Poetry of Kansas

Julius Caesar

        I sometimes tire of daily news as dry exchanges
I peruse; I long to quit this sordid grind and seek a
tonic for the mind___to single out some classic, old,
wherein a wondrous tale is told of knights and wars
and mountain steeps and castles with their donjon
        Last night while ruminating round, upon the
mantelpiece ! found some mental fodder, cut and
dried, which told how Julius Caesar died.
        This Caesar was a Roman bold, who from his
wars brought slaves and gold. Now certain knockers
in the land united in a secret band and plotted how
to take his life, but fair Calphurnia, Caesar's wife, in
some way seemed to get a nudge that someone owes
her man a grudge, that Brutus, Cassius, and the rest
would stab him through his fancy vest. And Caesar,
musing on the way, thus to Marc Antony did say:
        "Now, mark you, Marc, yon Cassius, mien; he is
too long and lank and lean. Give me big men who
sleep o' night, whose waistbands are extremely
tight." Thus portliness he did defend and proved
himself the Fat Man's friend.
        The wary crew soon laid their plan and waited
long to get their man. "He is ambitious," Brutus
said; though thrice had Caesar shook his head, and
thrice the crown he did refuse. They murmured:
"Don't it beat the deuce? Did'st ever hear of such a
thing? He does not want the job of King. Perhaps
he seeks a higher place and thinks ere long to be the
        And so they shouted Caesar's name and ran their
daggers through his frame, till at their feet he fell
and died and they at last, were satisfied.
        Marc Antony was Caesar's friend and got sweet
vengeance in the end and all of those who wrought
his doom, ere long had scooted up the flume.

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Pages 82-83

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June 22, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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