Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CORTEGE, by PAUL VERLAINE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CORTEGE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: A silver-vested monkey trips
Last Line: Indifferent or unaware.
Subject(s): Monkeys

A silver-vested monkey trips
And pirouettes before the face
Of one who twists a kerchief's lace
Between her well-gloved finger-tips.
A little negro, a red elf,
Carries her drooping train, and holds
At arm's-length all the heavy folds,
Watching each fold displace itself.
The monkey never lets his eyes
Wander from the fair woman's breast,
White wonder that to be possessed
Would call a god out of the skies.
Sometimes the little negro seems
To lift his sumptuous burden up
Higher than need be, in the hope
Of seeing what all night he dreams.
She goes by corridor and stair,
Still to the insolent appeals
Of her familiar animals
Indifferent or unaware.

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