Francois Villon.

A poem by Eugene Field

If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I,
What would it matter to me how the time might drag or fly?
He would in sweaty anguish toil the days and night away,
And still not keep the prowling, growling, howling wolf at bay!
But, with my valiant bottle and my frouzy brevet-bride,
And my score of loyal cut-throats standing guard for me outside,
What worry of the morrow would provoke a casual sigh
If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I?

If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I,
To yonder gloomy boulevard at midnight I would hie;
"Stop, stranger! and deliver your possessions, ere you feel
The mettle of my bludgeon or the temper of my steel!"
He should give me gold and diamonds, his snuffbox and his cane--
"Now back, my boon companions, to our brothel with our gain!"
And, back within that brothel, how the bottles they would fly,
If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I!

If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I,
We both would mock the gibbet which the law has lifted high;
He in his meager, shabby home, I in my roaring den--
He with his babes around him, I with my hunted men!
His virtue be his bulwark--my genius should be mine!--
"Go fetch my pen, sweet Margot, and a jorum of your wine!"

* * * * *

So would one vainly plod, and one win immortality--
If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I!

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