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The Bust of Roth Hoffmann

Shamik Banerjee

A pink Greek bust

"Oh! the bust's appalling look,

To see, does no man dare.

The archdeacon has seen his spook.

O' children mine, beware!"

Mother utters this every night-

The tale of Roth Hoffmann;

The tale which sends greater affright

Than any lemure can.

 

The painter Roth, centuries past,

Brought this town disrepute

With ribald artwork that would cast

On church a wild dispute.

The ecclesia of the state

Made him a derelict,

Did his freemanship relegate

And his work interdict.

And when he was departing by,

Gall-paven in despair,

Damned, "Those who shall look at my eye,

Will suffer evilfare.

Whoever near my bust will stand,

Will venom in me flood.

My empuse will hover this land

With nocent eyes in blood."

My brother, one midnight, there went

Filled with cynical youth—

Did behold naught though hours spent,

And proclaimed it 'untruth';

But when he set to leave the place

A dense darkness rose o'er,

A surrect form stared at his face

With eyes carmined in gore

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