Monday, August 16, 2010
Cackle and crow
Epitomize and confirm, marteau!
Cackle, yes! Cackle and crow!
With my blessings, sir!
Comes he, all vested in fair words and humility,
Honoring youthful days, foggily remembered;
A gracious debt, he piously pleads,
For extending my hand in friendship;
Thinks he I have forgotten old-score grudges,
Indignities suffered at his poltroon hands,
Unwilling descents down to honor-less squalor?
"Well," thinks I, "no raven ever paled from ebony
So far as I have seen; yet Savior telleth:
There's no soul beyond redemption;
Arm's length can do no harm;"
Fooled again! Already he has sensed his opening,
Uses grudgingly granted license to the very hilts, incapable of restraint,
Knowing that, inevitably, just as before and always, he will be driven out;
See? There! He menaces a cripple!
See? There! He hands out funny-money promises!
Watch, now! Soon will he come with sorrowful words,
Watch, now! He will gesture feebly toward remorse;
Nay, marteau, no tears! Raise a glass to cruel cirrhosis!
Chant a dirge to misery! Vomit on your debauched shoes!
But never mind: bemoaning his just-made bed, he's on to the next freebie;
For me there is a great satisfaction;
Few finer gifts will a man be given in his life
Than to have those whom he hold in low regard justify his contempt!