WE are the few,
The many, many few:
Who, suckled at the udder
Of a sickly dying cow,
('Tant pis, tant pis pour nous')
"Diminutized" -- deprived of the calcium
Of a Hero's mighty spine
Have found a way to stay our slow decline;
We call it "good"-- (but is it "lithium?")
Some say it can be used in place of butter
Or as a salve for acne or warts.
As for the arts,
(I would not back this vow)
It steadies shaking hands and withered wills
To stony statuesque semblances of Heroes
Without the lofty egos! ergo
We come to days of blue Medusid pills.
But no crested shield,
Nor javelin, nor two-edged sword we wield
Can slow the mighty dogs at our throats.
So, now we wear these razor-edged coats
And sail around and fish in one-man boats.
We catch a Sword and let the flesh decay
And eat the rot and cast the fresh away.
Some enterprising chap in a motorboat
Has or will come along
To scoop up all the entrails,
New and bloody, and the chum
Among the fetid red-frothed caps.
I see him now, two buckets at his side.
He looks a wary one, what with that net --
The way he slowly trolls along the tide
Skimming the cloudy caps off the rising sea.
No, my Friend -- don't dare liken him to me!
Concern yourself with a much deeper matter
Than this -- this shallow and decadent water.
Think -- just think if all the fishy mercury
Soaked into a brain of yet more Mercury;
Consider the annual, the daily rise
and fall of heat in our temples, as we sit and watch
The wavering thermometers of our wavering minds.