Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mr. Edgar McMillan lectures his nephew while walking through a festive crowd.

[A follow-up to "Disturbed by Spring."]

“Nephew,” said Edgar, “look around this place,
such happy expressions are on each face.
But behind each smile is a grinning skull
and upon this sober thought I mull
when beaming faces shine at me
so bright that I can scarcely see.
The expressive skin but covers bones
as cold and rigid as senseless stones.
All I see here are skeletal frights,
and I cannot abide such loathsome sights!
Such masks, such lies, such vain display!
Let us take our leave, we shall not stay!"

"But Uncle," said John, "you are too severe.
Let us partake of the revelry here!
For life is short, you must surmise,
and to spend it thus methinks unwise:
To see the bad in every good
to spoil the world, as if you could
steal the sheen from the golden sun
and shame these good folk in their fun.
The heart inside your very chest
still beats, I bet, and will attest
against your will, to the good desire
for human love, and for the blazing fire
of the Creator's Love, which you reject,
but rejects you not as you expect.
So banish every morbid thought
and embrace the goodness you have fought!"

And said the angered McMillan then:
"I cannot abide this foolish din!
Such empty speech of life and love,
of some benign divinity up above.
Boy! No goodness is to be found
and your hopes for such will hit the ground
when they topple from such platitudes.
No! Stay such nauseous attitudes!
Come - this gathering has made you bold
and made you forget the things I told
that little boy who came to me
when both his parents perished at sea,
on some frivolous trip they took
forsaking my good advice - oh, look!
that old couple there slovenly dancing
and all the crowd behind them prancing
like wild deerlings, around the square
as if they had not a single care.
I pity their foolish deluded joy,
mark me well - but where are you, boy?"

Then he saw among the reveling crowd
John dancing there and laughing loud.

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