Dagobert to Childebert
Poor King! Knew ye strength stems from God alone?
For even Hercules or Samson falters.
I, blood of Merovech, served foreign altars
Since your father stole my locks and throne.
Was I as blind as Samson, too? Perhaps
I thought my power, robbed, lay in my tresses.
In fact, the crown itself, a Robe of Nessus,
Means nothing by the mayors’ pointed caps.
A king is born to rule. So has it stood
Since first the Lord saw fit kings to ordain.
Had I the might of Samson, then I could
Topple Grimoald’s palace round his head;
Instead, I’ll sit and serve my meager reign,
Till those who rule decide I’m better dead.
Daniel W. Galef has published poetry in Measure, Light Quarterly, and the Lyric, among others. He has also written short fiction, sketch comedy, science & technology journalism, and two musical plays, one of which won the First Prize at the 2016 McGill Drama Festival and the Krivy Award for Excellence in Playwriting. This poem is part of a series of “Imaginary Sonnets” modeled on those composed by Lee-Hamilton in 1888 in his collection of the same title–persona poems that function as verse soliloquies in the voice of literary and historical characters.