+---+ | I | +---+ In ancient Crete a tale is told on days of weathers fair. Near this here sea-grey shoal there was A counterfactual pair! A father and his son were wont to play among the reeds And once the son had come of age the father bid him Heed. "I bid you son, for gainsome lot to take the middle path. Too high is fraught; too low is naught --hence moderate your acts!" The son replied, "I will in thought, as well as public show, But grant me one wish in my heart: I to fly like the crow." Equipped with wings of waxen make, his father's only charge, now Icarus sets off to take his maiden sea voyage. His father's words ring in his ears, "Nor high nor low but stay Above the sea, below the sun, With Zeno fly halfway." Learned reader! You perhaps have guessed what happens next in verse, but persevere, and do not fear, for what comes is far far worse. +----+ | II | +----+ Now, unbeknownst to mortal eye did rage a fearsome feud between the Sea and Sun. Apollo with his chariot reigned thus spoke, "Poseidon proud, begone thou general brute! Destruction you do bring upon the land; with monsters rude you slaughter precious lives; with salty waves you capsize practiced crews; with trident quake you strike your own granddame. Relinquish now your ill-kept sea-domain." "Hypocrite that he is, Apollo mocks himself but now. Haughty mouse, you rain plague upon the Greeks! Having slain Gaia's son, you feign in your concern. Failing to outplay a satyr you cheat and reveal to all your cruel vanity." "Much might you have, but do not use it well: to smite the One, you rather doom the All What claim have you on the Odyssean crew? Though Laomedon not honor his own oath, you terrorize a City for its King. All subtlety is lost upon your watch; your temper indiscriminate and crude. With accuracy do my arrows strike upon their very targets, center'd; true. Your waves bring distant shores cacophony With gentle lyre I bless my environs. And thus you are unfit for your sea-charge." For four score days did this debate go on, ere both grew tiresome of each other's verse. Poseidon first unleashed his wat'ry wrath Good Cretans watched in fear as tempests rose and gyre-circling spirits of gale did haunt the waves to rise up past their earthen walls. Now sea-streams rained upon the Sun and Sky, not from above but rather from below. Apollo turn'd his chariot to the heav'ns, escaping closely this belligerence-- but now we go back to our mortal Friend. Up and down, up and down, Moiroi lead him up and down! +-----+ | III | +-----+ Devoid of light and warmth for now, the Cretans stay inside. But Icarus, still 'midst the crows, Must by his oath abide. His father's words ring in his ears, "Nor high nor low but stay Above the sea, below the sun, With Zeno fly halfway." With computation done he sighs, "What I must do is clear: the halfway point is now up high with Chaos at heights sheer!" His waxen wings he beats at length, and slowly he ascends. First past the birds, then past the skies, and fin'ly past dear breath. Up and down, up and down, Moiroi lead him up and down! Our hero gasping for a wind; his visage turning pale-moon white, his veins euclidean exact, stemming the flow of blood forthwith, The sirens sounding through his bones: harmonic waves of resonance. Up and down, up and down, Moiroi lead him up and down! +----+ | IV | +----+ With sunbeams gone and temperate climes demurred, at th'antipodes a natural change occurred: Cold waters lacking solar excitation formed glaciers of deliberation. And so the sea receded to the earth. Up and down, up and down, Moiroi lead him up and down! From up above our Ic'rus viewed this that bid him recalculate. Just one more time he thought those words: "Nor high nor low but stay Above the sea, below the sun, With Zeno fly halfway." And plunged into the atmosphere. His lungs fulfilled of vital air; This sweet relief distracted care- ful maint'nance of his height so dear-- And plunged into the waters fear'd. Up and down, up and down, Moiroi lead him up and down! +---+ | V | +---+ Icarus, having sunk into the ice-cold waters of the Mediterranean, was once again deprived of breath. Apnea, asphyxia, hypoxia, hypothermia, vasoconstriction--no shortage of syllables befell our Icarus, and when he arrived at the Stygian banks, he did not hesitate to board the ferry, but before they had crossed Icarus jumped out into the muddy river. +----+ | VI | +----+ When your time has come, Reader, for an extra drachma, Charon will point out our hero still swimming the Styx, nestled quietly between the wrathful and the sullen.