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Mark F Hurlin

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The Tale of King Midas
by Mark F Hurlin
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a lyrical poem about King Midas, and how everything he touched turned to Gold and how he learned not to be greedy.

This is the tale of an ancient king
Who loved all thing that pleasure brings
Who as a babe at sleep in bed
A trail of ants marched to his lips and fed
The young prince as he lay asleep
With the choicest grains of wheat

Midas grew and gathered wealth
With which he might enjoy himself
But more than wealth, his fingers were green
To he loved to prune and weed and clean
His garden, every sort of rose
He planted there and watched them grow

One day the old satyr Silenus
The teacher and friend of young Dionysus
Had straggled, drunken, from the crowd
And staggering lost and singing aloud
Then he sleepy off the wine in Midas’ Garden
(he better pray that Midas gives him Pardon)

Silenus woke and by guard was brought
Before Midas in the palace court
What brings you here, I would like to know
‘Did you harm any of my roses.?’
You didn’t !?
Silenus. Take your pleasure
And dine and drink to double measure

So Silenus,the old fun loving Satyr
Grew steadily more drunk and fatter
All merrily the old soul chaffed
King Midas who with him laughed
And when both had ate and drank their sate
Silenus did this tale relate

And he told a story to the king
Of lands where he’d been wandering
(perhaps yarns spun from his dreams)
of lands beyond the oceans stream
peopled by folk of long life and health
with very vast amounts of wealth

Now Midas listened good and well
To all silenus had to tell
And wehen the story
Came to end
He said please do point the way my friend
For though Midas had more wealth than he would ever
He was overcome by greed

So he sent ships and many men
To sail the hyperborean
With eager brave intent to find
A land that existed only in Silenus’ mind
And since no such place was found by Midas’ men
They turned the fleet
And sailed home again

Silenus loved to loaf around
All day about the palace grounds
He grew indolent and quite lazy
And ate and drank all he could see
He thought” This is the life,
Good stuff !
But by now the king had had enough

By now the lord Dionysus
Was much concerned for his lost friend Silenus
Thjough not far need he search or roam
For Midas sent the old man home
And most pleased was the young god-boy
For Silenus was his favourite friend and joy

SoDionysus sent his gratitude to the king
Does Lord Midas require anything
For the Lord Dionysus will grant
Anything the king may want
And so the messenger was told
May all that Midas touch be turned to gold

And all that Midas touched upon
Turned to gold and brightly shone
Midas’table and his throne
And all the contents of his home
And soon he had turned everyone
To gold
Even his wife and sons

All this wealth it brought no good
For Midas could not drink nor eat his food
Not a morsel could be ate
But all turned to gold upon his plate
Golden fruits and golden meat
Golden wine and golden wheat

And so the days they did pass by
And a very hungered king did cry
That he did not want
No he could not stand
His golden stores of treasure grand
for he was hungry,thirsty, weak and dry
And not a morsel could that treasure buy

The poor king Midas he did sigh
If he did not eat he soon would die
Alone he blubberd in despair
He cursed himself and tore his hair
He could not stand it any more
So he crawled half dead to Dionysus door

So thirsty, famished, very thin
Midas begged Dionysus to release him
From the blessing that had become his curse
For what fate could be any worse
Midas begged, he cried implored
That life be restored
As it were before

The god he drank
Deeply perusing
He found the matter quire amusing
But although he laughed at Midas suffering
He had some compassion for the king
He said “ I hope you have learned your lesson well
Midas listened to what he had to tell

At the source of the river Pactolus
Near the mount of Tmolus
Ther you may drink and wash yourself
And be restored to natural health
And all your golden treasures stored
Shall all become as they were before

So Midas journeyed west to seek
The water spring near the mountains peak
His thirst was as a burning flame
But travelling onward soon he came
Upon the mountain
When he saw it’s water
He broke down and cried with tears and laughter

They asy that Midas was so relieved
That never again did he ever greed
He learned that his greatest treasure was his life
His health, his sons and wife

The sands of the river’Pactolus” some say
Are golden to this very day

My Notes- The Tale of King Midas

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