Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1898)

Women, women, everywhere:
spare not a thought for me?
a bit of pity ’tward your friend,
devout old Anthony?

For months on-end I’ve sat and prayed
and starved in this old cell;
pursuing light where none’d shone
against the knights of Hell.

The Devil, he did do his best
to screen me from the Lord,
with violence, hunger, black fatigue
that prince did coat his sword.

But never did his blows so wound
'till fair he made his face.
Since Satan’s angle turned to Curves
I've known my toughest case.

A man of God, long stooped and grey,
gets by on bits of meat;
his sleeps are short, his lodgings plain;
he only needs some heat.

But desert-dwelling man I am,
I nonetheless feel chill;
for now my cell has company,
and threatens to be filled

with several maids, the likes of which
abundant soils grow.
The lush and peaty sort of lass
my farmer-father’d sow.

O lovelies-robed, you’re adding length
to days I’d hoped to spend
in pious contemplation; now
will ever these days end?

’Cause daily now you shut my book,
appearing as you do;
surrounding me with lustful glee,
before a chapter’s through.

And yes, it’s me, but why’d you be
the perky girls you are?
You know how hard I aim for good;
you know I’ve travelled far.

But not so far I’ve ’scaped myself,
your shapely sermons, say,
for ninety days of solitude
but place me more’n your sway.

I kiss my skull, and then it’s you!
My apparitions, please—
when hide I try, you turn to two—
do pity Anthony!

Where to find The Temptation of Saint Anthony:
This film can be found on disc one of Flicker Alley’s magnificent five-disc set, George Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema (1896 – 1913).

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