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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Ballade des Pendus

By Théodore de Banville (1823–1891)

Translation of Andrew Lang

WHERE wide the forest bows are spread,

Where Flora wakes with sylph and fay,

Are crowns and garlands of men dead,

All golden in the morning gay;

Within this ancient garden gray

Are clusters such as no man knows,

Where Moor and Soldan bear the sway:

This is King Louis’s orchard close!

These wretched folk wave overhead,

With such strange thoughts as none may say;

A moment still, then sudden sped,

They swing in a ring and waste away.

The morning smites them with her ray;

They toss with every breeze that blows,

They dance where fires of dawning play:

This is King Louis’s orchard close!

All hanged and dead, they’ve summonèd

(With Hell to aid, that hears them pray)

New legions of an army dread.

Now down the blue sky flames the day;

The dew dies off; the foul array

Of obscene ravens gathers and goes,

With wings that flap and beaks that flay:

This is King Louis’s orchard close!

Prince, where leaves murmur of the May,

A tree of bitter clusters grows;

The bodies of men dead are they!

This is King Louis’s orchard close!