Some British politicians suffer from an imperial reflex, however. For them, Britain lies at the centre of the world. We only have to state our aims and other countries will be generous enough to help us achieve them.
So once upon a time,
As linchpin, keystone, Biggest Ben
You felt yourself sublime,
Tapping the measure for the world
And self-felicitations squirreled.
As “indispensable” you boasted
The sine qua non nation,
In all the world fêted and toasted
(Or viewed with trepidation),
But having lost yourself the beat
Folks look toward “different drummers” neat.
The beacon once for human rights
And democratic process,
Having endarkened those same lights
You have to cut your losses—
No longer at your beck and call
The world asks: will this stumble fall?
Precarious balance almost lost,
A showoff on the dance floor,
Can you regain—and at what cost—
Sure footing? Dominance more
Or less must leave the aging cock
Who crowed so loudly from a rock.
America, you aging rooster,
Your time drew near, however
You flustered it in so much bluster
And lost more than a feather—
Can you recapture dignity
Or live henceforth a mockery?
How braggadociously you strutted,
These later days the most
Vociferous, but words abutted
Facts which belie the boast,
As I, a poet, shake my head
To see wracked all for which I pled.