Octavian In Octosyllabics, Or Tetrameter.

Octavian loved to dictate

Rome's laws as his own police state.
And not too long after he died,

this Rome he structured crucified

a Galilaean carpenter

that Pax Romana should abide,

and Pax Augusta long endure.

Henceforth Rome stood straight, cold and tall
and full of marbled civic pride,

flaunting jackboots and uniforms . . .

until apocalyptic storms
would tailspin Rome to its long fall;

until it would raise up, obscenely,

old El Duce, Ben Mussolini.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

The last line alludes to Ezra Pounds Pisan Cantos, the first of which refers to Mussolini, whose first name was Benito, as Ben.

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