Caesar's Breakfast On The Ides Of March

i


If our fine Senators will not renew---

that is extend---all of my legal power,

so that the Roman people and empire

accedes to the dictates of my desire,

they will find this day darkened, and the hour

will be one that they, desperately, rue.

I am Caesar; from gods, I claim descent;

and, one of them though walking on this earth,

my greatness is vast---both in height and girth;

but little men, with littler minds, resent

that I am Rome, and I decide their lives'

useful values, directions, and content;

from me, and on me, only, their whole worth

as men depends, and from me it derives

its value.  Hand one of the sharper knives

to me---careful with that!---I want to spread

Egyptian jelly on a slice of bread.

Careful, I say:  I do not wish to bleed

not by some mishap---that I do not need.


ii


I hope the queen will raise our erstwhile son---

the Pharaoh Ptolemy Caesarion---

to be a man by whom belligerence

will be devout to serve the great god, Mars;

and that she will take firm measures that he

must not turn toward the bookish scholarly

pursuit of Hellenistic poetry;

or else, like some dreamer, stare at the stars

and think the patterns of the constellations

or moving lights in varied combinations

exemplify love for astronomy.

She must cause him to be extraordinary,

and capable of great accomplishment.

She must keep him out of that great library,

or what is left that I did not burn down

(now that was a convenient accident

that I could not spare effort to prevent;

and of those scrolls lost in the conflagration's

destruction, I do not the least repent).


iii


Come, now.  I do not want any delay

to make me late, even if fashionable,

in my attendance of the Senate's meeting.

I will enjoy their obsequious greeting

before they offer me their firm and full

concession to my previous demands---

Imperitor---the Roman People's lands

and wealth and their very existence mine

to govern by my own grandeur's design.

This will be a most memorable day:

I will hear what the Senators will say;

and to their vote, Might and Right will give way.

What possibly could go wrong, or astray,

with this first part of my ultimate Plan?---

as, after all, I am more than mere man.

I will embrace my greatest destiny

when the cowed Senate brings its gift to me.


Starward

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