The Shakespearian Tulsi

This 1888 painting by William Holmes Sullivan is named Et tu Brute and is located in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.


To Tulsi

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears:
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
The DNC hath told you Tulsi was ambitious;
If it were so, it were a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Tulsi answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Bernie Sanders and the rest –
For Bernie is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable men and women –
These scions of Democracy –
Come I to speak on this occasion.
She is my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Bernie speaks not up for her, perhaps from ambition;
And Bernie is an honorable man.
As Tulsi brought home wounded vets,
So Bernie vows to bring home many captives to our native land,
Such enemies of liberty as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden,
Whose ransoms might his coffers fill:
Did this in Bernie seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Tulsi hath wept,
Not for shame, but for a cause that all might share;
No doubt ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Bernie would preemptively strike those nations whom he calls ambitious;
And Bernie is an honorable man.
You all did see how kingly crowns
Were thrice presented to fair Tulsi by the DNC,
Which she did thrice refuse for Bernie’s sake: was this ambition?
Yet Bernie holds his tongue, though his silence doth betray him;
And, sure, he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Bernie speaks,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
All Democrats did love her once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for her
And speak the truth that justice might prevail?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is there with all the gross mistreatment born by Tulsi,
And I must pause till it come back to me.”

Sanur, Bali
March 2020

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