Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So Many Particulars









One part Lucian, one part Brecht, three parts Arrian. And as Oscar would say 'all garbage all the time.' However it tickled my fancy, so read it or ignore it as you wish, I have already moved on.






Euoi, Euoi, Saboi!
The ecstatic raging followers
Of the loud roaring, ivy wreathed
God chanted and danced, and the songs
Reverberated the forest glens
And quiet coverts of the wide flooding
High banked river Indus. Icy cold
Waters tumbled from glaciered vast
High mountains. Closer to the world
Encircling river than the laughing
Shouting drunken god the myriad
Companions did march. Strong Herakles
Cursed and kicked the barren ground before
The most steadfast Sogdian rock.
Macedonian soldiers grew wings,
Flew up the cliff face in the murky night,
And so conquered what stymied Herakles.

Nothing could stop, no one could stop
The conquering god-king Alexander.
Not the wide fast flowing rivers,
Not the lazy streams flowing to marshes,
Not the dizzying gorges, not the cloud
Gathering mountains, not the howling
Jangling deserts, not the walls of island
Proud Tyre, not the mysteries of sand
Blown trees of the oasis of Siwa,
Not the massed cedar built long boats
Of purple clad Phoenicia,
Not the fire worshiping magi,
Not the mud built bitumen mortared
Walls of Babylon, of Susa,
Of Persepolis, not the seven walled
City of stars Ekbatana, not the
Rabbis of Jerusalem, not the Gates
Of Persia, not the battle fleeing
King of Kings, not the tattooed
Boulder hurling liberty loving tribes,
Not the craggy walls of ancient Thebes
Where only darling Pindar's house remained,
Not the foot stamping naked Buddhists.
Nothing could stop, no one could stop
The god-king Achilles reborn.

Naught but the sorrow of the hosts, the ones
That marched and fought and explored and said
Finally this far and no further,
For we are tired and our dear ones
We miss, our wives, our children, our aged
Fathers and mothers. For we have been
From home for as long as Menelaus
Before the walls of windy Illius.
This far we go and no further.

Only thus was Alexander stopped.

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