Monday 9 October 2017

Res Gestae

He called us to his bedside.
We brought our dictaphones,
Batteries refreshed
Ready for our Master's Voice.

He said, erect these words
On pillars of brass and stone
In every city of My empire:
“I changed the world forever.

I shut the gates of war, and three times
Peace achieved by force of will
And simple force whose equal none
Will see again for centuries.

These have been My times:
I already have a month of My own
And one day I know the years shall be counted
Beginning with the day I was born.”

He spoke for an hour or more,
listing the things he had achieved.
(I cannot remember them.)
When he was done, he closed his eyes.

He exhaled, and I thought
how frail and used-up he looked
And wondered if, when he had died
And had achieved his promised godhead,
I would think of him, the man deified,
As old and hoarse and dying.