Paris, 19 April 1980
Immense, the crowds that line the cortege route
Pay homage now to him that set them free,
Emancipated from Church piety.
Delivered from the bonds of creed, they doubt,
Just as he taught them, urging them to flout
God’s pleasure-killing laws of chastity.
Hands stretch to touch the hearse; eyes strain to see,
Encoffined, him who sent the priests in rout.
In shadows, his soul sees a different throng:
He glimpses spirits, bathed in light, above:
They are the fools who never took his side
When he explained why Christian faith was wrong.
His followers, below, in darkness rove,
All searching for the exit he’s denied.