Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

-Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach"

That eternally sad note found rest
Not only in the lonely playwright's ear
But also in the ear of a tyrant of no jest--
Pisistratus, brought home by the grey-eyed lady,
Who preferred a harsher music
Of pulleys and bone and sinew
Pushing giant blocks about
To build shrines free of doubt--
Houses of absolute faith
In the precious Olympian few:
Apollo, Athena, Dionysus, and Zeus.

Scholars nowadays hotly debate
The timing of a half-seen ghostly apparition;
"Who is the one who thought to change the definition?
When did 'oppressive' start to fit in?"
One poet maintains he knows the cause of the fruition
But has no idea of the exact date:

The people's champion laid his heart to his bed
And heard through the window the Aegean note in his head--
Sharper than his teeth gnashing together,
That tragedian's whisper
Coming from his own majestic mouth:
"Tyrannos."

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