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- Tobogganing On Parnassus - 4/17 -


When I was the person you penned all that verse on, Ere Chloe had caused you to sigh, Not she whose cognomen is Ilia the Roman Was happier than I.

HORACE

Ah, Chloe the Thracian--whose sweet modulation Of voice as she lilts to the lyre Is sweeter and fairer? Would but the Fates spare her I'd love to expire.

LYDIA

Tush! Calais claims me and wholly inflames me, He pesters me never with rhymes; If they should spare Cally, I'd perish to_tal_ly A couple of times.

HORACE

Suppose my affection in Lyddy's direction Returned; that I gave the good-by To Chloe the golden, and back to the olden?-- I pause for reply.

LYDIA

Cheer up, mine ensnarer! Be Calais fairer Than stars, be you blustery and base, I'll love you, adore you; in brief, I am for you All over the place.

II

HORACE

What time I was your one best bet And no one passed the wire before me, Dear Lyddy, I cannot forget How you would--yes, you would--adore me. To others you would tie the can; You thought of me with no aversion. In those days I was happier than A Persian.

LYDIA

Correct. As long as you were not So nuts about this Chloe person, Your flame for me burned pretty hot-- Mine was the door you pinned your verse on. Your favourite name began with L, While I thought you surpassed by no man-- Gladder than Ilia, the well- Known Roman.

HORACE

On Chloe? Yes, I've got a case; Her voice is such a sweet soprano; Her people come from Northern Thrace; You ought to hear her play piano. If she would like my suicide-- If she'd want me a dead and dumb thing, Me for a glass of cyanide, Or something.

LYDIA

Now Calais, the handsome son Of old Ornitus, has _me_ going; He says I am his honey bun, He's mine, however winds are blowing; I think that he is awful nice, And, if the gods the signal gave him, I'd just as lieve die once or twice To save him.

HORACE

Suppose I'm gone on you again, Suppose I've got ingrown affection For you; I sort of wonder, then, If you'd have any great objection. Suppose I pass this Chloe up And say:"Go roll your hoop, I'm rid o' ye!" Would that drop sweetness in your cup? Eh, Lydia?

LYDIA

Why, say--though he's fair as a star, And you are like a cork, erratic And light--and though I know you are As blustery as the Adriatic, I think I'd rather live with you Or die with you, I swear to gracious. So I will be your Mrs. Q. Horatius.

Nix On the Fluffy Stuff

AD CYNTHIAM

Propertius: Book I, Elegy 2.

_"Quid iuvat ornato procedere, vita, capillo Et tenues Coa veste movere sinus?"_

Why, my love, the yellow trinkets In your tresses' purer gold? Why the Syrian perfume? Think it's Nice to be thus aureoled? Why the silken robes that rustle? Why the pigment on the map? Think you all that fume and fuss'll Ever charm a chap?

Mother Earth is unaffected-- Is her beauty therefore less? Is she gray or ill-complected? I should call her some success. Soft the murmur of the river, Bright the shore that lines the sea-- Is the universe a flivver? No, take it from me.

Castor loved the lady Phoebe For no bought or borrowed wile; Hillaira--wasn't she be- Loved without excessive style? Hippodamia slaved no fashions-- All that braver, elder time Is replete with simple passions Difficult to rhyme.

Nay, my Cynthia, sweet and smile-ish, Take it from your own Propert, Don't essay to be so stylish, Don't attempt the harem skirt. I am ever Yours Sincerely, Past the shadow of a doubt, Yours Forever, if you'll merely Cut the frivol out.

Catullus, Considerable Kisser

(A Pasteurization of Ode VII.)

How many kisses, Lesbia, miss, you ask would be enough for me? I cannot sum the total number; nay, that were too tough for me. The sands that o'er Cyrene's shore lie sweetly odoriferous, The stars that sprent the firmament when overly stelliferous-- Come, Lezzy, please add all of these, until the whole amount of 'em Will sorely vex the rubbernecks attempting to keep count of 'em.

V. Catullus Explains

ODE LXXXV: AD LESBIAM

Hark thou, my Lesbia, there be none existent Can truly say she hath been loved by me As thou hast been. No faith is more consistent Than that which V. Catullus gives to thee.

How reasonless the state of an emotion! For wert thou faultless, perfect, and sublime, I could not like thee; nor would my devotion And love be less wert thou the Queen of Crime.

The Rich Man

The rich man has his motor-car, His country and his town estate. He smokes a fifty-cent cigar And jeers at Fate.

He frivols through the livelong day, He knows not Poverty her pinch. His lot seems light, his heart seems gay, He has a cinch.


Tobogganing On Parnassus - 4/17

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