The Riddle of Three

it is addressed thusly:
A fragment.
it reads:
John Harmody, the first of three
Set a question for his fellows;
But before he could even squeak
it out Drake Elson ups and bellows:
"Dear friends, my umbrage I must have
And take more unless I hear
The answer to a riddle gave
To me this night last year."
Harmody, who likely winking
Carefully crafted those words
Now sat back, musing, thinking
While Elson sharpened swords.
"Three things I have in mind right now
The One it is the first,
then The Several and the Inifnite
now tell the best and worst!"
Ephrem the last (who looked up from his glass)
Smirked and said aloud:
"The answer that will likely pass
Will be how to grab a cloud."
Elson defied (and never lied)
Said, "With a vacuum pump.
Now for you at least you've tried
But Harmody's a lump!"
Then old John (with face quite long)
Had for Drake a bit of sport,
"There are answers right and wrong,
-- several -- is my retort."
"Since you are the author here,"
Said Elson with a roar
"Tell us why (do be a dear)
Or else be known a boor!"
"The answer depends, my good friends
On the one who asks,
And on what the answerer intends
To set for him as tasks.
The One it is the count of Truth
The single golden thread;
By it all things are joined, forsooth
It is thought's truest bread.
The Several are like in kind
All good and virtues true;
But different! Keep it in mind
If that path you would pursue.
The Infinite is beauty's law
A bright and endless band
A circle gold without a flaw
Counted with the sand."
Elson thought a moment more,
And in this way did conclude:
"Gray's right, and so you are a boor
To make us choose is rude!"

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