Hugh Haughton – From An Abandoned Villanelle

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In our just deserts it’s hard to do a well,
Assay the soil, dig, drill, and lay it down;
That’s why the villain loves the villanelle.


The enamoured self is soft and needs a shell
Though mentors and tormentors seem to frown;
Because it’s hard, you want to do it well.

Sportsmen and travellers are inclined to tell
The scores and challenges that didn’t get them down;
Not why the villain loves the villanelle.

The clandestine oyster in the deep sea’s swell
Encrypts its pearl while many others drown;
Because it’s hard, you want to do it well.

A return to form confounds the hardest sell
Where success laughs loudest for the latest clown;
That’s why the villain loves the villanelle.

Novice and expert hear fame’s passing bell
As all the smartest software goes to town;
Because it’s hard, you want to do it well,
That’s why the villain loves the villanelle.

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