Spanish Silver

Ten tons of silver, Drake,
on his way round the waist
of the world to prove
English pluck,
the zipper of New Spain unhitched,
marking the subtle latitudes
to hint at Imperial diffidence.

Ten tons of crowns, for silver heads,
Elizabeth in her preservation
no prince for queens
yet alchemy’s afoot, a-stage
the globe expels pretenders, admirals
and King’s men, brawlers with pen and dagger,
Marlowe’s corpse found pierced in a muddy ditch.

 

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