Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dante and Virgil in Hell (Bouguereau), Sonnet # 179

This, the eighth circle of Hell, where liars and frauds
Turn thwarted ambition to violent attacks,
Is the last refuge of all political hacks,
Where righteousness shrieks in the name of the gods.
Men of faith bite the throats of men of reason.
They tear at each other with once-ink-stained fingers
And vow to prove vast conspiracies of treason,
Calling to chambers testimonial singers.
Virgil and Dante cringe, impotent witnesses,
Appalled by acts born of conviction, yet witless.
The less guilty, forgers and fibbers, writhe like snakes
To flee the melee, though they voted for these fakes.
Above, a winged Lucifer grins his approval,
And schemes for our virtuous poets' recusal.

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