Friday, July 27, 2012

“Plaudite, Amici, Comoedia Finita Est”

"Applaud my friends, for the comedy is finally over"               
--attributed as Ludwig Von Beethoven’s last words

Shall it be Goethe’s, “Light, more light!”?
Though, Voltaire could hardly distinguish 
Between a candle and the flames of hell.
I might be more inclined to say something
Like Enrico Fermi’s, “I hope it won’t take long,”
Or maybe Douglas Fairbanks’ quip will do:
“I’ve never felt better.”

But what about, “So little done; so much to do”?
C.J. Rhodes was certainly correct.
And who has done so much in life to believe
Dylan Thomas's “Death shall have no dominion”?

“Dying [of course] is a very dull, dreary affair,”
W. Somerset Maugham said but only once,
And I agree.  Indeed,
There will be no fog rising in the distance
Or light at the end of some mysterious tunnel.

I can only imagine that great ending lines
Come with vision and revision
Like Hamlet’s “O, I die, Horatio! …the rest is silence,”
Or Louis the 14th's “Why are you weeping?
Did you imagine that I was immortal?”

Or perhaps Socrates’, “Crito, I owe a cock
To Asclepius, will you remember to pay the debt?”
Ah, to be so honorable and just at once.

But why should I worry about it after all? 
I still have enough time to get it right.  Though lately,
Pancho Villa’s “[Please] don’t let it end like this.
Tell them I said something!”
Might do in a pinch.


  1. ...or maybe a little John Paul Jones: "I have not yet begun to fight!"

    1. Or perhaps the immortal words of Socrates: "I drank what?"

  2. You once told me, "What does it matter, we're all gonna die anyway"? So maybe, "Damn, I was right"!

    1. And I have been wrong about so many things, except for "death and taxes" and constitutionally-protected pensions! Good one, Al.