Thanks. Do you know what teeth you mean to try
The sharpness of, on this soft neck and throat?
I know it,I have seen and hate it,ay,
As you shall, while I tell you: let me talk, (130)
Or leave me, at your pleasure! talk I must:
What is your visit but my lure to talk?
You have a something to disclose?a smile,
At end of the forced sternness, means to mock
The heart-beats here? I call your two hearts stone!
Is your charge to stay with me till I die?
Be tacit as your bench, then! Use your ears,
I use my tongue: how glibly yours will run
At pleasant supper-time Gods curse! to-night
When all the guests jump up, begin so brisk (140)
Welcome, his Eminence who shrived the wretch!
Now we shall have the Abates story!
How I could spill this overplus of mine
Among those hoar-haired, shrunk-shanked, odds and ends
Of body and soul, old age is chewing dry!
Those windle-straws that stare while purblind death
Mows here, mows there, makes hay of juicy me,
And misses, just the bunch of withered weed,
Would brighten hell and streak its smoke with flame! (150)
How the life I could shed yet never shrink,
Would drench their stalks with sap like grass in May!
Is it not terrible, I entreat you, Sirs?
Such manifold and plenitudinous life,
Prompt at deaths menace to give blow for threat,
Answer his Be thou not! by Thus I am!
Terrible so to be alive yet die?
Lucidity of soul unlocks the lips:
I never had the words at will before.
How I see all my folly at a glance! (160)
A man requires a woman and a wife:
There was my folly; I believed the saw:
I knew that just myself concerned myself,
Yet needs must look for what I seemed to lack,
In a woman,why, the womans in the man!
Fools we are, how we learn things when too late!
Overmuch life turns round my woman-side;
The male and female in me, mixed before,
Settle of a sudden: Im my wife outright (170)
In this unmanly appetite for truth,
This careless courage as to consequence,
This instantaneous sight through things and through,
This voluble rhetoric, if you please,tis she!
Here you have that Pompilia whom I slew,
Also the folly for which I slew her!
And, fool-like, what is it I wander from?
What, of the sharpness of your iron tooth?
Ah,that I know the hateful thing: this way. (180)
I chanced to stroll forth, many a good year gone,
One warm Spring eve in Rome, and unaware
Looking, mayhap, to count what stars were out,
Came on your huge axe in a frame, that falls
And so cuts off a mans head underneath,
Mannaia,thus we made acquaintance first,
Out of the way, in a bye-part o the town,
At the Mouth-of-Truth o the river-side, you know:
One goes by the Capitol: and wherefore coy,
Retiring out of crowded noisy Rome? (190)
Because a very little time ago
It had done service, chopped off head from trunk,
Belonging to a fellow whose poor house
The thing had made a point to stand before.
Who stabled buffaloes and so gained bread,
(Our clowns unyoke them in the ground hard by)
And, after use of much improper speech,
Had struck at Duke Some-title-or-others face,
Because he kidnapped, carried away and kept (200)
Felices sister that would sit and sing
Ithe filthy doorway while she plaited fringe
To deck the brutes with,on their gear it goes,
The good girl with the velvet in her voice.
So did the Duke, so did Felice, so
Did Justice, intervening with her axe.
There the man-mutilating engine stood
At ease, both gay and grim, like a Swiss guard
Off duty,purified itself as well,
Getting dry, sweet and proper for next week, (210)
And doing incidental good, twas hoped
To the rough lesson-lacking populace
Who now and then, forsooth, must right their wrongs!
There stood the twelve-foot square of scaffold, railed
Considerately round to elbow- height:
(Suppose an officer should tumble thence
And sprain his ankle and be lame a month,
Through starting when the axe fell and head too?)
Railed likewise were the steps whereby twas reached.
All of it painted red: red, in the midst, (220)
Ran up two narrow tall beams barred across,
Since from the summit, some twelve feet to reach,
The iron plate with the sharp shearing edge
Had slammed, jerked, shot or slid,I shall find which!
There it lay quiet, fast in its fit place,
The wooden half-moon collar, now eclipsed
By the blade which blocked its curvature: apart,
The other half,the under half-moon board
Which, helped by this, completes a necks embrace,
Joined to a sort of desk that wheels aside (230)
Out of the way when done with,down you kneel,
In youre wheeled, over you the other drops,
Tight you are clipped, whiz, theres the blade on you,
Out trundles body, down flops head on floor,
And wheres your soul gone? That, too, I shall find!
This kneeling-place was red, red, never fear!
But only slimy-like with paint, not blood,
For why? a decent pitcher stood at hand,
A broad dish to hold sawdust, and a broom
By some unnamed utensil,scraper-rake, (240)
Each with a conscious air of duty done.
Underneath, loungers,boys and some few men,
Discoursed this platter and the other tool,
Just as, when grooms tie up and dress
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