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The Ides of March

by Robert Edmondson

Today I wish to contemplate
A very interesting date;
A date that even now can chill
The blood and joyous spirits kill.

A date that still has arcane powers
To sabotage our happy hours.
A date that still rings down the years
To frighten ultramodern ears.

In every life are many tides
That ebb and flow but on the Ides
Of March, a time of sudden death
For Caesar, with his final breath.

A famous and successful life
Concluded by a colleague’s knife.
His end became a fate foretold
‘Impossible to break the mould’.

The soothsayer’s doom-laden phrase
“This date will be your End of Days
Your fate’s decided by the gods
You cannot fight against such odds.”

Repeated twice within the play
By Shakespeare of that tragic day
“Beware the Ides of March“ – no chance
To change the movements of the dance.

Would any of us wish to know
The date on which we have to go?
This ignorance we may condone.
Some truths are better left unknown

Predestination or Free Will?
Just thinking of them makes me ill.
So live life fully and besides
Stop worrying about the Ides!

© Robert Edmondson 2023

Robert Edmondson is a retired biochemist living in Dorking, Surrey, with interests in folk music, photography and natural history, especially insects.

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