An Excerpt from Scipio


This is an excerpt from a blank verse drama I started writing many years ago. The speech seems pertinent to the cause of life extension. I intend to finish it sometime in July.

Tell me, I plead, tell me who I must be.

Beneath these young stars, among the

Windblown forests covered in ashen hopes.

Sylvan spirit, daemon, unknown deity,

Come, speak, tell me if I am but the ship

Of Theseus, my being nothing but change:

And remain here in name and name alone.

Then I am hapless flux cloying the void:

Dancing, touching, and awaiting darkness.

Yet I lapse, cry, falter. No more. I must

Revive the verve mangled by small minds:

So my flame shall never lose its force,

Nor smolder weakly and bow to creeds

Untrue, made by the wrinkled idols

Of the damned, the feeble, the softhearted.

Nor shall I adopt a fool’s dreams to excuse

Dimming resolve in the face of a foe

So ancient and tireless, feckless and cruel.

If Olympus awaits, it can wait more.

What I am: soldier, scholar and Roman

Will never reach the outer bounds of me.

Not even that dreaded word, Destiny,

Can vanquish true immortality.

Take away all the idle things life brings

But cannot bring life back, even to me.

Let me live and love without legacy

Through some elixir or philosophy,

Preserve me, for I am all that I am

And rotting remains of ill-preserved deeds

Are shadows of life and its mysteries.

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