Martin Robertson

Now and Then

“Tell Lady Byron…”

What did he want her told?  Why indeed

want to tell her anything at that late hour?

Why her?  


The whores and the boys of course were nothing

—and Caroline, he may have had a thought for her

but one would not expect him to try and communicate.

But what about the Guiccioli? about Augusta?

and his friendships, which had always so much of love?

Why narrow, cerebral, unhappy Annabel?

the last person who should have picked on him,

still less been taken by him.  Why reach out to her

at the moment of truth?  


Well, she was his wife,

and marriage is inexplicably but undeniably

a special relation.  It can be destroyed,

vilified, denied, treated as not being there,

but it was, so is.  Even that marriage had been

a marriage.  


So, as the mists came up and choked

that very fiery particle, it was Lady Byron

he wanted told… what?