Monday, July 03, 2017


In Lexicon-Limbo

Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861), The Bothie of Tober-na-vuolich, II.216-228:
Lo, the weather is golden, the weather-glass, say they, rising;
Four weeks here have we read; four weeks will we read hereafter;
Three weeks hence will return and think of classes and classics.
Fare ye well, meantime, forgotten, unnamed, undreamt of,
History, Science, and Poets! lo, deep in dustiest cupboard,        220
Thookydid, Oloros' son, Halimoosian, here lieth buried!
Slumber in Liddell-and-Scott, O musical chaff of old Athens,
Dishes, and fishes, bird, beast, and sesquipedalian black-guard!
Sleep, weary ghosts, be at peace and abide in your lexicon-limbo!
Sleep, as in lava for ages your Herculanean kindred,        225
Sleep, and for aught that I care, 'the sleep that knows no waking,'
Aeschylus, Sophocles, Homer, Herodotus, Pindar, and Plato.
Three weeks hence be it time to exhume our dreary classics.

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