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Soliloquy Of The Spanish Cloister

Gr-r-r---there go, my heart's abhorrence! Water your damned flower-pots, 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! II.
At the meal we sit together: _Salve tibi!_ I must hear Wise talk of the kind of weather, Sort of season, time of year: _Not a plenteous cork-crop: scarcely Dare we hope oak-galls, I doubt: What's the Latin name for ``parsley''?_ What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout? III.
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 sacrificial Ere 'tis fit to touch our chaps--- Marked with L.
for our initial! (He-he! There his lily snaps!) IV.
_Saint_, forsooth! While brown Dolores Squats 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? (That is, if he'd let it show!) V.
When he finishes refection, 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; While he drains his at one gulp.
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! VII.
There's a great text in Galatians, Once you trip on it, entails 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? VIII.
Or, my scrofulous French novel On grey paper with blunt type! Simply glance at it, you grovel Hand and foot in Belial's gripe: If I double down its pages At the woeful sixteenth print, When he gathers his greengages, Ope a sieve and slip it in't? IX.
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, Hine .
_ 'St, there's Vespers! _Plena grati Ave, Virgo!_ Gr-r-r---you swine!

by Robert Browning
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