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Tony Grist

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The Bastard [May. 20th, 2009|03:49 pm]
Tony Grist

Following on from the last entry, here's my poem about William the Conqueror. Its age can be gauged by the reference to Britannica. My set of battered, rabbit-eaten encyclopaedias- inherited from my grandfather- went to Oxfam a while back- long after I had abandoned them for Wikipedia. 



When William the bastard bust his gut

In a riding mishap (his war horse burned

Its foot in the smoking ashes of Mantes-

A town he’d had a  problem with)

They took him to his abbey in Rouen-

And there he may or may not have seen

A spectral procession of those he’d had

Chopped up, chopped down, burned out and raped-

And thus he may or may not have confessed

To having been a hard, cruel man-

“May God forgive me and may the monks

I’m funding here pray hard for my soul.”

But anyway he died- and his barons,

Remembering important engagements elsewhere,

Tootled off. And his servants poked him,

Cautiously, to be sure he was harmless,

Then stripped him of his rings and fled

And left him on the floor of the Abbey,

Naked- where he putrefied.


I thought I’d better check the facts

In Britannica. His married life,

It says, "was singularly pure".

O right, so he was a good guy then...


[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2009-05-20 08:35 pm (UTC)
I love your poetry, so easy and fun:

A town he’d had a problem with
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-05-20 09:09 pm (UTC)

I forget what they'd done to upset him, but William wasn't a man you messed with.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2009-05-21 12:12 am (UTC)
"So he was a good guy...."
Yep, reminds me of a certain public figure here who has a model marriage who shall be nameless.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-05-21 09:32 am (UTC)
Hitler's private life was "singularly pure" as well. Lots of people have tried to dig the dirt on him, but there doesn't seem to be any. Same goes for Stalin.

On the other hand some of the bravest and noblest defenders of liberty have been notorious rakes.

A person's behaviour in the bedroom is no guide to his/her behaviour in public life.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2009-05-21 10:26 am (UTC)
Amen to that! Just because one might diapprove of a person's sexual behaviors is no reason to exclude him or her from public office (or to impeach the person once elected).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-05-21 11:26 am (UTC)
We have to accept that niceness and political ability are quite different things.
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