In Rio, as the sun was sinking,
The Muses sat; they had been drinking
All that day, and through this folly
Some were mad and some were jolly
Some prey to loathed melancholy.
Fair Thalia sat and sadly wept
For debts unpaid and vows unkept
And floors that go for years unswept
By love-struck youths with brooms inept.
While Thalia’s tears like diamonds glistened
Clio spoke, of fates unchristened
Wise, though drunk, and no one listened.
The handsome barman’s young and thin
A kiss Melpomene blows to him;
Erato smiles into her gin
But while her drink she seeks to nurse
A hand has crept into her purse
She sees and mutters something terse
An Attic prayer, or else a curse.
“Polhymnia, you thieving crone
With no attribute of your own
Leave my credit cards alone!
I never trusted you, so calm
As if you were yourself a psalm.”
Euterpe sleeps, and in her dream
Calliope is run by steam,
In a world of blows and bruises
Where each man bets and each man loses
With very little room for Muses.
She wakes and pokes Terpsichore
“Oh say my dream through ivory
Came falsely now to trouble me
Into my mind so slyly creeping!”
Her sister nods, and goes on sleeping.
The stars come out, and for their trouble
Urania squints and sees them double.