September 16, 2011

Updating T.S. Eliot's "Hippopotamus" - "The Hippocampus"

Updating TS Eliot, on the hippocampus and fearmongering. I kept in the "god" references so I didn't have to edit more, to change more rhymes, but I was actually thinking more of secular fearmongering such as the "War on Terror."

The broad-backed hippocampus
Rests on its axis in the brain;
Although it seems so firm to us
It is hard to explain.
Flesh-and-blood is weak and frail,
Susceptible to nervous shock;
While the True Fear can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.

The hippo's feeble steps may err
In compassing material ends,
While the True Fear need never stir
To gather in its dividends.

The 'campus can never reach
The mango on the mango-tree;
But fruits of pomegranate and peach
Refresh the Fear from over sea.

At mating time the hippo's voice
Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd,
But every week we hear rejoice
The Fear, at being one with God.

The hippocampus's day
Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts;
God works in a mysterious way --
The Fear can sleep and feed at once.

I saw the 'campus take wing
Ascending from the damp savannas,
And quiring angels round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.

Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean
And him shall heavenly arms enfold,
Among the saints he shall be seen
Performing on a harp of gold.

He shall be washed as white as snow,
By all the martyr'd virgins kist,
While the True Fear remains below
Wrapt in the old miasmal mist.

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