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Wise talk of the kind of weather,
Sort of season, time of year:
Not a plenteous cork-crop: scarcely
Dare we hope oak-galls, I doubt:
What's the Latin name for "parsley?"
What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout?
Whew! We'll have our platter burnished,
Laid with care on our own shelf!
With a fire-new spoon we're furnished,
And a goblet for ourself,
Rinsed like something sacrificial
Ere 't is fit to touch our chaps—
Marked with L. for our initial!
(He-he! There his lily snaps!)
While brown Dolores
Squats outside the Convent bank
With Sanchicha, telling stories,
Steeping tresses in the tank,
Blue-black, lustrous, thick like horsehairs,
-Can't I see his dead eye glow,
Bright as 't were a Barbary corsair's?
(That is, if he'd let it show!)
When he finishes refection,
Knife and fork he never lays Cross-wise, to my recollection, As do I, in Jesu's praise..
I the Trinity illustrate,
Drinking watered orange-pulp-
In three sips the Arian frustrate;
While he drains his at one gulp.
If he's able
Oh, those melons?
We're to have a feast! so nice!
One goes to the Abbot's table,
All of us get each a slice. How go on your flowers? None double? Not one fruit-sort can you spy? Strange! And I, too, at such trouble Keep them close-nipped on the sly!
There's a great text in Galatians,
Once you trip on it, entails
Twenty-nine distinct damnations,
One sure, if another fails:
If I trip him just a-dying,
Sure of heaven as sure can be,
Spin him round and send him flying
Off to hell, a Manichee?
Or, my scrofulous French novel
On grey paper with blunt type!
Simply glance at it, you grovel
Hand and foot in Belial's gripe:
If I double down its pages
At the woeful sixteenth print, When he gathers his greengages, Ope a sieve and slip it in't?
Or, there's Satan!-one might venture
Pledge one's soul to him, yet leave
Such a flaw in the indenture
As he'd miss till, past retrieve,
Blasted lay that rose-acacia
We're so proud of! Hy, Zy, Hine. . .
'St, there's Vespers! Plena gratiâ
Ave, Virgo! Gr-r-r-you swine!
Now that I, tying thy glass mask tightly,
May gaze thro' these faint smokes curling whitely,
As thou pliest thy trade in this devil's-smithy-
Which is the poison to poison her, prithee?
He is with her, and they know that I know
Where they are, what they do: they believe my tears
While they laugh, laugh at me, at me fled to the drear Empty church, to pray God in, for them!-I am here.
Grind away, moisten and mash up thy paste.
Pound at thy powder,—I am not in haste!
Better sit thus, and observe thy strange things,
Than go where men wait me and dance at the King's.
That in the mortar-you call it a gum?
Ah, the brave tree whence such gold oozings come!
And yonder soft phial, the exquisite blue,
Sure to taste sweetly,—is that poison too?
Had I but all of them, thee and thy treasures,
What a wild crowd of invisible pleasures!
To carry pure death in an earring, a casket,
A signet, a fan-mount, a filigree basket!
Soon, at the King's, a mere lozenge to give
And Pauline should have just thirty minutes to live!
But to light a pastile, and Elise, with her head
And her breast and her arms and her hands, should drop dead!
Quick-is it finished? The colour's too grim!
Why not soft like the phial's, enticing and dim?
Let it brighten her drink, let her turn it and stir,
And try it and taste, ere she fix and prefer!
What a drop! She's not little, no minion like me!
That's why she ensnared him: this never will free
The soul from those masculine eyes,-say, "no!"
To that pulse's magnificent come-and-go.
For only last night, as they whispered, I brought
My own eyes to bear on her so, that I thought
Could I keep them one half minute fixed, she would fall
Shrivelled; she fell not; yet this does it all!
Not that I bid you spare her the pain;
Let death be felt and the proof remain:
Brand, burn up, bite into its grace—
He is sure to remember her dying face!
Is it done? Take my mask off! Nay, be not morose;
It kills her, and this prevents seeing it close:
The delicate droplet, my whole fortune's fee!
If it hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me?
Now, take all my jewels, gorge gold to your fill,
You may kiss me, old man, on my mouth if you will!
But brush this dust off me, lest horror it brings
Ere I know it-next moment I dance at the King's!
IT is a lie their Priests, their Pope,
Their Saints, their . . . all they fear or hope
Are lies, and lies-there! through my door
And ceiling, there! and walls and floor,
There, lies, they lie-shall still be hurled
Till spite of them I reach the world!
You think Priests just and holy men!
Before they put me in this den