Poetry

by SA Branch Members

INSPIRED BY RICHARD III REINTERMENT

 

 

A King’s Lament

By Rilla McEvoy

King Richard died in battle,
piteously slain.
His body quickly buried
in an unknown lonely grave.
That is until
his burial plot
remarkably was found,
under a council car park space
eerily marked with R.
Five hundred years had passed
but his memory not forgotten.
His bones are properly now interred
as befits an English monarch,
in beautiful Leicester Cathedral.
And Ricardians can finally say
Our King can rest in peace.
Both did write with certain flair
tho’ of some deeds they would not dare.
Their writings have been well read
tho’ ONE of them did lose his head.

 

Richard III

By Valerie Walden

That erudite man Sir Thomas More,
You’ve all heard of him I’m sure,
Some of what he wrote was anti King Richard,
as was that of the Great Bard,
of course that’s Will Shakespeare.
Both men had cause to fear
the House of Tudor,
somewhat lacked a sense of humour.
Both did write with certain flair
tho’ of some deeds they would not dare.
Their writings have been well read
tho’ ONE of them did lose his head.

 

At Market Bosworth

By Margaret Collings

Oh, I have seen the burial of a king:
Stood for half a day
Beside the road until a muffled bell
Announced the laden catafalque with its sad borders
While all around was decked
With proud, gay bunting
And brave white roses strewn before its path.

And though but bones were being carried,
It was the King within the coffin my mind saw,
And Bosworth’s battle newly lost, once more.

You got it wrong, Bard. All your flights of angels
Sang for the wrong prince. A simple message
In a Market Bosworth window (‘mid more white roses)
Said all that needed to be said:
Farewell my Liege,
Farewell.

 

 

 

 

 

Richard III

by Lyn Gill

Dedicated to the memory of King Richard III

A millennium half gone a world away
Yet we in this day and age can gaze in wonderment upon aged bones.
Those of Richard, stand alone, as a ghost king of past yore
A young man from the noble house of York.
The white rose a symbol of loyalty and truth
Emerges again in history pages now
York minster cries for this honoured king
Yes we afar, think of him lost for so long
Without family to mourn his death in loneliness is buried.

The new season close at hand, March ushering the new spring, yet here rains
drenched our shores, half a world away yet close in heart,
Saw Bosworth descendants from both sides witness Richard’s burial and duly
acclaimed pomp and glory accorded him now,

All reverence due we applaud those who from their heart took this our Cried out cue.
At 18 you bravely led the vanguard for Edward
At your coronation you made your oath in the dialect of England so all could
understand you were for England.
Sleep well Richard, your life nobly spent

Mists of time your laws had past, today our lives
intertwined

by thy wise choices whilst upon that hallowed throne.

 

 

 

History Class

by Valerie Walden

The History Class
Oh! What a farce.
“Richard the third did he flee
From that Henry?”
“Yes Johnny”
“No miss,’e lost ‘is horse;
And ‘is crown of course”
“Then did he live to forgive the Tudor…………….?
Rhymes with custard, as does mustard”
“No miss, they did ‘im in, took all ‘is tin, money, jewels and horse, of course”.

Their writings have been well read

 

 

King Richard iii

by Judith Carr

A woman called Phillipa did pester
The Uni and great city of Leicester.
It was quite absurd
That Richard iii
Could lie under a car park
But that’s what they heard!

They put in three trenches
Surrounded by fences
And the very first day found some bones
After months of discussion, searching and tests
It was him! King Richard iii no less.

Arguments raged, tempers rose high
But where would he lie?
Leicester cathedral they finally chose
Now came the buying of lots of new clothes and roses and hats
Banners and screens, red carpets and mats.

The royals came, commoners too
All wanted a seat with the very best view
Why all this fuss for a much maligned king?
Perhaps the Tudor propaganda didn’t have a true ring
So we all paid our tributes to a great king
Now may he rest in peace
For another 500 years, at least!

 

 

 

My Plea For Justice

by Lisa Cortez

 

Forsaken, lost, lonely, I lay alone in that Grey tomb
Untimely cut down by that basest of Welshmen
Traitors all at night’s end I see
Bosworth’s Field where my fate was sealed

More than half millennium must now pass
Before I am unearthed by our most worthy Langleyan
Whose true forbearance led to that famed courtyard
Where but conveyances were my body guard.

And now my person is removed
And rests at peace in Leicester’s Sanctuary,
Rituals and sacraments are plentiful and ease its passage
A fitting repository for my brittle bones…

But rejoice ye not, for my soul is yet encumbered,
Battered and bruised like my poor body at Bosworth
See! See how my wounds bleed afresh with injustice
All the burial rites in the world won’t ease this burden

I cannot rest nor slumber, I hear my brother’s babies wailing…..
Alas my sin was not to slay, but to trust unwisely
Therefore no rest for me in this bright hour
Though Ricardians may light the way with words of power

I beseech your graces – eschew those unbelievers
Restore my good name – Richard, the last Plantagenet
For as surely as the black night heralds the dawn
So shall the truth be my history reborn.

Richard III, King and Protector of England 1452-1485

 

 

A Burial Sonnet

by Anne Cooper

Laid with rude haste in charity’s cloister
Only the friars were sure of his grave
Years as the butt of the troubadour’s roister
As actors and playwrights traduc-ed his name.

Lords who had followed him paid for it dearly
Tudor’s calumny spread through the years
Yet York’s honest burghers mourned him sincerely
Bemoaned his demise with sorrow and tears.

In dark Bosworth soil let his slumber ensue
‘neath Leicester’s high, noble and beckoning spire
Draped in a pall of rich, sable tissue
Sung to his rest by ser-a-phic choir.

May his grave be unsullied, his honour restored
England’s last and undoubted, Plantagenet Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

Richard III

By Di Haynes
Support the correct colour of a flower
Choose the wrong one and you’d be in the Tower.
………………..
Came along a young man called Richard
Who wanted the crown which glittered
On the battlefield he lost his horse,
So he called for another, of course.
………………….
Placed in a lowly grave after Bosworth,
His remains have recently been unearthed.
Re-buried at last with honour and grace,
A King at rest in his correct place.

 

“Twas the Night before Bosworth”

by Ruth Overy
Twas the night before Bosworth
And all thru the fields
Not a soldier was sleeping
Praying the other side would yield.

Our Good King Richard
Awake in his tent
Was working on a strategy
So no lives would be spent.

Alas though it went
And at a great cost
The battle was fought
And many lives lost.

Our Good King Richard
Fighting midst the crowd
Was one of the losses
So valiant and proud.

The miserly Tudor
Thinking of the cost
Denied Richard a funeral
In a crude grave he was tossed.

Hundreds of years passed
And our King lay cold
Waiting for the woman
Who would chance to be bold.

Under a civic car park
Our Philippa she looked
Found the Plantagenet king
And a nation was hooked.

 

At Leicester

by Margaret Collings

As I was lying, sleepless in my bed
Seeing again, glowing and fading, those bones of light
In that cold, now empty hole, his first grave site,
A truly frightening image filled my head.

Computers can print out, in 3D,any item-
A tiny skeleton with twisted spine
And put it in a little box of pine
Then print out another, and yet ad infinitum.

These little chests’d go to the Visitors centre
With postcards, pencils, books, key-rings and scarves
To fill the tourist pockets. They don’t do things by halves
When it comes to Ricardian mementa.

Then every shelf would have a little chest- ah!
Here is where the plot begins to sicken
For everyone could buy a little Dickon
And take it home: a Souvenir from Leicester!

 

Regius Osseus

by John Foster

Bones that are waiting for wisdom and words,
Bones that are royal, slain and lain in Greyfriars,
Bones that are revealed and reinterred,
Bones that are longed for by throngs of Ricardians………..

“Sleep soft, sleep safe”
SEMPITERNUM