[Written about 1839, published 1842 in Dramatic Lyrics. It is not believed to represent any particular time period.]
Notes added at right.
Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister
Gr-r-r - there go, my heart's abhorrance! Water your damned flowerpots, 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 "Hail to thee;" along with other words Wise talk of the kind of weather, in italics in this stanza, a Sort of season, time of year: supposed quote from Brother Lawrence Not a plentious cork crop: scarcely Dare we hope oak-galls, I doubt: Growths sometimes What's the Latin name for 'parsley'? found on oak trees: used in What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout? tanning 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 sacrifical Ere 'tis fit to touch our chaps - Jaws, mouth Marked with L for our initial! (He-he! There his lily snaps!) Saint, forsooth! While brown Dolores Suats 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? Barbary pirates had a (That is, if he'd let it show!) reputation for lechery When he finishes refection, Dinner 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: A heretical follower While he drains his at one gulp. of Arius (256-336), who denied the validity of the Trinity 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, A notoriously difficult text to interpret Once you trip on it, entails in a completely orthodox way 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? A heretical follower Mani, Persian prophet Or, my scrofulous French novel Pornographic; the narrator plots to lure On gray paper with blunt type! Brother Lawrence into impure thoughts Simply glance at it, you grovel Hand and foot in Belial's gripe: Grip If I double down its pages At the woeful sixteenth print, When he gathers his greengages, Plums 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, Zine... Unknown, possibly the beginnings of a curse 'St, there's Vespers! Plenia gratia on Brother Lawrence Ave, Virgo! Gr-r-r - you swine! "Full of grace, Hail, Virgin." The speaker is so agitated, he has reversed the phrases of the prayer to the Virgin Mary