Unusually popular with mythologic misses,
And rather wont to wander when he should have stayed at home,
We find is why our hero, the redoubtable Ulysses,
Went rambling into trouble when he thought that he would roam.
Penelope, good lady, left behind in their apartment,
Had trouble in her efforts to get cash to pay the rent —
Telemachus, their scion, knew not then what being smart meant;
He should have helped his mamma, but he never earned a cent.
Ulysses, in the meantime, found the land of the Cyclopes,
And came within an ace of being made into a stew.
He drugged old Polyphemus, then skedaddled with: “I hope ‘e’s
Laid up with indigestion,” and went onward with his crew.
From there he ambled farther till he reached the realm of Circé;
We translate rather freely from the Odyssean log:
“She proved to be a lady with no tenderness or mercy,
Each comrade of Ulysses, for her sport, was made a hog.”
He got away, however, and he steered his trusty ship so
That it would take him quickly where more trouble might be found—
He grounded on the island of the nymph they called Calypso,
And dallied in her presence till eight years had rolled around.
Homesickness must have struck him not so many years therafter;
He sighed: “I think the time has come for me to pull my freight.”
The listeners had trouble when they tried to hold their laughter
At thinking of how long it was before he knew ’twas late.
Penelope, fond woman, had been wooed by many suitors;
To each and every one of them she firmly whispered “No.”
Ulysses, on appearing, changed the suitors into scooters—
He strode into the parlor and said: “Take your hats and go!”
Old Homer tells us fully how Penelope received him,
And how, to give her pleasure, all these stories he would weave:
He also tells us solemnly Penelope believed him!
(That portion of the Odyssey we never can believe.)