The Ides of March
by Lisa E. Pugh
with apologies to Dr. Seuss
The citizens of Rome liked Julius a lot.
But the Senators at the Capitol did not.
Those men loathed Julius, right down to his sandals:
His power, his ego, his ambitions and scandals.
His tongue was too clever, his manner too slick.
With so much fame, he could wreck the Republic.
He wanted an empire with him at the top.
They would not allow it, he had to be stopped!
He’d be intolerable, far more than now.
We must stop his Empire from coming, but how?
Then they got an idea.
An awful idea!
The men got a wonderful, awful idea.
“We know just what to do!” they cried, honing their knives,
“Kill him, to save the Republic and our lives.”
The fifteenth of March was the date that was set,
A time of feasting and settling of debts.
Their plans, almost doomed by the words of a seer,
Were saved when Julius replied with a sneer.
“The Ides are here,” the tyrant crowed with contempt.
“But not gone,” was the oracle’s final attempt.
“Phew!” Cassius sighed, matching his allies’ dark smiles.
They pulled out their blades and spread across the tiles.
They each took a stab at it, they each took a whack;
A snick and a snack, a quick slice and a hack.
And when the tyrant lay dead, they let out a cheer,
“Surely history will remember us here.
We saved Rome from Caesars, we protected our power,
We alone stood as bastions of freedom this hour.”
The result of his death was not what they hoped for;
There was no peace or prosperity, just civil war.
Into the chaos, did the adopted son stride.
So, with Julius’ death, the Republic died.
Despite their plotting and murder most unpleasant,
The power of the Senate was a mere remnant.
They didn’t stop the Empire from coming.
— It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same.