that loved gold beyond belief;
who killed his kin and his kilth,
and proclaimed them all a thief.
Avarice seeped pernicious
and thus muddled with his mind;
Ambitious and malicious,
the king grew cruel over time.
Suffering this king’s complex,
the relm held on by a breath.
He overtaxed his poor subjects
and they nearly starved to death.
The king paid no heed to cries
in his palace on the hill;
lofty, looking toward the skies,
he taxed them all further still.
Whence came a fatal evening
and raised a loud battle cry;
while the king slept and dreaming,
a plot hatched for him to die.
He poisoned his golden cup
made heavy his golden crown.
For all his wealth he did sup
and his pride thus laid him down.
Part by poision, part by sword;
he died on his bed of woes.
To die twice by hoard and horde,
self-slain and murdered by foes.
Be careful of what’s desired
and what you’ll do for a thing.
An ill-gotten gain acquired
ended ill when greed was king.
183 words, 32 lines, and 8 stanzas.
Image: Mithridates VI Eupator (pontus)
© Mike Williams