Le Temps Revient...

Poetry, Music, Art & Ideas for the Archaic Recurrence...

martes, 6 de diciembre de 2011


“urbem venalem et mature perituram, si emptorem invenerit.” *

Old father Herodotus once told us
How Libya came by its name
And was divided along the shores of lake Tritonis
The land of lotus eaters he did claim
The western part since then became
A land of eager sedentary farmers
While that of the east was the fame
Of nordic shepherds the first beginners
Of Numidian virtues in attesting sinners.

A warlike people may agree
To follow the whims of philosopher kings
When little the mind attempts to free
Those pursuits of feuding nations brings
Calamity held off birth pangs and stings
Of harsh measures needed to promote
A wholesome growth for the future flings
Speak not of servitude beneath the rote
Client nations held in line by the throat.

The vast terrain of Libya has seen 
Many a despot keen to hold a tight grip
On power, unworthy by fine glossed sheen
Media blackouts lead senators to flick
Casually through dossiers, intervention a trip
Of light hearted scrutiny simply observing
The collapse of a nation, sand, dust and brick
Leaving to fate victims undeserving
By a megalomaniac’s self preserving.

Sallust tells us how Jugurtha came once 
To power in the way which others now try
Rome relinquished him of that bunce
Replacing him with someone else who’d comply
With the wants of the empire and not deny
Birthright but a means so little regarded
Forty years of longing with an impatient sigh
Turns to civil strife heavily bombarded
By inertia’s force defiantly guarded.

Libyan plains dissimilar to her neighbour
Easily split into east and west
Rebels bring liberation to their honour
Against such odds doing their best
To hold the line at the behest
Of those who seek but modest gains
Civil strife brings woes to those oppressed
Desires for the slackening of chains
Finding release from whom over them reigns.

Not always inevitable if avoided
Before the fall comes pride
Within their self image still wanted
The proud inherit reasons which abide
Yet oft based on former virtue beside
Of which our sons make good use
Licentious excesses usually hide
Beneath the surface ethics become loose
Excuses for rhetorical sophistic abuse.

*King Jugurtha famously described Rome’s weakness to bribes by saying:
“A city for sale is doomed to quick destruction, if it should find a buyer.”