“We are the salt of the earth! Sal terrae!
So they chanted, Trinity College students, all:
irreverent, daring not the saintly Saints (we)
who dared not even drink in residence. Such were
the shallow fifties: young men in tweed jackets, neckties,
who would swallow every half-washed lie or agitprop
spread by politicians magically who knew better than
we how to twist and prettify the world they made.
What goons what loons what silly tune-believing rubes jejune!
The question is, of course, whether those salterranean beasties
from Trinity were wiser for their irreverence or just as silly as we.
I’d like to think they made their way prudently, cynically, in the wide world,
free of our narrow-eyed tunnel vision, able to tell a hawk from a handsaw.
One could do a lot worse than be salt, pillar or no.