Pride Goeth Before a Fall or Ambition goes awry


Waiting in impatience for
flight to be invented,
Icarus flipped his lid.
Why wait? he quipped,
gazing at the sky,
yearning to fly beyond
the limits of the known world.

He gathered components
stealing some –
never being one for discipline –
begged plumes from birds-
and wax from bees;
made strong string
from leaves;
cobbled all together
into a contraption
Now he’d discover whether
miracles really happen.

He climbed Mount Olympus
as a handy take-off point,
for his heroic moment,
strapped on his clumsy apparatus,
leapt with sublime divine afflatus
into the unknown.

For a moment or two,
free-flight brought cries of joy
until the boy, in careless rapture
soared too high to Phoebus capture.
Beeswax melted
spare parts dispersed
Poor Icarus cursed
and dived head first
to painful perdition.

Father Daedalus, on solid ground,
acknowledged the prudence he had found
in the words of the prophets –
“It will all end in tears.”
And it did.

Fables are the order of the day at dVerse – new or old all welcome.  So I resurrected an old one of mine, which is also a very old story with a moral.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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20 Responses to Pride Goeth Before a Fall or Ambition goes awry

  1. Pseu says:



  2. restlessjo says:

    I like it! Both the moral and the verse 🙂


  3. I remember this one! I always liked it.


  4. I do love your intro to mythology. You make it so much more fun! :0)


  5. Alice Keys says:

    I like mythology very much. Thanks for bringing this one to life. 🙂


  6. atrm61 says:

    Ha!ha!Viv,this was such a fun read on the famous mythology of Icarus-loved your take:-)


  7. Oh, well done, well done indeed!


  8. Bodhirose says:

    Always loved that story too…a good lesson to be learned through it. Nice, I liked your spin on it.


  9. Ron. says:

    I’m always a sucker for anything Icarusian, Viv, and this does not disappoint. Well done!


  10. claudia says:

    you know… i admire his bravery and inventiveness.. taking the risk to fulfill his dreams… but yeah…it’s a risk and if too much pride is involved we tend to overestimate our own strength and possibilities..


  11. Mary says:

    I wonder if the free flight was worth it…for just a few minutes. Some experiences are worth it, no matter how short they are! I enjoyed this, Viv.


  12. Brian Miller says:

    oy, to dream of touching the skies…only to be dashed upon the rocks…
    was it worth those brief moments? perhaps,
    but too, make sure you bring a parachute…


  13. Grace says:

    I specially like this part:

    For a moment or two,
    free-flight brought cries of joy
    until the boy, in careless rapture
    soared too high to Phoebus capture.


  14. colonialist says:

    Fun! Phoebus’s car did shine from far to make or mar the foolish fates?
    No – Phoebus’s car did shine from near to put poor Icarus out of gear …
    Then Wilbur and Orville wouldn’t listen …


  15. Brendan says:

    And the moral — faux wings are lousy oars up in the divine afflatus. Second moral: if you’re going to enjoy a flight of fancy, better bring a parachute. Loved it!


  16. hanna says:

    Viv, I love the way we are all scattering morality quotes this evening.
    Do you reckon there ever was a grain of truth in this story? They say that myths were often based on something that acutally happened.


  17. The icaros myth is one of my favorites… Both you and KB went similar ways… love it.


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