Bodies set forth: a many have I seen,
Yet all was poor to this I live and see.
Here the worlds wickedness seals up the sum:
What with Molinos doctrine and this deed,
Antichrists surely come and doomsday near.
May I depart in peace, I have seen my see.
Depart then, I advised, nor block the road
For youngsters still behindhand with such sights! (130)
Why no, rejoins the venerable sire,
I know its horrid, hideous past belief,
Burdensome far beyond what eye can bear;
But they do promise, when Pompilia dies
I the course o the day,and she cant outlive night,
Theyll bring her body also to expose
Beside the parents, one, two, three a-breast;
That were indeed a sight which, might I see,
I trust I should not last to see the like!
Whereat I bade the senior spare his shanks, (140)
Since doctors give her till to-night to live
And tell us how the butchery happened. Ah,
But you cant know! sighs he. Ill not despair:
Beside Im useful at explaining things
As, how the dagger laid there at the feet,
Caused the peculiar cuts; I mind its make,
Triangular i the blade, a Genoese,
Armed with those little hook-teeth on the edge
To open in the flesh nor shut again:
I like to teach a novice: I shall stay! (150)
And stay he did, and stay be sure he will.
At noon to have his look: I name no names:
Well then, His Eminence the Cardinal,
Whose servitor in honourable sort
Guido was once, the same who made the match,
(Will you have the truth?) whereof we see effect.
No sooner whisper ran he was arrived
Than up pops Curate Carlo, a brisk lad,
Who never lets a good occasion slip, (160)
And volunteers improving the event.
We looked hed give the historys self some help,
Treat us to how the wifes confession went
(This morning she confessed her crime, we know)
And, may-be, throw in something of the Priest
If hes not ordered back, punished anew,
The gallant, Caponsacchi, Lucifer
I the garden where Pompilia, Eve-like, lured
Her Adam Guido to his fault and fall.
Think you we got a sprig of speech akin (170)
To this from Carlo, with the Cardinal there?
Too wary, he was, too widely awake, I trow.
He did the murder in a dozen words;
Then said that all such outrages crop forth
I the course of nature, when Molinos tares
Are sown for wheat, flourish and choke the Church:
So slid on to the abominable sect
And the philosophic sinweve heard all that,
And the Cardinal too (who book-made on the same),
But, for the murder, left it where he found. (180)
Oh but hes quick, the Curate, minds his game!
And, after all, we have the main o the fact:
Case could not well be simpler,mapped, as it were,
We follow the murders maze from source to sea,
By the red line, past mistake: one sees indeed
Not only how all was and must have been,
But cannot other than be to the end of time.
Turn out here by the Ruspoli! Do you hold
Guido was so prodigiously to blame?
A certain cousin of yours has told you so? (190)
Exactly! Heres a friend shall set you right,
Let him but have the handsel of your ear.
And galiard, of the modest middle class:
Born in this quarter seventy years ago,
And married young, they lived the accustomed life,
Citizens as they were of good repute:
And, childless, naturally took their ease
With only their two selves to care about
And use the wealth for: wealthy is the word, (200)
Since Pietro was possessed of house and land
And specially one house, when good days were,
In Via Vittoria, the aspectable street
Where he lived mainly; but another house
Of less pretension did he buy betimes,
The villa, meant for jaunts and jollity,
I the Pauline district, to be private there
Just what puts murder in an enemys head.
Moreover,and heres the worm i the core, the germ
O the rottenness and ruin which arrived, (210)
He owned some usufruct, had moneys use
Lifelong, but to determine with his life
In heirs default: so, Pietro craved an heir,
(The story always old and always new)
Shut his fools-eyes fast on the visible good
And wealth for certain, opened them owl-wide
On fortunes sole piece of forgetfulness,
The child that should have been and would not be.
When first Violante, twixt a smile and a blush, (220)
With touch of agitation proper too,
Announced that, spite of her unpromising age,
The miracle would in time be manifest,
An heirs birth was to happen: and it did.
Somehow or other,how, all in good time!
By a trick, a sleight of hand you are to hear,
A child was born, Pompilia, for his joy,
Plaything at once and prop, a fairy-gift,
A saints grace or, say, grant of the good God,
A fiddle-pins end! What imbeciles are we! (230)
Look now: if some one could have prophesied,
For love of you, for liking to your wife,
I undertake to crush a snake I spy
Settling itself i the soft of both your breasts.
Give me yon babe to strangle painlessly!
Shell soar to the safe: youll have your crying out,
Then sleep, then wake, then sleep, then end your days
In peace and plenty, mixed with mild regret,
Thirty years hence when Christmas takes old folk
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