Two hundred years ago, an English book
employed vocabulary obsolete
these days, or rare at least – we seldom look
askance, or box some ears, or take conceit
to mean idea – I’m sure you understand.
I came on this one recently – it stole
my grin delighting me: it’s “self-command.”
How utterly distinct from “self-control.”
We use the latter to suggest restraint –
our selves inhibit us from thing or act.
But self command connotes no brake or feint,
conveying a finesse, a form exact,
a step refined. I think we should relapse
to self-command, before our ways collapse.