Sunday, June 14, 2009
Greek Prose Composition
Thrice happy are thoseLiddell and Scott = Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, authors of A Greek-English Lexicon.
Who ne'er heard of Greek Prose
Or Greek Poetry either, as far as that goes;
For Liddell and Scott
Shall cumber them not,
Nor Sargent nor Sidgwick shall break their repose.
But I, late at night,
By the very bad light
Of very bad gas, must painfully write
Some stuff that a Greek
With his delicate cheek
Would smile at as 'barbarous'faith, he well might.
For when it is done,
I doubt if, for one,
I myself could explain how the meaning might run;
And as for the style
Well, it's hardly worth while
To talk about style, where style there is none.
It was all very fine
For a poet divine
Like Byron, to rave of Greek women and wine;
But the Prose that I sing
Is a different thing,
And I frankly acknowledge it's not in my line.
So away with Greek Prose,
The source of my woes!
(This metre's too tough, I must draw to a close.)
May Sargent be drowned
In the ocean profound,
And Sidgwick be food for the carrion crows!
Sargent = John Young Sargent, author of A Primer of Greek Prose Composition, Materials and Models for Greek Prose Composition, etc.
Sidgwick = Arthur Sidgwick, author of Introduction to Greek Prose Composition, Lectures on Greek Prose Composition, etc.