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Post "Apologia Hiltoniana," 1949
Created by John Eipper on 03/13/14 3:15 PM

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"Apologia Hiltoniana," 1949 (John Eipper, USA, 03/13/14 3:15 pm)

New content for WAIS has been slow today, which I take as an invitation to share more of my finds in the Ronald Hilton Archives at Stanford's Hoover Institution. Today's installment is a charming bit of verse, titled "Apologia Hiltoniana," attributed to a certain M. P. G., who studied with Prof. Hilton at San Diego State University in the summer of 1949. The poem appeared in the 25 August 1949 edition of SDSU's student newspaper, the Daily Aztec.

Prof. Hilton was quick to dismiss any poem in sing-song rhyme as "doggerel," but he treasured this opus enough to print it on heavy card stock and keep it in his files. I immediately recognize the genius of our anonymous bard MPG: sixty-five years ago s/he distilled the RH essence to its core elements.


"Ad pedem" the Aztec: I'm just a-wiltin'
Under the tutelage o' this here Hilton!
The things he expects are just a fright;
He keeps ya up studyin' all night,
Then, if yer mind just wavers an inch
He's sure to catch ya, that's a cinch!
A lion pouncing on a fawn
Could double for him, if he sees you yawn;
And if ya try any subterfuge, ya
Wish he had stayed all his life in Perugia.
So don't let yer mind ever falter or saver,
Nor don't try to bluff him with your palaver.
'Taint every day you can meet the Sorbonne
All hail to Hilton (the son-of-a-gun).
This here professor is mighty clever:
Without discouragin' yer endeavor
He eggs ya on, then laughs you to scorn,
And makes you wish you were never born!
His protestations are enigmatic,
Some democratic, some "dem"-autocratic.
Of a wee, bonny lassie he's the very proud pater,
Yet he tries to make out he's a woman-hater.
If you try to fathom his tastes, it's a cinch ya'll
Soon find out they're cosmoprovincial.
Oh, great Anglo-Saxon with Latin leanings,
We're really grateful to harvest your gleanings,
So please forgive us if we grumble
And please believe us, your most humble pupil,

M. P. G.

JE comments:  "He eggs ya on, then laughs you to scorn"--isn't this the raison d'etre of WAIS?  Or is it Prof. H's intolerance of nonsense?  His "cosmoprovincialism," which has just become my favorite 65 year-old neologism?

RH was 38 when these lines were written, and note that he left this impression on his students during a brief summer course. 

On behalf of WAISdom, my eternal thanks to MPG for the tribute.

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