at the Museum of Coaches, Lisbon
When Clemente Eleventh went to tea
Or other Papal industry
He didn't take the train or bus
Like common ordinary us
But sat in most uncommon state
Resplendent in his coach-and-eight.
Indeed, it's down in Holy Writ
That Papa Clement scored a hit
Each time he went among the masses,
Preferring them to upper classes,
For living poorly in a hovel
Teaches one the art of grovel.
And so they came from miles around
To be amazed and lick the ground.
They say the sight of the coach alone
Was blazing bright as God's own throne,
Studded with jewels and covered with gilt,
Conceived in heaven and custom-built.
On each right angle of the roof
Four cherubim played as if 'twere proof
That angels flew among the horses
Scaring off Satanic forces.
And six jeweled saints from the Holy See
Mingled with gods of mythology,
So all manner of belief
Protected the coach in bas-relief:
St. Francis guarded locks and catches,
Aphrodite watched the latches—
Thus sex and sainthood strangely mingles
Causing chaste off-color tingles.
Athena too in Olympic splendor
Brandished her sword above a fender,
And even a lion or two made sure
His Holiness was kept secure
Or made to feel that by and large
Surrounded by that entourage,
Papa Clemente would think it right,
Indeed, quite proper in God's sight,
If a beggar whose only thought was bread
Were struck by the coach and left for dead,
To trade in his life for a heavenly copy,
Being bashed in the head by the Pope's jalopy.