Sorry ending for life’s dubious heroes

Lost in a razorflinging wilderness

and in ambition’s networked crossroads

velocities unmeasured for the ever quick

to grasp subseconds of a sparkle

and swim in only warm parts of the lake

–it wasn’t heartattack that killed him

it was heartache.

.

Arriving there before the fact

in sentiments logically squared

with rights of birth and plights of class

his words weighing heavy on ears untrained

promising Rome and hoping for a lucky break

–it wasn’t heartattack that killed him

it was heartache.

.

Many fierce battles won or lost

but fleeing had never felt so heavy;

stealthy weapons hiding on unwalked terrain

and thoughts as dim as paralysed arrows

left him no other course to take

–it wasn’t heartattack that killed him

it was heartache.

.

Notes:

For Marcus Aemilius Lepidus who, after an unsuccessful campaign to grab the power in Rome, fled to Sardinia where, according to Plutarch, he died not from the hardships of war or the shame of defeat, but because he learnt his wife was unfaithful.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Aemilius_Lepidus_(120-77_BC)

From Plutarch’s text:

“As for Lepidus, moreover, as soon as he was expelled from Italy, he made his way over to Sardinia. There he fell sick and died of despondency, which was due, as we are told, not to the loss of his cause, but to his coming accidentally upon a writing from which he discovered that his wife was an adulteress.”

Plutarch, Pompey, 16.6

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Pompey*.html

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