Date: September 26, 2023 10:41PM
We had to memorize 100 lines of poetry in 7th grade.
First, I memorized the most famous of Hamlet's soliloquies, the "to be or not to be" one... But it is only 33 lines.
So after reciting it to Mrs. Anderson, I went to work on "Horatio at the Bridge." I didn't then count how many lines it had, but it looked long. The next time I told her I was ready to recite, she asked what poem I'd selected. When I told her, she gave a look of, "Wow, I'm impressed!"
So I began. And then, I stopped after the 67th line and sat down. There was a brief look of confusion on her face...and then thunderclouds gathered on her face...
"So, I'm guessing that you have recited 100 lines of memorized poetry to me, correct?"
"You did exactly 100 lines, and no more..."
"Do you know what happened, how it ends?"
"Aren't you curious?"
"Ummm, well, he either lived or died there on the bridge. I want to suppose that he lived. It makes sense that he succeeded because Rome wasn't conquered then, so he must have succeeded, but it probably cost him his life."
"And if he did die, you'd rather not know?"
"Yes, ma'am. I don't like sad endings. I hated 'Ol Yeller'..."
"Oh... You'll be happy to know that Horatio and two others who helped hold the bridge survived despite the odds because the bridge over the Tiber collapsed. The other two Romans scampered off just before it did; Horatio went into the swollen river in full armor but survived and, along with becoming the stuff of legends, apparently lived a long and happy life."
Wasn't that nice of her to tell me that?