Childish Thoughts
In Response to "A Young Girl Reading"
Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Mother says I should not read
books, such tawdry things as these.
Forbidden topics excite
me more than any pray'r book.
Romance, adventures, pathos
echo my hidden desires.
Lady caught in high tower
Brave knight upon a white horse
Cursed lovers join for one night
As cursed me must sit and read
monotonous holy pray'rs.
I will have time for boredom
when my body shrinks away
and my fingers turn to dust.