Midget, the really wise man’s god is gain:
All else is mere pretence, vaunting and vain.
What of each sea-girt pile and sanctuary?
My father’s temples are no use to me.
I scorn the bolt of Zeus you call devine!
How do I know his power is more than mine?
That’s all that counts.
And when the rain comes down
I’ve got my snug, dry cave, in which I drown
The thunder with the loud belches, feasting there
On some roast game, or veal, and banish care
With gurgling vats of milk. And when the snow
Comes from the bitter north, why then I blow
The embers to a blaze, throw on a tree,
Don a warm fur–and what’s the snow to me!
The earth bears grass, whether it will or not,
To feed my flocks and herds. So tell me what
I need with sacrifice–which none deserve?
My belly is the only god I serve!
It’s simple sense that man’s first care should be
To please himself: no other deity
Is half so pleasing as well-fed man.
As for the fool who forms himself a plan,
A code of rules to make him sick and sad,
I wish him joy of it, and think he’s mad.
I’ve got more sense than to deny myself!
So to the pot you go: nor prayers nor pelf
Shall save you. Here’s true hospitality:
A warm place in my–belly–presently!
Come in! The cauldron waits, the water boils:
My welcome frees a man from all his toils!