Gene Moutoux's Poetry

The Hellenists

A cynic, an epicurean, and I,

And a stoic were gathered one day,

Discussing what truths in philosophy lie.

Here is what each had to say.


The cynic, with confidence, strode to the fore,

Contumaciously brushed back his hair:

"Have personal virtue," he said with a roar.

"Social convention’s a bear."


The epicurean spoke thus to his "brothers,"

With complacency obvious to me:

"Nothing’s forbidden that doesn’t harm others.

Moderate pleasure’s the key."


The stoic, austerity etched on his brow,

Patiently said with a sigh:

"Accept life’s vicissitudes calmly, somehow.

Emotion to reason must die."


"But how does one know that a "virtue" has worth

And that self-aggrandizement’s not wrong;

Who knows if emotions bespeak moral dearth?"

I was singing my skeptical song.


"But why do you say that you cannot be sure?"

They all asked, convinced they were right.

"A strong dose of confidence might be the cure?"

Quoth I: "I don’t know. It just might."

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