Summer in Avignon


Ring true, fair reaper; he who sows the bell

Wishes you to hear, and, to hear him well.

In the chorus of the field, can you feel

With felt fingers the sun-clothed virgin peal?

Can you invent from your loss your Morel,

And, with your longing paint like Raphael—

Paint a pleasurection on the Great Seal—

The kind you both crossed after his last meal?


Jaunt in your joust to your just belovèd.

In your haste, handle what you held and had.

Unclasp not your toil from your attaché,

But, make it your business to make way

For him—his word is flesh scantily clad—

And, its knell resounds for you nude and glad.

(Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet,

Chevalier de Lamarck, did not display


When he taught that what the father once sought

Is in his son after him to be wrought.)

You should grasp the cord and hold it, hold tight;

And, with your peppered zeal taste at first light

The pull, of a tongue tasting taste forgot.

For, the field brings belles more often than not

Who, ladygraces, will sound to you quite

A chorus of hearts smouldering alight.