“Nero” by Charles Freundlich


Where is my trusty lyre,
My Roman attire?
Where are my food-tasters,
And my courtly time-wasters?

Though my songs cannot compare
With those of Jerome Kern's
Who else can write songs
While old Rome burns?

Let me tell you,
Before I am through,
There will be an eruption
Of utter corruption
And though many call me "Sire"
Even I will be for hire!

After all, "FIDELIS SEMPRA"
I am the mighty Roman Emperor!
My name is Nero
And compared to me,
Everybody else is Zero!