And continuing The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Jr, without any delay, save one thought… it is not just a witty parody, but a rollicking satire on the age.
Then swart Gorgona rears her snaky Zone
Demanding Sip of Lip in poisonous Tone
While back Abaft I cower, for well I wot
A Face like that needs not a Chaperone.
The Fair of Vanity has many a Booth
To sell its spangled Wares of Age and Youth;
And there have I beheld the Worldlings buy
Their Paris Gowns to clothe the Naked Truth.
But cannot Beauty render Sin the less
When Aphroditan Damosels transgress,
Making the Error lovely with the Thought –
A Dimple is its own Forgiviness?
Into your Soul may truculent Daemons pass
All hugger-mugger in that dun Morass,
But while the Rouge is mantling to your Cheek,
Nothing will chide you in your Looking-Glass.
Unto the Glass Gorgona torques her Eye
Beholding there Ten Myriad Fragments fly,
The Parts dispersing with lugubrious Din –
Who will invent a Mirror that will lie?
Oft have I heard the Cant of flattering Friend
Admire my Forehead’s Apollonic Bend,
Then to the Glass I’ve wreathed my sad Regard –
The Looking-Glass is candid to the End.
Look to the Rose who, as I pass her by,
Breathes the fond Attar-musk up to the Sky,
Spreading her silken Blushes – does she know
That I have come to smell and not to Buy?
Ah, Rose, assume a gentle Avarice
And hoard the soft Allurements that entice;
For One will come who holds the Golden Means
To buy your Blushes at the Standard Price.
Down to the Deeps of Sheol, anguish-torn,
I’ve hurtled Beauty to a State forlorn,
Beauty the Curse, – yet if a Curse it be,
With what an Equanimity ’tis borne!
What shallow Guerdon of terrestrial Strife,
For him who quits this Donjon Keep of Life,
To read the World’s expectant Epitaph:
“He left a handsome Widow in his Wife!”
Before the Dawn’s Encroachment I awoke
And heard again the bodeful Adage spoke:
Society Engagements are like Eggs –
You know not what’s Inside them till they’re Broke.
Creation stands between the Won’t and Will,
Yes, and that Doubt Infinitude might fill –
It took nine Tailors once to make a Man;
It took nine more to make him pay the Bill.
The Thunderbolts of Heaven’s potent Sway
Gather and break, but never can dismay
When Indestructible Resistless meets,
The Please Remit confronts the Cannot Pay.
And true as Star and Star pursue their Course
Must Rapture crumb to Ashes of Remorse:
How many a Marriage License that is writ
Has proved a legal Permit to Divorce!
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
A Woman’s Club and heard great Argument
Of crazy Cults and Creeds; but evermore
‘Twas by much Gossip of the Fashions rent.
In them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
Speaking of Things a Woman ought to know.
“Better than Years with Ibsen spent,” I said,
“One Evening with my Friend, Boccacio.”
And that same Bard who strews rhythmatic Daisies
And many a Female Heart discreetly crazes,
Seek him not out, fair Maid, for oftentimes
His Head is vastly Balder than his Phrases.
Upon the Book of Time the Autocrat
Has writ in Stars the fiery Idem Stat,
Lettered the Riddle in the Lambent Suns –
I’d rather write than read a Book like that.
To be continued…… quite soon