Bacchus, canst thou, O liberator of a million tortured souls
Confine thy merriment amidst the constraints of a meter?
Never mim for the onset of a ravishing temper, No qualms regarding whom we hack and chew So long as it's a warm, full-conscious body: Let your blessings grace our fuggy minds to rest.
And as we sleep, sleep to dream, grant us the comfort
That we may know that all we say and do remains
Unsanctioned by the sun: yes in that time we are things To hand, unwitting objects not of wrath (non, c'est cliche) But of a far subtler servant content to name our fidelities Fool and make light our easily undone expectations.
Serving you, those Thebans, did they wake rejoicing
To find bits of small intestine strung out across the rhododendrons,
Viscera compounded with the earthen soil? Or did they rejoice To wake at all? You were always more for the nocturnal romp Than sober machinations over coffee in the early morn. Yes, Ethanol exacts is homage: odious orisons over a stringent altar.
Not Our Father, surely, though no doubt the sometime-patron
Of our dreams, play us a ditty on your pan-pipe, let not
The revels end in the screams of those unfortunate enough To defy you: prohibitionists, prudes, all of a kind, their punishment Is their own neglect - a handy cup of hemlock and rational discourse Over death - no, we protest, optimism shall not be our hubris.
You ass-tutor imparts, with no qualms, his quick wisdom
Which we stoutly refute in our classrooms and commons
Blank teachers, we are sad to say, can't confirm our logic At midday. Would that we could casually dismiss his claims With a nod towards Homer and a tip of the hat to any well-dressed Octogenarian, pipe in hand, out for the Sunday morning stroll.
First among all gods vying for my homage and Last
Among those I'd willingly deny, I know the truth
Now: your all is none, there is not place For me among your permanent adherents, no niche for you Upon my windowsill. Let me choose the flesh I feast, the sanguine Cup to sip, for the outcome is too dire to abdicate that decision.
But maybe, just for tonight, lend me your blessing again...