An Ode to Arthur

Rex quondam, Rexque Futurus
 

The red sun dusks on the wasteland,

All of the miracles of the Industrial Age reduced to sand.
 

Camelot, once immaculate in the public eye,

Is empty, bankrupt, starving,

The courtiers now deaf and blind.
 

I am not like the kings you have read about,

My back is bent, my shoulders limp.

They say Atlas bore the weight of sin,

I suspect more the weight of ignorance.
 

What good are minds made so free,

When despite the well of boundless wisdom,

We still drink from our own prophecies,

And indulge in little miseries,

Always wishing, but believing doing to be forbidden.
 

There is no eagle to eat my flesh,

Yet my burdens too come with a toll,

My liver’s castigation is gin and tonic,

A desire more toxic than sweet Guinevere,

Who—by the way—is no simple whore,

For love, you see, is the only resistance we have left.
 

Action did not need a sword,

And although I know this now,

The land lays wasted in justice’s name,

My good intentions abused,

Overtaken by a selfish few,

I drowned out evil with iron and flame,

When it could have sufficed with a well-said word.
 

And I now I live my regrets,

Knowing those who slaughtered innocents,

Under the auspices of the laws I made,

Will kill me in my arrogance,

I tried to force the world to be humane,

Unaware that power is compassion’s bane,

So guilty-hearted, I go to rest,

And pray my sun will dawn again.

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