An Ode for the Rhapsode

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The Muse, Gabriel De Cool

Here bloomed a rare poet
I groomed for no deceit.
I would play him like a cello,
And sway him to sing
Of the rage of Achilles,
While there calmly sitting
With unfair, wily Socrates,
Ensnared under an olive tree
Already lost in some debate.

You thought to put him to the test,
This child my mind had blessed.
He waited patient on your con
And played along without protest.
Your method led to trouble later on,
But you were gentle with my friend, Ion.

Yes, I am the guilty one.
He was a pretty Grecian urn
Into which I’d pour my wine.
Then I would let poor Ion burn
And turn his song to Helen.
Her pure form alone was fair
As the towers of topless Ilium.

For a poet is a winged being
That flies in proper season.
The spirit starts them singing,
In rhythm to my breathing,
And any hidden, lyric purpose,
You may not parse or reason.

And when you shake and start
Then reach for pen or lyre
It is done by my desire.
There is no shame in that.
For I undress your heart
And set your soul afire.

So be a son like wise Ion,
Who as a guileless child
Enjoys full pardon
Heaven and this smile.
Now he sings of glory,
Not of kings or rage,
With his friend Socrates,
On the eternal stage.

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