A Byronic Rendition of Rihanna

Canto the First.


Of knaves and whores I seek my credits due,
Who nibbling by my fame obliged; the price
Had better to be paid: thou wretch, askew
And quibbling, deign to tempt my dark device.
All payment will be wrought from debts accrued—
Like dribbling ‘Bron, but bigger, yea—suffice
It shan’t until thy coin to my receipt
Shall come; and feign no more, nor dare deceit.

A casque of cognac crisp for me—a sip
For lowly thee, whose efforts flinch in vain;
Your woman—bound within my brand-new whip
Of foreign make—’tis she I have detained
By lien, by right. Thine aspect: ill-equipp’d
To masque a mem’ry filled with debts profane;
But I, commanding, strong and smartly handsome
Shall not be hoodwink’d from my rightful ransom.


Translated from “Bitch Better Have My Money” by R. Rihanna Fenty.
Ithaca, 2015.

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