The Impresario: an alphabet (part five)

part-five

 

Part Five

 

“My devoted young novice, all men are liars.”

“And you, chevalier, are the worst of sinners,

to call me by that name.”

“I am, I own it…yet, by faith, I shan’t die unredeemed,

dear Regalus. The false priest whom I served

Minting coin with his blasphemous arts

Pilgrims to Ste-Geneviève’s shrine he canvassed

Offering his pardon for their sins, thus:

‘My children, you must to the altar come clean

Know you the new-shriven soul doth tempt!

‘Tis bait for the Evil One; aye, we wake

To the fresh sun spotted and impure

For in dreams at night we have been lured

Will you tell an untruth in this holy place?’

But his heart could not be at ease.”

 

The psaltery player speaks: “Mark!…girl

Pierre the vessel, empty and sounding

From out its bowels

Miraculous sayings of a voice dredged from Hell

Angury by the angels compelled

No doubt you found a way, Pierre

No doubt the false priest sleeps

Rocked in the arms of a deathless Peace!”

“Let me draw from your side this bitter arrow, Boniface

Confess to me that you were born covetous.

With ten greedy fingers and a coxcomb’s pride.”

Pierre’s fingers make a letter O

Boniface, named by his foe, leaps up

He has jerked loose his bag, and gathered a stone

With a whip-slinger’s sinew he flings it

Poupée, the doll-woman, grosse tête bobbing, limbs

Thin and shrunken, screams and screams, and being

Her master’s pet, cradles tiny hands around his boot

 

Part Six

 

(copyright 2016 Stephanie Foster)

 

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