Thursday, May 3, 2012

End of the Republic by Bob Atkinson


End of the Republic

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

confusion reigned with iron fist
no stability on this island
Corsica teetered beyond oblivion
soldiers marching, locals dying

should they go with the Genoese?
had claimed four hundred years the land
rights to govern this fine patch
dark mountains rising above light sands

should the Republic continue on
or would others take control
British, French, or Genoese
a confounded four way taffy pull

no fault found in wanting
the richness of this fine land
conquest rattled loudly when
greed required quick satisfaction

local spirits not born of idleness
Bonaparte would later show
carried strength of conviction
which laid many below the soil

the British muddled in again
application of remote irritation
French had always found a foe
in open fights or quiet subversion

sores with which to bleed an enemy
devious at most any opportunity
the British provided cash for arms
while denying all close associations

causing pain with which to gloat
over pain which had been caused
by those who sought to expand
what wasn't rightfully theirs at all

no side wanted more of life
no desire stronger than the ties
which had transpired ever since
the dawn of fighting men losing lives

with brothers to raise a toast
to the victors go the spoils
glasses high and spirits too
forgetting quickly all who died

no one knew what would become
of this island of ancient lore
presided over by wild and angry men
marched on by soldiers of war

to his messy situation
Paoli had been born to lead
in the time of the young Republic
doubtless no way to succeed

wasn't at the battle when
the bridge over Golo's waters
ran red with blood of patriots
who themselves were slaughtered

deferred command to Salicetti
while raising militia for support
of the new Republic's identity
was nearby but not so close

all who fought on their side
gave good as brave a can give
no better asked of these strong men
the same goes for their women

Ponte Novu, the stone bridge
spanned a river defended by
the best this land could supply
with long rifles, muskets, knives

is where a fateful stand against
that strong force of the French
meant some lay sacrificed
to freedom's beckoned voice again

determined for new lands of conquest
French soldiers marched there proud
seeking all violence could purchase
fires of freedom with gunfire to put out

carrying influence of the men
who fought with rifle and with sword
loyalty held more weight in these lands
than decorum, rights, or hopes

a show of ornate designs of war
in uniforms and smashing guns
killing those who would stop the French
from annexing all they marched upon

Serpentini fought her company
well as could be fought in war
a captain mindful of her duty
fierce women soldiers she had brought

Voltaire said of these fine people
.....their courage was not lacking
no humans had ever gone as far
as these in seeking freedom...”

walls of dead and dying souls
became their castle's flesh ramparts
created lasting treasures held
in Corsican minds and hearts

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