“Death is king, and Vivat Rex!”
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson
He wields the scepter mortals must obey:
The magistrate and thief, the saint and whore,
The millionaire and pauper, wit and bore,
Philosopher and dolt—his royal say
Undoes them all. His conquered foes give way
Beneath an awful power none ignore:
His throne’s encircled by the growing score
Of stones that keep his triumphs on display.
And yet, distraught, this monarch still must brood:
Around a cross he’d raised upon a hill
Named Golgotha swirl rumors of defeat:
Bold fishermen, their words too strong to kill,
Spread news of One with wounded hands and feet
Who wears a crown he won upon that rood.