Frontline poetry

Submitted by Anon on 18 June, 2003 - 6:16

Dictator by Ruthven Todd
From a strange land among the hills, the tall man
Came; who was a cobbler and a rebel at the start
Till he saw power ahead and keenly fought
To seize it; crushed out his comrades then.
His brittle eyes could well outstare the eagle
And the young followed him with cheers and praise
Until, at last, all that they knew - his nights, his days,
His deeds and face were parcel of a fable.

Now in the neat white house that is his home
He rules the flowers and birds just like a king,
And, Napoleon by the sundial, sees his fame
Spread though the garden to the heap of dung;
"All that I do is history," he loudly cries
Seeing in his shadow his romantic size.

(1939)

Ruthven Todd (1914-74) was born in Edinburgh and best known for editing the works of William Blake.

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