a historical tragedy with very real implications on everyday life and endeavor

The Emperor Maximilian

Oh Max! Poor Max! Hapless scion of Vienna
Heritor of Spain and France and duchies
Rich in gold and bounty, surrogate of Caesar
Emperor of Mexico; oh Max! Poor Max!
Was it your fate to be but History's goat?

The summers were then, of you and Carlotta
At court of the Aztecs, under your herald
Twin headed eagle, iron claws, that Habsburg jaw
Which spoke noble words to artist and courtesan
While Carlotta wined in silk and chic parisienne

But Max! Poor Max! Could you not see
That the peons were unhappy? How
Could you misjudge Juarez or not discern
The cold hand of Bonaparte, a third removed
Nor Bazaines' treachery, the weak reed that was

The summers flit fast, poor boy, and winter creeps
From the North; Juarez, stalking with American hands
Yet for a while it seemed a Golden Age
Of ballroom dances, of beauty and poesy
Alas! Carlotta's mind is lost and darkness descends

Juarez has taken Vera Cruz, pathway to sea!
Even now, we hear, he marches for Orizaba!!

Pretence is but life, poor Max, rush into fate
For death or glory, men must do their act
And so, poor Max, with his world falling apart
Thrust himself into my poem with uncertain arms
Like the glorious Charge of the Light Brigade!

Oh Maximilian! Poor Max, archduke of Austria
Heritor of Spain, surrogate of Caesar, lord forever!!
Alas you too were but a man, with ego and na´vetÚ
And thus History's goat for bereft of title and state
Bullets... your blood nourishes independent Mexican sand

Oh Max! Poor Max! Alas you were but a man

Poetry by richard ugbede ali
Read 687 times
Written on 2007-02-16 at 14:07

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