To Richard II
M. W. Davis
Which hooligan would think to scrawl that name
Across the soundwalls of the M40?
Let sleeping tragedy lie. What a shame
They couldn’t stay awake in English class.
What’s the half-life now on Heaven’s favour?
When no English heart cries out, God Save King
Richard! will the Good Lord’s love expire
And so disinherit that sacred blood?
Oh, Forgotten: and so the Earth parted,
Dust to dust, and swallowed a nation’s shame.
No working stiffs left to get it started:
The riots, weathered banners, Reaction.
Not for you, sweet prince. History shuffles
By, nose down, Alls well, The wells all burning.
M. W. DAVIS is the Quarterly Review‘s newly-appointed Poetry Editor. He is soliciting high-quality submissions at mwdavis(at)quarterly-review.org