When you speak of him there is anguish in your voice.
Did you know this, my Love?
I see the light play across your countenance in these private moments between us,
and I hear that anguish.
There is longing too, but then we are creatures of yearning, are we not?
Always reaching for what is just out of our grasp, always questing, never quite satisfied with what’s before us.
You are so alike, you and he, and it has been so down through ages.
Whole kingdoms, whole countries have sprang from your loins.
So, too, with him.
Is the sky truly greater than the whole of the sea? Does his domain truly rule over your own?
I wonder, does he guess, this brother of yours, as close to you as your own skin, of the dark that flashes when you think none may see. Does He know of the warring within your heart, of the tremors in your muscles, of the restraint, of your temperance. Does he know the cost?
He is your kin, both younger and older, and held so very dear. He is the hero of your generation. He is closer to you than your mother, closer to you than all your wives and lovers, so close none may dare to tread upon that sacred bond. I know a shadow of that bond, and it is one I shall ever respect.
He must guess, your brother, of this burden. He must guess the weight that you carry for Him. He is neither stupid nor blind, and you are alike, you and he, and so he must guess. Does it weigh on his heart? Does it give him moments, in solitude, away from the prying eyes of the others, of anguish? When He rests His head upon the breasts of his lovers, does it flash dark within his brow? Does his wife see the torment upon his brow? Does his lover should him within strong arms and seek to soothe his pain? Do they gather around him as we gather around you, to hold you close to us?
But, does he know your anguish? That you bow your head and call him king, that the world may know peace, that the earth may flourish, that the gods may bend their will to the good and the great, rather than the terrible? Does he know the weight of the crown you bear, as great as his, but over looked, dismissed, unseen. Does he know your sacrifice? Does he guess that he is secure in his place only at your whim? Does he know the extent of your support, and how dearly it costs you?
Do you know? Do you even suspect? Or is this some secret between wives and lovers, between consorts and mistresses and companions, tightly guarded and never spoken of? Do we keep this from you, this weight that would drag you both down and mire you in grief? Oh, oh, the cost of it all, this love, this anguish, this despair, this devotion.