- But not Philosophy!
- Ay, be we faithful to ourselves: despise
Nought but the coward in us! That way lies
The wisdom making passage through our slough.
Am I not heard, my head to Earth shall bow;
Like her, shall wait to see, and seeing wait.
Philosophy is Life’s one match for Fate.
That photosphere of our high fountain One,
Our spirit’s Lord and Reason’s fostering sun,
Philosophy, shall light us in the shade,
Warm in the frost, make Good our aim and aid.
Companioned by the sweetest, ay renewed,
Unconquerable, whose aim for aid is Good!
Advantage to the Many: that we name
God’s voice; have there the surety in our aim.
This thought unto my sister do I owe,
And irony and satire off me throw.
They crack a childish whip, drive puny herds,
Where numbers crave their sustenance in words.
Now let the perils thicken: clearer seen,
Your Chieftain Mind mounts over them serene.
Who never yet of scattered lamps was born
To speed a world, a marching world to warn,
But sunward from the vivid Many springs,
Counts conquest but a step, and through disaster sings.
Poem: The Invective of Achilles
[Iliad, B. I. V. 149]
“Heigh me! brazen of front, thou glutton for
plunder, how can one,
Servant here to thy mandates, heed thee among our Achaians,
Either the mission hie on or stoutly do fight with the foemen?
I, not hither I fared on account of the spear-armed Trojans,
Pledged to the combat; they unto me have in nowise a harm done;
Never have they, of a truth, come lifting my horses or oxen;
Never in deep-soiled Phthia, the nurser of heroes, my harvests
Ravaged, they; for between us is numbered full many a darksome
Mountain, ay, therewith too the stretch of the windy sea-waters.
O hugely shameless! thee did we follow to hearten thee, justice
Pluck from the Dardans for him, Menelaos, thee too, thou dog-eyed!
Whereof little thy thought is, nought whatever thou reckest.
Worse, it is thou whose threat ’tis to ravish my prize from me, portion
Won with much labour, the which my gift from the sons of Achaia.
Never, in sooth, have I known my prize equal thine when Achaians
Gave some flourishing populous Trojan town up to pillage.
Nay, sure, mine were the hands did most in the storm of the combat,
Yet when came peradventure share of the booty amongst us,
Bigger to thee went the prize, while I some small blessed thing bore
Off to the ships, my share of reward for my toil in the bloodshed!
So now go I to Phthia, for better by much it beseems me
Homeward go with my beaked ships now, and I hold not in prospect,
I being outraged, thou mayst gather here plunder and wealth-store.”