question for Poul Anderson or Larry Niven fans

Lew Rockwell Fan

Have tasp, will travel.
Apr 5, 2016
Sol 3, most of the time
Somewhere in this very room I'm typing in I have paperbacks with the answers to my question, but even if I knew for sure which ones to look for, I'm darned if I could find them. (Yeah, I kinda neatness challenged). Poul Anderson (I think it was him, but correct me if I misremember) took a poem written long before by somebody else, threw out about half of it and added more lines to make a very different poem. One of his characters quotes to another and attributes it to 2 ancient poets, one of which is the real author of the poem he started with. The other is one of his minor pen names or something like that. Anyway, a sort of subtle in-joke that meant "me".

The poem, in Anderson's version, was about seafaring men in days of old, bringing home exotic stuff, like ivory, apes, peacocks, and "brags", and I believe a phrase was "know that they were men".

Somewhere Niven told the story of wanting to find out about this other poet, and having failed to find out anything, asking Anderson's daughter (Karen, maybe? or was that his wife?) which is how I read about the back story. So the questions are:

Was that in one of the van Rijn stories?

Where did Niven write about it?

Is there an copy of the poem on line somewhere? (not the single author original - Anderson's version)

If you know off hand, I'd appreciate the info. But don't go to any real trouble. I'll find the book in here someday.

/me comtemplates disorderly piles of books and sighs.
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I'm actually unfamiliar with the works, but I think Anderson has a long tale about "ivory, apes, and peacocks" in his Time Patrol (rather than van Rijn) stories. Karen was Poul's wife. Astrid is his daughter (and Greg Bear's wife). As far as Niven writing about it, or where or what the poem is, I don't know.

I did find that the phrase is actually biblical (2 Chronicles) and was used by John Masefield in a poem. Doesn't quite match, but maybe that's it?
Thank you, J-Sun. That Masefield poem may be the original of the poem Anderson modified. If I had to bet from my present ignorance, I think it more likely Masefield's poem (and I liked it enough that I'll look up the volume it came from and thank you for that also), I think it more likely that is ANOTHER poem taking off from the same biblical quotation. Although I don't remember it well, I have read the original of the poem Anderson modified, and I think it had a churchier sound if you know what I mean. The Masefield poem actually seems closer in spirit to the modified Anderson version, but this may all be the delusion of my half-memory of things read long ago. As I sift through the mess here, I'll watch out for Time Patrol. That might have been it.

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