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Ross S Dix-Peek

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Murder in Padua, 1395 AD
by Ross S Dix-Peek
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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A Whodunnit? poem set in mediaeval Italy.

A Murder in Padua,1395 AD


There lived in the foothills of Padua,
A most solitary monk named Capua,
Who with great genius and creativity
Was known to solve nearly every mystery

In 1395, a murder most foul,
Took place in a monastery’s inner bowel,
A monk had, it seemed, been slain,
But what had caused his deathly bane?

So pondered Capua as he hurried away,
To journey to the scene of dark dismay,
Received with suspicion and yet respect,
He soon began to most sedulous detect

He scoured the inner sanctum most awake,
Searching for any clue that could the mystery break,
But none did perchance come to the fore,
Perhaps hidden everlasting and forevermore

But not discouraged was this monk, not him,
He would find the killer with vigour and vim,
Capua then began in earnest to study
The poor monk’s dead and lifeless body

Around the man’s mouth a toxin he espied,
The feint trace of Strychnine, Death’s Bride,
His avails then led him to the murdered monks room,
Where still permeated a sad pall of gloom

The monk had apparently hung himself,
But this was not surely the truth in itself,
For astride the wooden chair and in the dusty dirt,
Capua could see three sets of footprints, most alert

There were also two strands of cloth to be seen,
One the same and one of a different colour and sheen,
But the dead monk had but cloaks of one colour, Brown,
Pondered Capua most intense, what had gone down?

In addition, slight specks of white stuff,
Flour, he deduced and then wiped on his cuff,
And then to the kitchen and larder next,
He was now sure the suicide was a mere pretext

A few hours of detection and he was ready
To pronounce the true cause, his voice steady,
All he gathered most anxious before him,
Nervously awaiting the wise monk’s requiem

No, this was not suicide, he frankly said,
But a murder most vile put to bed,
The deceased monk had discovered a secret vice,
For which he was to pay the ultimate price

The kitchen staff and others too,
Were selling stolen produce without its due,
Upon this murky trade had the dead man stumbled,
And thus into the deep bowels of death tumbled

It seems he was bribing them, a most silly thing to do,
And the sordid idea of a murder soon began to brew,
The evil-doers then concocted their malicious plan,
And quietened the monk before his mouth ran,

They poisoned him first and then feigned suicide,
And about an encroaching madness lied,
But, they had not reckoned with the genius from Padua,
The Argus-eyed sleuth, a monk named Capua!



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