Only the Brave Deserve the Fair

I solved the rid­dle, won you fair and square—
But still I think a courtship is in order.
For you, O queen of Thebes, I’ve dared to care
Since I first stepped across your city’s bor­der.
Of your attrac­tions I have been a hoarder:
I keep them in my inmost mem­ory—
And there they give my manly heart no quar­ter.
Don’t hes­i­tate, Jocasta: marry me!
Oh, what a per­fect rul­ing pair we’ll be!
I’ll rule the land, and you will rule my soul.
The city then will know felic­ity—
And isn’t that a ruler’s proper goal?
Your gen­er­ous endow­ment doesn’t smother.
I love you. You remind me of my mother.




Tom Riley has pub­lished well over 700 poems in venues rang­ing from The Lyric to Light to Angli­can The­o­log­i­cal Review. He teaches Clas­si­cal lan­guages and Eng­lish lit­er­a­ture in Napa, California.