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cortege

 

a monkey in brocade
capers and skips before her
as she crumples a lace handkerchief
in her artfully gloved hand
while a negro boy in red
holds up with all his might the tails
of her weighty dress in the air
watching every fold that budges
the monkey never takes its eyes off
the lady's pale bosom
opulent treasure recalling
the bare torso of a god
the lad sometimes raises
higher than need be the chiseler
his sumptuous fardel so
to see what every night he dreams
she takes the stairs
and won't be seen more
sensible of the insolent suffrage
of her familiar beasts

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