Traianus Cæsar was a busy man;
He had the whole Imperium in his hands
And a war with the Dacians to organize,
So it was with annoyed surprise
That he frowned at the woman in the street
Who stood in his way and tried to entreat
For justice on her humble behalf;
Nero or Caligula would have cruelly laughed,
But Trajan was polite, yet firm
As he stepped aside: "Your pardon, ma'am;
The Senate awaits me, and I need to plan
An invasion this year, it cannot wait...
Pray go to the Urban Praetor, he'll help;
I'm far too busy--"
He paused; her smoldering, tear-rimmed eyes
Shrank that tall strong Cæsar down to size:
"Too busy? Stop being Emperor, then!
What use are you as a ruler of men
If you don't take care of those you protect?
I've been to the Praetor and your own Prefect,
And they wouldn't even let me in the door!
What exactly are you all here for?"
Trajan's stern mighty face softened into a smile
And he stood and listened for a good long while
As the poor woman poured out her grievance to him,
And he gave her the justice she deserved and demanded;
A truly just monarch and even-handed
Was Traianus Cæsar--may our own leaders recall
They are here to serve both the great and the small.
Was this poem's incident based on some incident about the Emperor Trajan, or just on his generally good reputation as one of the better Caesars?
This is an actual anecdote handed down to us; there are many such incidents in ancient and medieval history--I recall reading about King Philip IV of France, standing in the middle of a muddy street as he listened to the petition of some common citizen! As I said, our politicians and leaders today could learn from the example of these rulers of the past!
Fantastic stuff. I'm just watching Spartacus: Vengeance at the moment, love all the Roman intrigue
I'm just discovering Game of Thrones!
Brilliant! I love it!