‘Arma virumque cano’ was birched
into pimply boys who ruled their thin red lines
at every degree. Till the sun set
on heart-shaped continents, DCs in the bush
carried Caesar in their khaki shorts. Gaul or
Matabele, order was where empire
prevailed. Rule of law is a state of mind.
Ovid exiled himself. Virgil wrote
two lines a day in his villa near Naples.
On unmapped plains, horsemen manoeuvred.
Their descendants herd goats. Power, I sing, and
illusion – managing a barbarous,