Poetry of Kansas

Damon and Pythias

When Damon was condemned to die
'Twas Pythias begged his life
And got for him a respite brief
To See his kids and wife,
Remained as hostage for his friend
Who finally returned
And thus Old Dionysius, king,
A wondrous lesson learned.
They say the test of faithfulness
The monarch saw that day
Dispelled his hate and he allowed
The friends to go their way.
I question not the friendship
Of those men of Syracuse,
Perhaps you think it proven
So I'll not attack your views;
But evidence is lacking,
Quite competent, I deem,
To prove that their affection
For each other was supreme.
Did Pythias and Damon live
As neighbors on the street?
And did their wives belong to clubs
That tat and talk and eat?
Did Damon have a garden
And did Pythias have a hen
Which liked to scratch and would not stay
Within a coop or pen?
Could Damon's car run faster
Than his neighbor's Ford could go?
Were their children ever rivals?
In a Better Babies show?
If affirmatory answers
To these questions are assigned
Then I'll concede their friendship
Was the everlasting kind.

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 35

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June 25, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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