Fun_People Archive
18 Sep
LIT BITS V3 #262

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 100 02:18:58 -0700
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Subject: LIT BITS V3 #262

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V3 #262

Today is Monday, 18 September 2000; on this day,

279 years ago (1721),

     Matthew Prior, English poet and diplomat, dies. Aside from his
     roller-coaster diplomatic career, he is best remembered for his light
     verse and raillery. His burlesque of Dryden's _The Hind and the
     Panther_, called _The Country Mouse and the City Mouse_ (1687), written
     with Charles Montagu, is an example. He is also known for two long
     satiric poems, _Alma_ and _Solomon_ (both 1718). He is buried in
     Westminster Abbey.

214 years ago (1786),

     German poet and spiritualist writer, Justinus Andreas Cristian Kerner,
     is born in Ludwigsburg, Wurttemberg. Together with poet Ludwig Uhland,
     he will found the so-called Swabian group of late Romantic poets.

170 years ago (1830),

     Essayist and literary critic William Hazlitt dies in London at 52.
     The last words of his _Memoirs_: "Well, I've had a happy life."

83 years ago (1917),

     Aldous Huxley, 23, is hired as a schoolmaster at Eton, where he counts
     among his unruly pupils Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell).

Today's poem:

To A Lady: She Refusing to Continue a Dispute With Me, And Leaving Me in the  

     Spare, gen'rous victor, spare the slave,
     Who did unequal war pursue;
     That more than triumph he might have,
     In being overcome by you.

     In the dispute whate'er I said,
     My heart was by my tongue belied;
     And in my looks you might have read
     How much I argued on your side.

     You, far from danger as from fear,
     Might have sustain'd an open fight:
     For seldom your opinions err:
     Your eyes are always in the right.

     Why, fair one, would you not rely
     On Reason's force with Beauty's join'd?
     Could I their prevalence deny,
     I must at once be deaf and blind.

     Alas! not hoping to subdue,
     I only to the fight aspir'd:
     To keep the beauteous foe in view
     Was all the glory I desir'd.

     But she, howe'er of vict'ry sure.
     Contemns the wreath too long delay'd;
     And, arm'd with more immediate pow'r,
     Calls cruel silence to her aid.

     Deeper to wound, she shuns the fight:
     She drops her arms, to gain the field:
     Secures her conquest by her flight;
     And triumphs, when she seems to yield.

     So when the Parthian turn'd his steed,
     And from the hostile camp withdrew;
     With cruel skill the backward reed
     He sent; and as he fled, he slew.

                                               Matthew Prior

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