Alex the Great could hardly wait
To visit the tomb of Cyrus
In order to see what Cy had ordered to be
Written right on his own necropolis.
“If I were weak, and thus not Greek,”
Alex to his secretaries supposed,
“I wouldn’t regret having a grandiose epithet
So as to immortalize the defeat of my foes.”
“Certainly the prose that Cy-boy chose
For his noble cubic crypt
Will adorn pages throughout the ages
With the splendor it depicts.
Once Alexander finally arrived,
He got the following translation
Of what was written on the stone
Of the Persian leader’s transfiguration.
“Passer-by, I am Cyrus,
Who gave the Persians an empire, and was king of Asia.
Grudge me not therefore this monument,
Nor this little earth that covers my body.”
Alex was stunned and a loss for words,
So he scratched some words into the rock:
“One day Arabs will come and will grudge you this ground
Tell the fools that it’s the tomb of the mother of Solomon.
And another day there will be weak rulers here
Who connect their reigns to yours and your father’s.
They won’t be Kings of Kings, like you.
Instead, they will be more like mere Turks.
Rest in peace!”
copyright, George Peknik