Poems of the Week

The Supreme Principle

by Philip Kitcher

When a benefit’s bestowed
Fair returns are always owed:
We should thank him for the favors that he did,
Grant his plea, allow a stay,
Help his efforts to delay.
Every quo should have some corresponding quid.

If we violate this norm,
We shall summon up a storm.
He will know we knew what actions he’d forbid.
He’ll annul the Constitution
To exact his retribution,
For each quo must always have its proper quid.