Cleopatra’s glory

a poem by rm shanmugam chettiar, India

Cleopatra was the queen of Egypt;
Cleopatra was the queen of beauty.
She came to the throne at her eighteen
The first century BC witnessed it.

To get back her Egypt from her brother,
She sought the hand of Julius Caesar,
The mighty one Rome had ever seen,
And set to sell her asset of beauty.

While in exile, she was able to reach
Caesar when he chanced to visit Egypt,
By getting her smuggled in to his room,
Rolled up in a carpet sent as a gift

Cleopatra emerging from the roll,
Caesar was stunned and fell for her in love.
He made her queen of Egypt in no time
And made her his consort with all respects.

Bound by her charm, grace and wit together,
Caesar clued to her and bore her a son.
He brought her home to be adored by Rome.
They led a life, each proud of the other.

The rise of Caesar was the cause of his fall.
His rise in power and love for Egypt
Were good enough for his conspirators
To rise and annihilate him unaware.

Cleopatra with her son fled to Egypt
And Mark Antony succeeded the throne.
No wonder, her beauty arrested him.
No wonder, his valour imprisioned her.

.The Rome emperor and the Egyptian queen
Loved, like of which no pair ever did.
The spring sprang, love spurted, and the passion flowed.
She was all and she was the world for him.

He took to Egypt and slept with the queen.
His rivals from Rome used his weakness
And invaded the Egyptian sea.
War broke; Antony woke and fought but lost.

The majestic queen became the captive.
False news spread that she was killed. Shocked,
Antony killed himself with the sword he wore.
She saught to burry him with state honour.

She heard she would be taken to Rome,
To be chained and drawn in Rome she adorned.
Romans took care that she killed not herself
And so kept her ss safe amidst water.

She had serpents brought in the fruit basket
And had them sting her to join her lover.
She loved Caesar and lived a royal wife.
She loved Antony and lived a loyal wife.

A woman can love as much in succession.
Widowhood is not an impediment
And the land after the harvest is not waste.
Cleopatra is a perfect example.

‘Age cannot wither her, not custom stale
Her infinite variety; other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies.’ Shakespeare
0104.2008

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