The King's Ring
by Theodore Tilton
Once in Persia reigned a King,
Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel, at a glance,
Fit for every change or chance:
Solemn words, and these are they:
“'Even this shall pass away!'”
Trains of camels through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarcand;
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to rival these.
But he counted little gain
Treasures of the mine or main.
“What is wealth?” the King would say;
“'Even this shall pass away.'”
In the revels of his court,
At the zenith of the sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
He, amid his figs and wine,
Cried, “O loving friends of mine!
Pleasure comes, but not to stay:
'Even this shall pass away.'”
This week I seem to have been pacing through my working hours waiting for the factory siren to signal knock-off time. It's been tediously slow, and just as well, because we've been captivated by the Machiavellian twists and turns in federal politics. Good old ABC 24 News live broadcasts have been keeping us informed as we gather around wall-hung television sets to watch the succession of media conferences.
Lyndall Curtis has been t'rrific on the telly and Latika Bourke unstoppable on Twitter. There's no waiting for press clips as we've been able to hook-in minute-by-minute with online coverage and social media commentary. I'm no political junkie, but the outcome of the ballot on Monday will have direct repercussions on my paid employment, being a loyal public servant and all. So I come at it from the perspective of a Canberra insider (which makes it all the more gripping) and a voter (which makes it all the more tedious).
But what is really bothering me this weekend, getting down in the micro-world of my daily life (!), is the choice of blinds for the "side room" (pictured). I never like the fabric samples I bring home to suspend from the window sill on their coat hangers. They looked so promising in the show room. I don't know whether to go custom-made with exquisite Warwick materials or buy ready-made from BQ Designs. The proprietor of the local curtain shop must despair of me as I've been on her books since 2008, unable to make a decision. Like the Labor Party, I just need to get it over and done with, make a choice and accept the consequences. There seems to be a strangely apt analogy here!
It will all pass ... eventually.