When wise Minerva still was young
And just the least romantic,
Soon after from Jove’s head she flung
That preternatural antic,
’Tis said to keep from idleness
Or flirting, — those twin curses, —
She spent her leisure, more or less,
In writing po——, no, verses.
How nice they were! to rhyme with far
A kind star did not tarry;
The metre, too, was regular
As schoolboy’s dot and carry;
And full they were of pious plums,
So extra-super-moral, —
For sucking Virtue’s tender gums
Most tooth-enticing coral.
A clean, fair copy she prepares,
Makes sure of moods and tenses,
With her own hand, — for prudence spares
A man- (or woman) -uensis;
Complete, and tied with ribbons proud,
She hinted soon how cosy a
Treat it would be to read them aloud
After next day’s Ambrosia.
The Gods thought not it would amuse
So much as Homer’s Odyssees,
But could not very well refuse
The properest of Goddesses;
So all sat round in attitudes
Of various dejection,
As with a hem! the queen of prudes
Began her grave prelection.
At the first pause Zeus said, “Well sung! —
I mean — ask Phœbus, — he knows.”
Says Phœbus, “Zounds! a wolf’s among
Fine! very fine! but I must go;
They stand in need of me there;
Excuse me!” snatched his stick, and so
Plunged down the gladdened ether.