Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Bastard

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...


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