Pine, Rose and Fleur de Lis

by Susie Frances Harrison


 

THE BEGGARS OF COTE BEAUPRE


 

Here they come, whining and wailing, the Beggars of Côte
  Beaupré!
Lazy as limp Lazzaroni, an indigent herd,
Mouthing and mumbling and making a hell of the free highway.

Trembling, importunate, ragged, each in his vile array.
Blear-ey’d and bloodshot, both vision and intellect blurr’d,

5
Here they come, whining and wailing, the Beggars of Côte
  Beaupré.  


“After” some very old master, a Teniers or Dyck in his day,
Perfect in patches, in palms all horny and furr’d,
Mouthing and mumbling and making a hell of the free highway;

Limping and lounging and breathing the breath of their own

 
  decay,
10
Each as the ghost of the other, frail shell and foul sherd,
Here they come, whining and wailing, the Beggars of Côte
  Beaupré.  

Or Sidon, or Tyre, or Capernaum never were wont to display
More pure archetypal road paupers by no man deterr’d,
Mouthing and mumbling and making a hell of the free highway.
15

Brushing the red-fruited orchards all laden with apples so gay,
And harbouring many a butterfly, many a bird,
Here they come, whining and wailing, the Beggars of Côte
  Beaupré,  
Mouthing and mumbling and making a hell of the free highway.  

 


 

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