Gr-r-r--there go, my heart's abhorrence! Water your damned flower-pots, do! If hate killed men, Brother Lawrence, God's blood, would not mine kill you! What? your myrtle-bush wants trimming? Oh, that rose has prior claims-- Needs its leaden vase filled brimming? Hell dry you up with its flames! At the meal we sit together; Salve tibi! I must hear 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 'tis fit to touch our chaps-- Marked with L. for our initial! (He-he! There his lily snaps!) Saint, forsooth! 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 'twere 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! Oh, those melons! if he's able 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 district 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 gratia Ave, Virgo! Gr-r-r--you swine!
This poem is in the public domain.