The Ballad Of Dead Ladies

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"Where Are The Snows Of Yester-year?"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In this melancholy poem, Villon wonders at the passing of all beauty, exemplified by the passing of beautiful ladies of history, for example, Lady Flora, Hipparchia, Héloïse, Joan of Arc. He ends each of the four stanzas with the refrain about the passing of snow. The same lament was used by Justin H. McCarthy (1861-1936), in A Ballad of Dead Ladies: After Villon, Envoy. Villon's poem concludes:

Nay, never ask this week, fair lord,
Where they are gone, nor yet this year,
Except with this for an overword–
But where are the snows of yester-year?