Monday, March 13, 2006

The Pope And The Pickpocket

The fame of France and Italy is said to come in threes
For "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres"
And Rome of course is well renowned beneath the Corinthian frieze
For the Pope within the Vatican, the pickpockets and cheese.

Now Roderick, at fifteen, had gone off with his chums,
To see the Pope and taste the cheese and watch out for the bums.
They hoped to see the Bersaglieri running round a square
In a piazza with a fountain and the ancient buildings there.

On a Sunday morning after visiting the caves
In the catacombs where long have lain the early Christian graves
They braved a local public bus to reach Saint Peter’s Square
And hear the Holy Father say Mass and Sunday prayer.

Oh they weren’t riding on their own the bus was just jammed tight
There were tourists and pilgrims coming to see the sight,
And others riding with them who have traveled that way before
Who’d polished the nack of stealing while the tourist gape in awe.

Well that morning while in transit when a pouch he tried to pick
Roddy spied a pickpocket as he made his dip.
He didn’t get distracted, he watched the hand go in
And take his teacher’s camera out. He thought it was a sin!

"No." said Roddy "Stop that now." He wrestled with the man,
And tore the camera back again from right out of his hand.
The culprit made excuses, his looks were sour and dark,
He would wait till he was in the square to find an easier mark.

On reaching the Basilica the bus just emptied out
Like a stream of water from a horizontal water spout,
Folk fanned out on the cobbles to join the throng who hope
To receive the blessed sacrament from Benedict the Pope.

From the papal balcony he said Mass and then dispensed
A blessing on the pilgrims, and the thieves and all, and thence
Roddy and his school chums went south to see Pompeii,
And the pickpocket was left to try his luck another day.

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