Hindsight

Some people make a point of giving the villains a chance to repent and be forgiven before defeating them. The narrator of this sonnet wasn’t given that offer.

Though it won't matter now, I've changed my mind.
On random towns, I'll no more force my will,
No more send out my troops to maim and kill.
Good reasons to were getting hard to find.

Fame, I have won; of fortune had my taste
— Enough to seek it by an honest path.
Power had me. I lived on its behalf,
My own regime's chief tool of laying waste.

From all of this, there's lessons I have learned.
What goods evil can buy, and at what price.
The measure of my virtue and my vice.
And that I won't escape what I have earned.

And still I feel, as I prepare to die,
A path that taught so much is worth a try.
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