Monday, July 11, 2011


Tinkering, Doctoring, Shifting, Deranging

A.D. Godley (1856–1925), Quieta Movere, from his Lyra Frivola (London: Methuen & Co., 1899), pp. 52-53:
'Any leap in the dark is better than standing still.'
                                                     —New Proverb.

Talk not to us of the joys of the Present,
  Say not what is is undoubtedly best:
Never be ours to be merely quiescent—
  Anything, everything rather than rest!

Placid prosperity bores us and vexes:
  What if philosophers Latin and Greek
Say that well-being's a Status and Ἕξις?
  Nothing should please you for more than a week.

Tinkering, doctoring, shifting, deranging,
  Urged by a constant satiety on,
Ever the new for the newer exchanging,
  Hazarding ever the gains we have won—

Only perpetual flux can delight us,
  Blown like a billow by winds of the sea:
Still let us bow to the shrine of St. Vitus—
  Vite Sanctissime, ora pro me!

Pray, that when leaps in the darkness uncaring
  End in a fall (as they probably will),
Mine be the credit for valiantly daring,
  Others be charged with defraying the bill!

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