Why do trees along the river
Lean so far out o’er the tide?
Very wise men tell me why, but
I am never satisfied;
And so I keep my fancy still,
That trees lean out to save
The drowning from the clutches of
The cold, remorseless wave.
The Caesars and the Alexanders were
But men gone mad, who ran about a while
Upsetting kingdoms, and were slain in turn
Like rabid dogs, or died in misery.
Assassins laid in wait for Caesar; wine,
Amid the boasts of victory, cut short
The glory of the Macedonian;
Deception cooled the fever Pompey had;
Death was dealt to Phyrrus by a woman’s
Hand; Themistocles and Hannibal drank
Deep of poison in their desolation.