I wore no diadem except my hair
no armour save my beauty. In my hand
my husband’s sword, no sceptre. In this land
for forty years I ruled. Then gave my heir

The Indus, the Euphrates and the Nile
to the third cataract. Forged elephants
from iron and from ivory. Great ants
brought gold in tribute. Not a crocodile

could eat a fish, nor kestrel take a mouse,
without my knowledge. Built the water gates
of Babylon. Stored corn, and oil, and dates
in the great cellars underneath my house

to feed my poor. I died and went to dust
Queen’s glory gone. Now symbol of mere lust.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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