Sunday, May 3, 2009

From another time, and another world.

A snippet from "Horatius":

...Then outspake brave Horatius.
The captain of the gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods...
-Thomas Babington Macauley

And an observation on current events from Kipling:

...In the Carboniferous epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled, and they began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold the Glitters, and Two and Two make Four-
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more...
-Rudyard Kipling

Some things are eternal. By the way the "copybook headings" referred to in the poem are those phrases, mostly proverbs and axioms, children used to copy to practice handwriting in the 19th century.

1 comment:

Vincent said...

Glad to have found you.