By Eric Hutchinson

Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?”–King Solomon

“We should be friends,” quoth Potiphar’s wife;
but Joseph turned, and ran for his life.
“Avoidance is not purity!,”
she cried; but he ignored her plea.

King Solomon, on the other hand,
was less obsessed with his wedding band.
“Self-centered codes are deeply flawed–
Thy commandment’s, um, exceeding broad!”

Now: which of them is more in line
with the spirit of our urbane time?
Old Joseph the neanderthal,
Or Solomon (around nightfall)?

Joseph, he’s so dull and boring;
Solomon is clearly soaring.
Joseph, self-protecting–tired;
Solomon, enlightened–wired.

Joseph, writing Pence fan fiction;
Solomon, anti-restriction:
“Time to join the modern age!
Increase the minimum wage!

Down with the patriarchy!
Its manners are indeed beastly!
My advice: make lots of pals,
a polyphonic friend chorale!”

And so, dear readers, you can see
the choice in front of you and me.
To be like Joseph? That’s a shame.
But Solomon? Well, he’s got game–

his dad was rich, sent him to Yale,
while rustic Joseph went to jail.

Eric Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.

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Posted by E. J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Associate Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College, where he also directs the Collegiate Scholars Program. He is the editor and translator of Niels Hemmingsen’s On the Law of Nature: A Demonstrative Method.