All Roads Lead to Rome

By: Louis Grudin (1922)

She bore the smear of insult on her face,
And heard the ruffian voices, and the din
Of penny horns and whistles that had been
Her heart; and she knew only this disgrace—

That one had dressed her in a ragged gown.
Caesar had been met in various ways;
Like thought too vast to feel or to erase,
She knew the hosts of Rome were sweeping down

In various fashions Caesar had been met—
With crimson violence or more brilliant lies,
The poisoned fang, or chain of chariot.
She did not choose, but slain by her surprise,
She could not see the choice that waited yet—
The veiled, derisive, plebeian disguise.

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