Poem: Niccolò’s Warning
“Tis better to be feared than loved,” is what the statesman said.
But what love can blossom when a tree lacks roots or branches?
What fear can grow when a trunk is weak and frail?
When power is not won by virtue or fortune,
But given as a favor by those far more powerful than yourself?
What trees have you planted, what roots have you sown,
If not a collection of purses?
Watch their strings wrap around, killing all honor,
That might have saved you corrupt politicians.
Oh Borgia, my Borgia, when shall you learn?
You who lacks greatness of spirit.
What shall happen when your Masters abandon you?
When the People disobey your command?
How shall you ever find glory, when your roots are too feeble,
Your trunk, simply not there.
For your strength has been given, not earned.
Your friendships purchased, but not owned.
Your allegiances bought, but can never be spent.
The barriers you break are not yours or ours, but theirs.
There is no crime in your ambition,
But great fault in your foundation,
Cracking and breaking in time.
Your roots cannot save you, for the wind is too strong,
Brought on by cries for what’s just and what’s fair.
So laugh, Valentino, hearty and well,
Fill your pockets with silver,
Pad your path with stolen votes,
But know that We are coming —
For ’tis better to be feared than loved,
But far worse to be neither.