The Hydra Hercules defied,
Its nine diminished heads must hide
Before the baneful modern beast
Who has a thousand heads at least.
See how in horrid tiers they rise,
With straining ears and bulging eyes,
While, blinded by fierce calcium rays,
The trembling victim tribute pays
Of song or measure, mime or jest,
To soothe the savage Hydra's breast.
If she please not the monster's whim,
Wild scribes will tear her limb from limb;
Even if charmed, he rend the air
With hideous joy, let her beware;
For she must surely, soon or late,
Fall 'neath the hissing Hydra's hate.