new zealand electronic poetry centre

 

Robin Hyde


The Conquerors And Other Poems
 

Cassius
 
I had dared all for power: but there was my love for you
You of the proven worth and the grey, unfaltering eye.
So I set my teeth and joined in the battle we must needs rue,
And a ghostly raven shrieks at the shadows on Philippi.

Caesar or twenty Caesars, I had toppled them down from the throne,
I who could bide my time and trick a knave as my tool;
But yours was the will of madness. And when was your will but mine own?
So the name of Cassius lives as the name of a beaten fool.

When that in Rome to-day they speak of the heroes of old
Men who drew sword for Freedom, and struck, and the blow was true
Well would it be if they raised your likeness in beaten gold;
Staunch were you still in her service . . . even as I was to you.


 
 
 


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Last updated 11 September, 2003