Arthur Rimbaud

(20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891 / Charleville, Ardennes)

Tartufe's Punishment - Poem by Arthur Rimbaud

Raking, raking, his amorous thoughts
underneath his chaste robe of black,
happy, his hand gloved,
one day as he went along, fearsomely sweet,
yellow, dribbling piety from his toothless mouth,
One day as he went along,
'Let us Pray', - a Wicked One seized him
roughly by his saintly ear and
snapped frightful words at him,
tearing off the chaste robe of black
wrapped about his moist skin.

Punishment! - His clothes were unbuttoned;
and, the long chaplet of pardoned
sins being told in his heart,
St Tartufe was so pale!..
So he confessed and prayed, with a death rattle!
The man contented himself with carrying off
his clerical bands… - Faugh!
Tartufe was naked from his top to his toe!

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010

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