Caroline Lamb

I could not live enough!
Another round, another buzzing flute!
Come now, Gordon, break this ancient knot.
I’ve painted myself Persian, as you like. Notice the scruff?
Merely a bit of pencil, dot-by-dot…
Of course, you shaved. Always the bride & I the brute.

How well we understood our parts!
When I was Dido, pyre & wince,
you capered like some silver planet in a peacock shawl,
clucking at heroes with your highway arts;
or when I played the Furies with their whirlwind scrawl,
you were Anna not the prince!

Gladstone

“–and so I will, by hook or hell! Sincere
and thoroughly deciphered, Yours: Gladstone.”
…Or snap the pen between my teeth! This green,
this green? Remove it, he is dead! My peers,
back-bench Iagoes, fret their beards. The Queen?
What can or could I say? “All suns must end”?

No. Too mannered, too Lucretian. She’ll need
my tears – perhaps I pointillate each page
with flecks of water, or would ale show best?
Words, then effects. I said, remove these weeds!
Green mocks me… Old Lion, his paws & breast
more thorn than claw or pelt… I’ve fought my age