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A Marvellous Ode

Aug 15, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 45 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Editor’s note: On March 1, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a mysterious dark lady approached me in Harvard Yard and pressed a sheet of paper into my hand. It was entitled “To Her Chris Christie,” based on Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” and we were happy to share it with our readers on our website (if you’re curious you can read it at www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/her-chris-christie_552733.html).

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Last week, on the evening of August 4, the same lady suddenly appeared beside me in a restaurant in New York City. She was in tears, which I attributed to the 500-point drop in the stock market. No, she explained. All her money was in gold, so she was doing fine .  .  . but she was weeping for our country. She informed me that the muse had visited her again and said that her new ode’s message was more urgent than ever. We at The Weekly Standard agree and are pleased to have it speak for us.

To Our Coy Non-Candidates

For Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie,
Jeb Bush .  .  . and Others

Had we but world enough, and time,

This coyness, sirrahs, were no crime.

We’d gather round for long debate

On aspects of our parlous state;

In Jersey, Miami, on the Hill

You would ponder; while we who till

By the Potomac would await

At length a presidential slate.

And you should, if you please, refuse

Till the conversion of the Jews.

 

But at our back we all now hear

Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all before us lie

Deficits through eternity.

Our greatness shall no more be found,

Th’economy has run aground,

The markets plunge, jobs disappear,

The president leads from the rear.

Iran gets nukes, Assad kills scores.

History will judge who forbore

While his quaint honour turned to dust,

His political capital to rust.

You may prefer a fine and private place,

But duty summons to the public space.

 

So therefore when the moment calls,

Quick before the curtain falls,

While many round you eager stand

Ready to lend a helping hand,

Now do step forward while you may;

No longer dither and delay,

But manfully embrace your fate,

And boldly be a candidate.

Help our country with due haste.

An election’s terrible to waste.

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