Who'll Stop the Thane?
[Ernest Bloch: Macbeth, Long Beach Opera]
Just Sayin'

Epithalamium Redux Redux (Slight Return)

Bartolomeo Cesi - Two Men Kissing in Florence, 1600
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Epithalamium

I

Hymen, Hymenaeus!
Gay men and lesbians
Flock to the City Hall,
Follow their bliss,

Purchase their licenses,
Swear to their permanence,
Pose for the camera crews
Sharing a kiss.

II

Damned, sir?  They’re damned, you say?
Possibly, possibly:
Love has led millions to
Suffer a Fall.

That’s for the next world, sir;
Here with the living — well,
What was it Chaucer said?
“Love conquers all.”

III

Poets, sir. Love poets.
Some of the best have been
Gay, sir.  Consider this
List I’ve compiled:

Wystan Hugh Auden and
C.P. Cavafy and
Sappho. James Merrill, Thom
Gunn, Oscar Wilde.

IV

Legally, legally,
Should an impediment
Rise to the marriage of
Minds that are true?

Sure as there’s only one
Race, sir — the human race —
How would you feel if it
Happened to you?

V

Citizens, citizens,
Leave to your churches these
Questions of sanctity,
Tough and profound.

Secular governments
Ought to facilitate
Binding of lovers who
Yearn to be bound.

VI

Hymen, Hymenaeus!
Cleave to the one who’s your
Heart’s true companion, the
Thou to your I.

Now, when the times are so
Fearsome we all must, as
Auden says, “love one a-
nother or die.”

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In view of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions this morning on issues of same-sex marriage, including the apparent restoration of that institution here in California, I am republishing—for the fourth and likely final time—my 2004 double dactyl paean to same.

The full history of the poem was summarized on its third publication, last year.

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