The Barbarian At The Gate
It was read, after some confusion, on Saturday 23rd October, 2004.
The Barbarian At The Gate.
When the Barbarian stands at the gate,
And the sound of the death knell rings hollow,
One should not give up, or give way to despair;
There's a simple procedure to follow.
One should not make mock of his hair and his woad;
It will only aggravate him.
One should not rain down on him arrows and blows;
It will serve to irritate him.
No, engage with the fellow in matters of Art:
Let him read from his native romances.
Invite the bold gentleman onto the stage
To perform his indigenous dances.
Encourage the warrior to lay down his arms
For a pottery session, at least:
And foster his song: for music, we know,
Can soothe the most turbulent beast.
And should one engage in this "cultural" war,
One is more or less certain to win:
The Barbarian won't want to kick down the gate
If he's queuing with the others to get in.
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