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To the Likeness of a Captain in Cromwell's Armies

 

Even the walls of Mars would not impress

This captain, whom the Lord's word fortifies;

From another light, another age, his eyes,

That have looked out on slaughter, look at us.

On the sword's hilt the hand just now alighting;

The war moves through a countryside of green;

Beyond the dark smoke England can be seen,

Horses and glory and your day of fighting.

Ambition and desire, captain, are snares:

Vain is your armor, vain the pride and power

Of man, whose whole existence is an hour;

All of this has been over now for years.

The steel destined to wound you has turned to rust,

And you are now among the damned, like us.

 

                                                             after Borges

 

Robert Mezey

 

 

From Collected Poems: 1952-1999, University of Arkansas
Press, 2000.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background
by Grapholina


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