T is for Talleyrand toasting Miss Truth, By the side of her well, in a glass of vermouth, And presenting Mark Twain as the friend of his youth.
Socrates invented the art of cultivating a beautiful soul, perhaps because he was been born with such a famously ugly face.
M is Macduff, who’s prevailed upon Milton, And Montaigne and Manon to each try a kilt on.
D’s for Diogenes, Darwin and Dante, Who delight in the dance Of a darling Bacchante.
S is for Swinburne, who, seeking the true, the good, and the beautiful, visits the zoo, Where he chances on Sappho and Mr. Sardou, And Socrates, all with the same end in view.
Ancient philosophy proposed to mankind an art of living. By contrast, modern philosophy appears above all as the construction of a technical jargon reserved for specialists.
Socrates had no system to teach. Throughout, his philosophy was a spiritual exercise, an invitation to a new way of life, active reflection, and living consciousness.