Abate Panciatichitwo good Tuscan names:
Acciaiuoliah, your ancestor it was,
Built the huge battlemented convent-block
Over the little forky flashing Greve
That takes the quick turn at the foot o the hill
Just as one first sees Florence: oh those days!
Tis Ema, though, the other rivulet,
The one-arched, brown brick bridge yawns over,yes,
Gallop and go five minutes, and you gain (10)
The Roman Gate from where the Emas bridged:
Kingfishers fly there: how I see the bend
Oerturreted by Certosa which he built,
That Senescal (we styled him) of your House!
I do adjure you, help me, Sirs! My blood
Comes from as far a source: ought it to end
This way, by leakage through their scaffold-planks
Into Romes sink where her red refuse runs?
Sirs, I beseech you by blood-sympathy,
If there be any vile experiment (20)
In the air,if this your visit simply prove,
When alls done, just a well-intentioned trick,
That tries for truth truer than truth itself,
By startling up a man, ere break of day,
To tell him he must die at sunset,pshaw!
That mans a Franceschini; feel his pulse,
Laugh at your folly, and lets all go sleep!
You have my last word,innocent am I
As Innocent my Pope and murderer,
Innocent as a babe, as Marys own,
As Marys self,I said, say and repeat, (30)
And why, then, should I die twelve hours hence? I
Whom, not twelve hours ago, the gaoler bade
Turn to my straw-truss, settle and sleep sound
That I might wake the sooner, promptlier pay
His dues of meat-and-drink-indulgence, cross
His palm with fee of the good- hand, beside,
As gallants use who go at large again!
For why? All honest Rome approved my part;
Whoever owned wife, sister, daughter,nay, (40)
Mistress,had any shadow of any right
That looks like right, and, all the more resolved,
Held it with tooth and nail,these manly men
Approved! I being for Rome, Rome was for me!
Then, theres the point reserved, the subterfuge
My lawyers held by, kept for last resource,
Firm should all else,the impossible fancy!fail,
And sneaking burgess-spirit win the day:
The knaves! One plea at least would hold, they laughed,
One grappling-iron scratch the bottom-rock (50)
Even should the middle mud let anchor go
And hook my cause on to the Clergys,plea
Which, even if law tipped off my hat and plume,
Would show my priestly tonsure, save me so,
The Pope moreover, this old Innocent,
Being so meek and mild and merciful,
So fond o the poor and so fatigued of earth,
So fifty thousand devils in deepest hell!
Why must he cure us of our strange conceit
Of the angel in mans likeness, that we loved (60)
And looked should help us at a pinch? He help?
He pardon? Heres his mind and messagedeath,
Thank the good Pope! Now, is he good in this,
Never mind, Christian,no such stuffs extant,
But will my death do credit to his reign,
Show he both lived and let live, so was good?
Cannot I live if he but like? The law!
Why, just the law gives him the very chance,
The precise leave to let my life alone,
Which the angelic soul of him (he says) (70)
Yearns after! Here they drop it in his palm,
My lawyers, capital o the cursed kind,
A life to take and hold and keep: but no!
He sighs, shakes head, refuses to shut hand,
Motions away the gift they bid him grasp,
And of the coyness comes that off I run
And down I go, he best knows whither,mind,
He knows, and sets me rolling all the same!
Disinterested Vicar of our Lord,
This way he abrogates and disallows,
Nullifies and ignores,reverts in fine
To the good and right, in detriment of me!
Talk away! Will you have the naked truth?
Hes sick of his lifes supper,swallowed lies:
So, hobbling bedward, needs must ease his maw
Just where I sit o the door-sill. Sir Abate,
Can you do nothing? Friends, we used to frisk:
What of this sudden slash in a friends face,
This cut across our good companionship
That showed its front so gay when both were young? (90)
Were not we put into a beaten path,
Bid pace the world, we nobles born and bred,
The body of friends with each his scutcheon full
Of old achievement and impunity,
Taking the laugh of morn and Sols salute
As forth we fared, pricked on to breathe our steeds
And take equestrian sport over the green
Under the blue, across the crop,what care?
So we went prancing up hill and down dale,
In and out of the level and the straight, (100)
By the bit of pleasant byeway, where was harm?
Still Sol salutes me and the morning laughs:
I see my grandsires hoof-prints,point the spot
Where he drew rein, slipped saddle, and stabbed knave
For daring throw gibemuch less, stonefrom pale,
Then back, and on, and up with the cavalcade;
Just so wend we, now canter, now converse,
Till, mid the jauncing pride and jaunty port,
Something of a sudden jerks at somebody
A dagger is out, a flashing cut and thrust, (110)
Because I play some prank my grandsire played,
And here I sprawl: where is the company? Gone!
A trot and a trample! only I lie trapped,
Writhe in a certain novel springe just set
By the good old Pope: Im first prize. Warn me? Why?
Apprise me that the law o the game is changed?
Enough that Im a warning, as I writhe,
To all and each my fellows of the file,
And make law plain henceforward past mistake,
For such a prank, death is the penalty! (120)
Pope the Five Hundredth what do I know or care?
Deputes your Eminence and Abateship
To announce that, twelve hours from this time, he needs
I just essay upon my body and soul
The virtue of his bran-new engine, prove
Represser of the pranksome!
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