SOMETHING ELSE AGAIN|
FRANKLIN P. ADAMS
"By and Large," "In Other Words,"
"Tobogganing on Parnassus,"
"Weights and Measures,"
To MONTAGUE GLASS
Horace: Book III, Ode 9
"Donec eram gratus tibi--"
HORACE, PVT. --TH INFANTRY, A.E.F., WRITES:
- WHILE I was fussing you at home
- You put the notion in my dome
- That I was the Molasses Kid.
- I batted strong. I'll say I did.
LYDIA, ANYBURG U.S.A., WRITES:
- While you were fussing me alone
- To other boys my heart was stone.
- When I was all that you could see
- No girl had anything on me.
- Well, say, I'm having some romance
- With one Babette, of Northern France.
- If that girl gave me the command
- I'd dance a jig in No-Man's Land.
- I, too, have got a young affair
- With Charley--say, that boy is there!
- I'd just as soon go out and die
- If I thought it'd please that guy
- Suppose I can this foreign wren
- And start things up with you again?
- Suppose I promise to be good?
- I'd love you Lyd. I'll say I would
- Though Charley's good and handsome--oh, boy!
- And you're a stormy fickle doughboy,
- So give the Hun his final whack,
- And I'll marry you when you come back.
- CHLORIS lay off the flapper stuff;
- What's fit for Pholoë, a fluff,
- Is not for Ibycus's wife--
- A woman at your time of life!
- Ignore, old dame, such pleasures as
- The shimmy and "the Bacchus Jazz";
- Your presence with the maidens jars--
- You are the cloud that dims the stars.
- Your daughter Pholoë may stay
- Out nights on the Appian Way;
- her love for Nothus, as you know,
- Makes her as playful as a doe.
- No jazz for you, no jars of wine,
- No rose that blooms incarnadine.
- For one thing only you are fit:
- Buy some Lucerian wool--and knit!
Horace: Book I, Ode 19
"Mater sæva Cupidinum"
- VENUS, the cruel mother of
- The Cupids (symbolising Love),
- Bids me to muse upon and sigh
- For things to which I've said "Good-bye!"
- Believe me or believe me not,
- I give this Glycera girl a lot:
- Pure Parian marble are her arms--
- And she has eighty other charms.
- Venus has left her Cyprus home
- And will not let me pull a pome
- About the Parthians, fierce and rough,
- The Scythian war, and all that stuff.
- Set up, O slaves, a verdant shrine!
- Uncork a quart of last year's wine!
- Place incense here, and here verbenas,
- And watch me while I jolly Venus!
- WHAT time I read your mighty line,
- O Mr. Q. Horatius Flaccus,
- In praise of many an ancient wine--
- You twanged a wickid lyric to Bacchus!--
- I wondered, like a Yankee hick,
- If that old stuff contained a kick.
- So when upon a Paris card
- I glimpsed a Falernian, I said: "Waiter,
- I'll emulate that ancient bard,
- And pass upon his merits later."
- Professor Mendell, quelque sport,
- Suggested that we split a quart.
- O Flaccus, ere I ceased to drink
- Three glasses and a pair of highballs,
- I could not talk, I could not think;
- For I was pickled to the eyeballs.
- If you sopped up Falernian wine
- How did you ever write a line?
Horace: Book I, Ode 2
"Tu ne quæsieris, scire nefas, quem, mihi, quem tibi"
- Look not, Leuconoë, into the future;
- Seek not to find what the answer may be;
- Let no Chaldean clairvoyant compute your
- Time of existence. . . . It irritates me!
- Better to bear whatever may happen soever
- Patiently, playing it through like a sport,
- Whether the end of your breathing is Never,
- Or, as is likely, your time will be short.
- This is the angle, the true situation;
- Get me, I pray, for I'm putting you hep:
- While I've been fooling with versification
- Time has been flying. . . . Both gates!
- Watch your step!
- I THOUGHT that I was wholly free,
- That I had Love upon the shelf;
- "Hereafter," I declared in glee,
- "I'll have my evenings to myself."
- How can such mortal beauty live?
- (Ah, Jove, thine errings I forgive!)
- Her tresses pale the sunlight's gold;
- Her hands are featly formed and taper;
- Her--well, the rest ought not be told
- In any modest family paper.
- Fair as Ischomache, and bright
- As Brimo. Quæque queen is right.
- O goddesses of long ago,
- A shepherd called ye sweet and slender.
- He saw ye, so he ought to know;
- But sooth to her ye must surrender.
- O may a million years not trace
- A single line upon that face!
Propertius: Elegy VIII, Part 1
"Tune igitur demens nec te mea cura moratur?---"
- O CYNTHIA, hast thou lost thy mind?
- Have I no claim on thine affection?
- Dost love the chill Illyrian wind
- With something passing predilection?
- And is thy friend--whoe'er he be--
- The kind to take the place of me?
- Ah, canst thou bear the surging deep?
- Canst thou endure the hard ship's-mattress?
- For scant will be thy hours of sleep
- From Staten Island to Cape Hatt'ras;
- And won't thy fairy feet be froze
- With treading on the foreign snows?
- I hope that doubly blows the gale,
- With billows twice as high as ever,
- So that the captain, fain to sail,
- May not achieve his mad endeavor!
- The winds, when that they cease to roar,
- Shall find me wailing on the shore.
- Yet merit thou my love or wrath,
- O False, I pray that Galatea
- May smile upon thy watery path!
- A pleasant trip,--that's the idea.
- Light of my life, there never shall
- For me be any other gal.
- And sailors, as they hasten past,
- Will always have to hear my query:
- "Where have you seen my Cynthia last?
- Has anybody seen my dearie?"
- I'll shout: "In Malden or Marquette
- Where'er she be, I'll have her yet!"
On to the next poem.