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A Year of Poetry – Day 119

     All is a ruin where rage knew no bounds:
     Chio is levelled, and loathed by the hounds,
         For shivered yest'reen was her lance;
     Sulphurous vapors envenom the place
     Where her true beauties of Beauty's true race
         Were lately linked close in the dance.

     Dark is the desert, with one single soul;
     Cerulean eyes! whence the burning tears roll
         In anguish of uttermost shame,
     Under the shadow of one shrub of May,
     Splashed still with ruddy drops, bent in decay
         Where fiercely the hand of Lust came.

     "Soft and sweet urchin, still red with the lash
     Of rein and of scabbard of wild Kuzzilbash,
         What lack you for changing your sob—
     If not unto laughter beseeming a child—
     To utterance milder, though they have defiled
         The graves which they shrank not to rob?

     "Would'st thou a trinket, a flower, or scarf,
     Would'st thou have silver? I'm ready with half
         These sequins a-shine in the sun!
     Still more have I money—if you'll but speak!"
     He spoke: and furious the cry of the Greek,
         "Oh, give me your dagger and gun!"

-- Victor Hugo, The Greek Boy
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