Max Gutmann: The Modern Ajax

The hero halts and his associates waits.

(Alexander Pope's translation of The Iliad)                                  

It doesn't seem quite kosher, to be candid.
The legalistic circumspection grates.
What ever happened, pray, to "single-handed"?
The hero halts and his associates waits?

I grant you that a hero might have mates,
Compatriots with whom he's sailed and landed,
But this cavorting with "as-so-ci-ates,"
It doesn't seem quite kosher, to be candid.

The man's credentials ought to be demanded.
A hero who so baldly hesitates?
It's far too cautious, far too even-handed.
The legalistic circumspection grates.

It isn't what the contract stipulates.
When was the job description countermanded?
The time was, heroes had much firmer traits;
What ever happened, pray, to "single-handed"?

I see, alas, the sands of time have sanded
Our hero down. The way he abdicates
His role strikes me as almost underhanded:
The hero halts and his associates waits.

Unable to subscribe to any canned id-
Eology, nor trusting to the Fates
Not to disperse in air and leave him stranded,
The hero halts and his associates waits.
It doesn’t seem quite kosher.