. Cordelia's Choice Ye gods, what should I do with such ill news? My father, once the king, is now insane And stripped of dignity. What must I choose To set things right? Yet, pray, why should I fain Raise up this man who banished me from sight And left me shamed and tongue-tied, dowerless, A paupered princess? Still, through bleakest night In dreams I hear him storming, powerless. No less than his, my bruiséd heart is broken For pity’s sake as much as for my own. He wanted honey in his ear, some token Of ostentatious love with blandished tone. I spoke with deep sincerity of right Affection owed according to my bond. But peevishly, he took this as a slight Although no daughter could have been more fond. Ruled o’er by vanity the king preferred My scheming sisters’ flattery and lies. And now he’s homeless, mad, his howling heard From Kent to France. O gods, relieve his cries! I’ve married well. I need not be involved. ‘Twas he who in his dotage caused great wrong. Ensuing that, was not our bond dissolved? Yet he grows weak while my sure heart stays strong. Despite rejection can I him disown? I can’t! My conscience will not brook the sight! Though destiny is never clearly known I’m certain now of how to set things right: I shall return to Britain. When we meet Our eyes will shine with reconciled love. Forgiveness given and our joy complete, We’ll share long lives beneath the stars above! . . Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.