|Greatness is effect far
more than cause.
Each hero is the servant of his fate,
On whom is laid the sacrificial weight
Reserved for those who would heed higher laws.
Given peace, I would have shunned applause,
Electing to remain a farmer, great
With long-gestating plans for my estate,
A much-loved labor lost to much-loathed wars.
So was I the father of a nation,
Having given over life and love,
Instrument of some far greater hand,
Not by choice but of necessity.
Glory was the means by which to fashion
The myth that would a king's replacement prove:
Only I would do, and that demand
Narrowed, deepened, scoured, chastened me.
Copyright by Nicholas Gordon