The Impresario (part seventeen)

Posted by ractrose on 26 Nov 2019 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of emaciated man on scaffold platform jeered by crowd




The Impresario

Part Seventeen


“How long ago,” the seer begins

“Though not so many days have passed

And yet, how long ago it seems…” The Dauphin interrupts.

“Vraiment! For a great, tedious time, Pierre, you have been talking.

See, Tortu has gone to sleep!”

“My old master, him I’d told you of (Pierre disdains to answer this)

Unfaithful priest, had spied me at my sport.

I had fleeced his flock beforehand; his shearings fallen short.

Alors! There is no maddened mind so haunted

As that sees visions of others’ trickery—

I mean, the trickster schooled himself in nuance

But, my master did not merely watch me

I’d caught him, though he’d thought my eyes were closed,

Ferreting round my pallet

When in a frenzy sought my sack of gold

That I kept safe under the small of my back

He drew a knife…I know the sound it makes

And so I’d seized the old man by the throat

And so I came to stand, hands bound

And saw no mercy in the hangman’s hooded eyes

But this, my bon voyage, had drawn a lively crowd

They would have their fun…I vowed, friends, I’d have mine

Yes, I knew the art, I pointed with my chin

There stood a sturdy burgess of the town

Well…every married rich man’s vice is one

I made to fall into a fit and then

Spoke in a voice all windy like the tomb.”

“I dare suppose,” the Dauphin says, “a voice much like your own.”

“However, when by name I had assigned the sins of two or three

It came into my thoughts as had my good saint counselled me.

Speak not another word, Pierre!”

He eyes the Dauphin; the Dauphin holds his tongue

“Ah! I told my audience. It fades.

And now, tant pis, some agony I cannot tell, awaits

that one whose name starts with the letter A.”




The Impresario
Oil painting of thin young woman praying under octagonal window

Part Eighteen















(2017, Stephanie Foster)