Esteem you for your genius? Just a little—
But most of all your people loved the peace
That stood behind your fury. In the middle
Of your much-troubled heart, there dwelt surcease
From trouble’s weight and unrestrained increase,
From victory’s excess, defeat’s despair.
The calm philosophers of Ancient Greece
Had nothing on you, Old Marse Robert, there.
Oh, sure, you had a temper – and would dare
To show it now and then. Was that a flaw?
Our flawed humanity can hardly care.
Only the smallest souls here opt to gnaw.
Your whole life built a monument to duty—
A structure now unparalleled for beauty.

Thomas Riley

Tom Riley was born in Buffalo, but through study has become a Rebel from Yankeeland. He works as a freelance copywriter and is the author of Love Poems of a Hatemonger and The Ghost of Biden’s Brain.

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