Tuesday, 4 October 2016

DEAD THINKERS

R. Le #Gallienne was a minor poet mostly forgotten but I happen to have an anthology that includes a few of his poems

I think you may enjoy the irony in this one?
The spacing and italics are as close as I can get to the typesetting in the book.
I have no idea why the typesetter put a space before questions marks!

#ballade #greekphilosophers #atoms

Ballade of Dead Thinkers

R. Le Gallienne

Where's Heraclitus and his Flux
Of Sense that never maketh stay ?
Or Thales, with whom water sucks
Into itself both Clod and Clay ?
Or he, who in an evil Day
Νόμος and φύσις first employ'd ;
And of the Sum of Things doth say,
They all are Atoms in the Void ?


Where's grave Parmenides ? Death plucks
His Beard : and by the Velian Bay
Sleeps Zeno ; Plato's pen their Crux
Of One and Many doth portray.
Empedocles too, well-away,
His taste for climbing, unalloy'd
By prudence, led him far astray ;
They all are Atoms in the Void.


Where's Socrates himself, who chucks
Up Physics, makes of Sophists hay,
Into Induction briskly tucks,
And Definitions frames always ?
The good Athenians him did slay,
His Dialectic them annoy'd ;
And his Disciples, where are they ?
They all are Atoms in the Void.

Envoy.

Prince, tho' with these old names and grey
Our peace of mind be half destroyed,
Take comfort ; say they what they may,
They all are Atoms in the Void.