for Eric Zivot
I always coveted my brother’s wife,
Nearly as much as his majestic throne—
That he should be so blessed was like a knife
Stuck in my heart. I yearned for them alone.
And yet I ever played the courtier’s part,
Dancing attendance on their highnesses,
Currying favor, keeping dark my heart
So none might know my treachery or guess.
Then after many years I saw her fade
In her affection for the busy king,
Distracted with affairs of state, arrayed
Always for battles—while I bade her sing.
Behind her back I made my desperate move,
Which now the mad-brained prince is out to prove.