AD ARIUSTUM FUSCUM
Horace: Book I, Ode 22.
'_Integer vitae sclerisque purus_'-
_Take it from me: A guy who's square,
His chances always are the best.
I'm in the know, for I've been there,
And that's no ancient Roman jest._
What time he hits the hay to rest
There's nothing on his mind but hair,
No javelin upon his chest-
_Take it from me, a guy who's square._
There's nothing that can throw a scare
Into the contents of his vest;
His name is Eva I-Don't-Care;
_His chances always are the best._
Why, once, when I was way out West,
Singing to Lalage, a bear
Came up, and I was some distressed-
_I'm in the know, for I've been there._
But back he went into his lair,
(Cage, corner, den, retreat, nook, nest) ,
And left me to 'The Maiden's Prayer'-
_And that's no ancient Roman jest._
In Newtonville or Cedar Crest,
In Cincinnati or Eau Claire,
I'll warble till I am a pest,
'My Lalage'-no matter where-
_Take it from me! _
Fuscus, my friend, take it from me-
I know the world and what it's made of-
One on the square has naught to be
The Moorish bows and javelins? Nope.
Such deadly things need not alarm him.
Why, even arrows dipped in dope
Can't harm him!
He's safe in any clime or land,
Desert or river, hill or valley;
Safe in all places on the Rand-
Why, one day in my Sabine grot,
I sang for Lalage to hear me;
A wolf came in and he did not
Come near me!
Ah, set me on the sunless plain,
In China, Norway, or Matanzas,
Ay, place me anywhere from Maine
Still of my Lalage I'll sing,
Where'er the Fates may chance to dropp me;
And nobody nor anything
Shall stop me.