Does every life hang by a thread?
The Sword of Damocles was said
By Cicero in ancient times
To hold in peril he who dines
In opulence upon a throne
Beset by fear or fears unknown...
The flatterer, for it was he
Who yearned in the King's place to be
Dazzled by riches beyond measure
Craving these ripe fruits of leisure
Soon lost interest in the scene
When a sword point faced him from a beam...
Greed and jealousy pursue
Those at the top. Beware the view!
Who can a reigning monarch trust?
He knows such luxury is dust
All outward trappings just a sham;
How double-edged is every man!
(c) Poet in the woods 2017
Damoclès = an obsequious courtier
The reigning monarch = King Dionysius II, a 4th century B.C. tyrant of Syracuse