Poems

‘R’ Marked the Place by Colin Whiterod

‘My kingdom for a horse’, cried Richard III

He called in pain, in vain for no one heard.

Moments later, he was dead

A halberd blow to the back of his head.

 

He fought manfully to the very end

Hacked and abused he could not fend,

His body dragged from Bosworth Field

His naked frame 10 scars revealed.

 

Defeated monarch in unmarked grave

His scoliosed skeleton concave.

A victim of medieval war

Decomposing through his every pore.

 

We move on – seventeen generations passed

A car park overhead: no questions asked.

In five hundred years, a discovery made

In Leicester, with an archaeologist’s spade.

 

A near unbelievable, remarkable thing,

The human remains of a Plantagenet king.

‘Bottled spider, foul hunch-back’s toad’ as Shakespeare said

Or has history for centuries this man misread ?

 

Kind and good or murderous brute

Insufficient evidence, it remains in dispute,

But this anointed king deserves some peace

A respectful burial and a final release.


Quest for a King by Adrienne Connor

Long after the battle had ended,

And the wounds had bled themselves dry,

A skeleton was found in a car park

With a motto of "Loyaulte me Lie".

 

No tomb of white alabaster

Or effigy picked out in gold,

But a crown tossed aside in a thorn bush

For Dickon was bought and sold.

 

Defiled, desecrated and naked

Through Leicester the body was led

To a makeshift grave at Greyfriars

The last Plantagenet was dead.

 

When the Priory crumbled to ruin

Tarmac and stone covered the spot

And the flesh of that poor broken body

Was quietly left there to rot.

 

But the years couldn't silence the rumours

Of murder, incest and worse –

A hunchback, a cripple, a monster;

Immortalised in Shakespeare's verse.

 

Was he really the evil uncle?

There were many who didn't agree,

So they searched till they found his body

And the truth for the world to see.

 

Now all the realm will pay homage

In a cathedral fit for the best

Loyal brother, wise ruler, King Richard!

At last we will lay you to rest.