Final stanzas of Disputation, from Jewish Stories and Hebrew Melodies, p. 143-145
“Smite the Capuchins, O Lord God,
Show these scoundrels living proof
That the lightnings of thine anger
Haven’t fizzled to a poof.
“Then I’ll sing the praise and glory
Of thy might, thy worshiper;
And I’ll dance, as Miriam did once,
And I’ll beat the drum, like her.”
Here the monk broke in with anger
As his fury sizzled through:
“May the Lord destroy you damn you,
May He heap His curse on you!
“I defy your insect devils,
All your dirty gods of death,
Belial, and Ashtoreth.
“I defy your hellish spirits,
All their tricks are cheap and shoddy,
For within me is Christ Jesus,
I’ve partaken of His body.
“Christ’s my favorite dish, much better
Even with white garlic gravy
Made by Satan, like as not.
“Oh! Instead of wrangling, I would
Rather roast you on a fire,
Stew you and your comrades with you
On the hottest funeral pyre.”
Thus with insults and grave charges
Raged the joust for Faith and God,
But in vain the champions scolded,
Screamed and raged and oh’d and ah’d.
Now the fight’s gone on twelve hours
With no end in sight, not yet;
And the audience grows weary,
And the women swim in sweat.
And the court, too, grows impatient,
Servants yawning hollow-eyed;
Then the king turns with a question
To the fair queen at his side:
“Tell me, what is your opinion?
Which of them is in the right?
Do you think it is the rabbi
Or the monk that’s won the fight?”
Donna Blanca gazes at him,
Fingers twined and hands pressed fast
To her forehead, as if musing,
And then this she says at last:
“I don’t know which one is right–
But I’ll tell you what I think
Of the rabbi and the friar:
Both of them alike, they stink.”