Posted by Admin on 17 May 2006, 12:00 am

When Muses tug-of-war essay
ere they a gifted mind inspire
it’s always on the cards they may
effect what they the least desire.
Pull Clio, pull Calliope
may well induce dichotomy.

How can a youth, no polymath
or Einstein in his puberty
himself decide the better path
to suit his talents to a T.
For if he try to join both schools
the net result will surely be
a fall from grace between two stools
to be, like me, a dilettante.

But if by chance he should elect
with prosody to spend his time
he may, if no ill-luck should check,
delight the connoisseurs of rhyme.
In some retreat renounce pro-tem the hackneyed feet
and there let rest iambi and the anapaest,
the dactyl and the strong trochee,
the seldom utilised spondee,
to toy with Pherecratic beat
that to our ears sounds strange
or else produce Glyconic feet
he’d find in the Horatian range.
Or if he opt for Academe,
alas to flunk a good degree
he may by dint of self-esteem
enjoy life in obscurity,
when Helas thrived content to dwell,
exchange the present for B.C.,
succumbing to the ‘goat song’s’ spell,
to cry with Xenophon ‘The sea!’.
Or on a cerebral excursion,
and from a viewpoint fresh as dew
restore to Greek the Browning Version,
Hellenic master-minds construe.

N.B. ‘goat song’ means ‘tragedy (tragoedia)’ in Greek.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.
This work may not be reproduced without prior permission of the author.

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