Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Damocles and the Sword


Letter 'D'


Dionysius, the king, (whose name also starts with D!)
Was a rich and cruel tyrant way, way back in history.
He lived a life of splendour, as was usual with a King,
And, as you might imagine, he did not want for a thing!
Damocles was a subject who liked to fawn and flatter,
Concerning every aspect of the King's life, every matter.
'Oh King!' he'd say 'How mighty and how wonderful thou art!
How glorious and noble both in intellect and heart!
And how richly do you live up there upon your golden throne!
If only I had a little of the plenitude you own!'
Your virgins and your handmaids! Your servants waiting by!
The whole world envies you, my lord, but none so more than I!'
As on and on and on he went and the King began to fume.
He stood up in his majesty and then addressed the room.
'Set this man up as a King! Give him everything he wishes!
Feed him the best venison on gold and silver dishes!
Dress him in silk and velvet! Give him handmaids by the score!
Treat him as you would treat me, even though he's only poor!
Set him high upon a throne and bow and scrape before him!
Obey his every slightest wish and do your utmost for him!'
So Damocles was set-up as an equal to the king;
He couldn't believe his luck, of course; he revelled in everything!
'And now......look up!' the King commanded, 'Look above your head!
Look at what is dangling, merely held there by a thread!'
Damocles then looked above and there was a shining sword!
And he saw an evil smile upon the features of his lord!
'How do you enjoy your luxury?'  Dionysius said then.
'I'm certain you'd be happier as the basest of all men!'
'Indeed I would' yelled Damocles, and he rushed into the night!
That sword, held by the slimmest thread, had given him a fright.
And so it is when things go well we always have a fear
That something awful may occur, this week, this month, this year.
And we quote 'The Sword of Damocles' to explain the way we feel.
A sense of threat, imaginary, or maybe, all too real!

(An Acrostic)

Major city of Australia and visited by most;
Easily the smartest on the continent! At least that is it’s boast.
Lovely scenery surrounds it and its streets are broad and wide;
Beaches are all around it and so is its countryside.
Opera and theatre are featured, and also the Melbourne Cup,
Undoubtedly a famous horse-race (Come on! Giddy Up!).
Rivers? Well, there’s the Yarra, a place for water-sport.
Never forget the tennis; great fun on the tennis court.
Elegance is a hallmark, more so than Sydney Town.
Make a point of visiting this jewel in Victoria’s crown.


Siromade said...

Love the painting it's beautiful, your rhymes on melbourne letters is great it shows the beauty and leisure you can do in Melbourne, I hope I can visit there one day even watching tennis only. Have a lovely day.

photowannabe said...

Utterly fascinating. The picture is so classical and I appreciate your telling the story again. I had forgotten it.

Hildred said...

What truth lies within your words, - you have to be very Daring to ignore the Sword of Damocles.

Love the Melbourne poem.

Jim said...

Good stuff on Melbourne.

Wanda said...

You are a good storyteller. The painting is lovely.

Roger Owen Green said...

Great telling of the classic story.

WV: wacked; how the king must have felt looking up.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

mrsnesbitt said...

Fantastic Brenda - my own name Denise comes from Dionyseus! Apparntly he was into wine women and song! Well how appropriate eh? Wine and sone yes, but I have never been one for the women - well us Northerners don't go there do we? I mean!!!!!

Thanks so much for contributing - not only a poem but the dialogue of a sound story - I agree with the other comments Brenda, an excellent story teller!

ABC Team

Leo said...

hi Brenda, you tell a lovely story in verse..! :) thanks for sharing the poem about Dionyseus..

and the acrostic on Melbourne is very nice..!

nonizamboni said...

Whenever I feel that sort of unrest or fear I quote Death of a Salesman's Willy Loman 'I'm feeling temporary.' but I must remember Damocles too.
Nicely done!

Unknown said...

Such fun!

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brenda (RR): This is so synchronistic! I was just listening to a radio show this a.m. and the announcer mentioned "The Sword of Damocles". I have heard of this but did not know the backstory! Thanks for providing for me this information, as well, know I now exactly what is meant by the "Sword of Damocles" hanging above one's head! (sort of like a two-edge sword with benefits; for awhile anyway!:)

Tumblewords: said...

We do wait for the other shoe even after two have dropped! :) Excellent D post!