Tuesday, August 26, 2008

KIND OF AN ODE TO DUTY

by Ogden Nash
(one of my favorite humorists)


O Duty,
Why hast thou not the visage of a sweetie or a cutie?
Why displayest thou the countenance of the kind of
conscientious organizing spinster
That the minute you see her you are aginster?
Why glitter thy spectables so ominously?
Why are thou clad so abominously?
Why art thou so different from Venus
And why do thou and I have so few interests mutually
in common between us?
Why art thou fifty per cent. martyr
And fifty-one per cent. Tartar?
Why is it thy unfortunate wont
To try to attract people by calling on them either to
leave undone the deeds they like, or to do the deeds
they don't?
Why are thou so like an April post mortem
On something that died in the ortumn?
Above all, why dost thou continue to hound me?
Why art thou always albatrossly hanging around me?
Thou so ubiquitous,
And I so iniquitous.
I seem to be the one person in the world thou art
perpetually preaching at who or to who;
Whatever looks like fun, there art thou standing between
me and it, and calling yoo-hoo.
O Duty, Duty!
How noble a man should I be hadst thou the visage
of a sweetie or a cutie!
Wert thou but houri instead of hag
Then would my halo indeed be in the bag!
But as it is thou art so much forbiddinger than a
Wodehouse hero's forbiddingest aunt
That in the words of the poet, When Duty
whispers low, Thou must, this erstwhile youth replies
I just can't.


This is what "duty" always looks like to us - yet the very same reality appears beautiful to us when motivated by love.

1 comments:

orrologion said...

[snicker] You said 'doody'. [snicker]