Monday, March 14, 2011

The First "Temptation"

TEMPTATION 1: BODILY HARM

The demons laughed uncertainly
At Guthlac, man of woes
A brittle bone-bag, bent and thin
A rack of ribs, a skein of skin
Still flashing a defiant grin
Against his hell-born foes

The battle-joy had gripped him then
Remembering old wars
And although fresh from saying mass
Said, "Let's go, if you've got the brass.
Laid up down here upon my ass
By God, I'll still kick yours."

"I'm through with all your threats of harm,
Foul creature of the curse
You think that you are so damned tough
My grandma treated me more rough
Let's go, then, if you're hard enough
I've beat myself up worse."

The demon, screaming, grabbed the man
By insults thus enraged
And though by blows on blows increased
At the hate-filled hands of the pride-born beast
Still, the laughing saint never stalled nor ceased
From singing songs of praise.

The hellion, having done his worst
Then threw him on the floor
Yet torn and trembling, rent and red
And raising battered, bloody head
Good Guthlac, bruised and broken, said,
"Nice try!  Do you have more?"
(or "Nice try! You got some more?")
(or "Please sir, can I have more?")

Alternate version of the previous stanza:

The hellion, having done his worst
The threw him in his den
Yet torn and trembling, rent and red
And raising battered, bloody head
With childlike glee, good Guthlac said,
"That's fun! Let's go again!"

(or "Good Guthlac, bruised and broken said,
Yippe! Let's go again!")

4 comments:

  1. "It's to to call your blatant bluff
    You say that you are so damned touch"

    "Time" and "tough" I presume?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, "time" and "tough." I helped Charity make a test for pharmacy. One of my questions was about a "lunch infection." I see I have a problem.

    That whole stanza is unnecessary. Basically, I constructed it to have the line, "if you're hard enough," in an attempt to highlight the "Die Hard" quality of Guthlac. Well, that and how his asceticism made him unafraid of anything else the demons could do to him. I need some help with it, though, if I'm going to keep it.

    One of the issues is finding a rhyme for "self." It's not easy. I'm not happy with "elf" at all. I also don't like the "bluff" line. Perhaps something like this would be better:

    "I'm through with all your threats of harm,
    You creatures of the curse
    You think that you are so damned tough
    Let's go, then, if you're hard enough
    ..................
    I've beat myself up worse."

    Possible other lines:

    - And at my cell door huff and puff
    - My grandma treated me more rough
    - Come on, paltry powder-puff
    - something here that ends in "stuff"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Two new verses added to this section. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  4. OK, I'll have something more cogent to say later, but now it's late and I'm laughing at this, so I don't have much to contribute. (Laughing at this point is a good thing. I like a little bad ass humor.)

    ReplyDelete