Antony Wrestles with His Love for Cleopatra: a Cento – Wilda Morris

These strong Egyptian fetters I must break;
if I lose mine honour, I lose myself.
I made these wars for Egypt and the queen 
whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine.
I must from this enchanting queen break off.	
Would I had never seen her.
O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? 
I found you as a morsel cold upon 
dead Caesar’s trencher; nay, you were a fragment.
My heart was to thy rudder tied.
Let’s have one other gaudy night.
The nobleness of life is to do thus.
Alack, our terrene moon is now eclipsed.
Thou, residing here, go’st yet with me,
and I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
This is a soldier’s kiss: rebukeable.

Wilda Morris, Workshop Chair of Poets and Patrons of Chicago and a past President of the Illinois State Poetry Society, has published numerous poems in anthologies, webzines, and print publications. She has published two books of poetry, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant (RWG Press) and Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick (Kelsay Books). Her current projects are a book of poems riffing off science facts and theories, and a collection of poems playing with Shakespeare’s words. Wilda’s grandchildren say she lives in a library. Her poetry blog at features a monthly poetry contest.

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