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So, villanelle rhymes with hell? commented Brassie.

Yes, and very useful it is for my poetic purposes, I replied.

And ‘fourth circle?’ queried Brassie.

The destination of corrupt tele-evangelists and their like.

But there was no television in Dante’s time.

She can be really obtuse.

Just listen and learn!

 

THE FOURTH CIRCLE

 

He played upon their fear of going to Hell

and claimed that he could heal the blind and lame,

till, mesmerised, they fell beneath his spell.

 

Attracted to his giveaway gospel,

as to a mountebank, the greedy came:

he played upon their fear of going to Hell.

 

Glossolalia from forked tongue glibly fell;

extracted cash lent kudos to his name,

till, mesmerised, they fell beneath his spell.

 

His oleaginous hair, apparel

slick as the cut and thrust which was his aim:

he played upon their fear of going to Hell.

 

How could his victims reservations quell?

They trusted one who seemed to know his game,

till, mesmerised, they fell beneath his spell.

 

No one seemed to mind when he’d embezzle

the widow’s mite.  To query would bring shame.

He played upon their fear of going to Hell,

till, mesmerised, they fell beneath his spell.

 

 

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