Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Clean Conscience Never Relaxes Ogden Nash

There is an emotion to which we are most of us are adduced,
But it is one which I refuse to boost.
It is harrowing, browbeating, and brutal,
Besides which it is futile.
Because of it sleepy men go sleepless.
Because of it, for all I know lyrical canaries and nightingales go peepless;
Hungry men lose their appetites;
Warm acrobats perspire coldly in their dapper tights;
Eligible bachelors enter ballrooms less eligibly,
And stoics talk to themselves loudly and fortuately also unintelligibly.
Land of Goshen,
What an easily dispensible emotion!
I am referring, of course,
To remorse.
Remorse is a violent dyspepsia of the mind,
But it is very difficult to treat because it cannot even be defined,
Because everything is not gold that glisters and everything is not a tear that glistens,
And one man's remorse is another man's reminiscence,
So the truth is that as far as improving the world its concerned, remorse is a duffer,
Because the wrong people suffer,
Because the very fact that they suffer from remorse proves they are innocuous.
Yes, indeed, it is the man remorse passes over completely who is the virulent streptococcuous.
Do you think that when Nero threw a martyr to the lions remorse enveloped him like an affinity?
Why, the only remorse in the whole Colosseum was felt by the martyr who was reproaching himself for having dozed through the sermon on the second Sunday after Trinity.
So I think remorse ought to stop biting the consciences that feed it,
And I think the Communist Party ought to work out some plan for taking it away from those who have it and giving it to those who need it.


GretchenJoanna said...

This is great! The last lines especially.