Over and over, he petitioned us, nagged at us.
Always, he had someone’s ear:
a word dropped here, a smile there,
as if we could be bought by flattery.
He thought to threaten us, too,
by dining greedily with those
who would have tipped us
from our perch if they could.
But there was no money;
certainly, there was none
for such a madcap a scheme as he
had laid before us. A kingdom
is not made by marriage alone –
and the expenses of war are not niggling.
I would wager there were never two poorer
kings who rode boldly into battle than we.
In the end I set him packing but my lord
was tender-hearted and sent after him
with soft words and inducements
whereupon he came loping like a wolf at dusk
to scavenge on the carcass of the Crown.
It is true that, by then, we had Moorish gold
but the cost of his adventuring was endless.
Voyage after voyage after voyage he made;
and the mountain of his pride scraped the sky.
Now you tell me his name is writ larger than mine,
this man who was all greed and vainglory;
while I, who made Spain, looked for grace alone.
Tell me wherein lies the justice in this?
Abigail Wyatt lives near Redruth in Cornwall in the UK with David, her singer-songwriter partner, and Percy. her Jack Russell Terrier. She loves the fact that her home is near the sea but hates it that it hardly ever snows. She likes red wine and black coffee and hates injustice. Her favourite poet is Emily Dickinson.
© 2015, Abigail Wyatt