, and the last has 5 lines.
- Each stanza has the same rhyme scheme.
- There are several enjambments.
Text of the ballad with English translation
The translation deliberately follows the original as closely as possible.
Frères humains, qui après nous vivez,
Human brothers who live after us,
- Lagarde A & Michard L  "Moyen Age". Bordas (France), p. 219