Birth of the Muse
PublishedJuly 15, 2012 CategoryBertie’s Book of Improbable Sheep

Birth of the Muse

I don’t suppose that girls and boys,
When made to learn their verses,
Are much inclined to turn their mind,
Between their moans and curses,
To how their rhymes, in ancient times,
Were first of all invented –
To while away the shepherds’ day
Keeping lambs contented!

It was from us Theocritus
Learned his choriambics;
And we could scan, before a man,
Trochaics and iambics.
The dithyramb is to us lambs,
What fishes are to water;
And to the ewe, a clerihue’s
Just what her mother taught her.

So lambs at play became the way
The great Earth Mother chooses
To make the shepherd wish to sing
The music of The Muses.
And in our fey, eurhythmic way,
Although they may not know it,
We lambs began converting man
From shepherd into poet.



From ‘Bertie and the Younger Set’.

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