This poem is written more in a classic, Tudor style. But it is an original.
Who called out, when Adam’s son fell, who spied the crime
Of Abel in that field, who jealous wrought such everlasting shame?
The dust spake up to mortify itself, declare its offense –
For in league with Cain did he account himself,
His accomplice might he be ere he fail to report the wickedness
To Adonai Elohim, to filch the crime.
Upon those steps in Senatorial Rome, the conqueror wept
As into him fell the blades of friends and enemies alike,
Et tu Brute, rhymed he and with ambitions bled,
The rivulets of his noble blood staining white marble steps,
As lookers on contemplated consequential actions
And the fates, the muses let forth the plagues
The howling winds of revenge and usurpation on the world.
Were there no law above a man?
No constitution to which the wretched might appeal –
Kindling for the flames of freedom fought and won
On fields of battle that with words are waged?
Can ever words battle swords or ink outstain blood,
When men of war beat plowshares into swords,
And forget the glory of Cincinattus –
Who, when called upon in his wide vale, surrendered himself
Gave to the people of that old republic his life,
His wealth, his honor – but forgot not the till,
Remembered the smell of the oxen pulling, the dew of the early morning,
The grime of the field recalled fondly,
So that when his general’s time had passed,
He gladly traded purple for a meeker cloak.
Or murderous Edward, who was called liege lord,
To Albion’s earls and princes was appealed,
And to the windy hall he there repaired and pierced,
Each still born notion, and every rightful claim
Ever made upon that thorny seat
No thistle king to crown; but rights, his own, to name.
Speak not a little of the man who robs for bread,
Nor those who in such petty violence take pleasure,
Like roving Vikings terrorizing city streets
The cut purses and pour abuse like vinegar over the honor of gentler folk;
Burning spires and priests and shaving holy books – alas! alack!
Mere foot soldiers of the enemy, of the Prince of this World are they,
Carrion tomorrow, if but kings today.
(To be continued)