Guest poem submitted by Vikram Doctor:
(Poem #613) In Westminster Abbey
Let me take this other glove off As the vox humana swells, And the beauteous fields of Eden Bask beneath the Abbey bells. Here, where England's statesmen lie, Listen to a lady's cry. Gracious Lord, oh bomb the Germans. Spare their women for Thy Sake, And if that is not too easy We will pardon Thy Mistake. But, gracious Lord, whate'er shall be, Don't let anyone bomb me. Keep our Empire undismembered Guide our Forces by Thy Hand, Gallant blacks from far Jamaica, Honduras and Togoland; Protect them Lord in all their fights, And, even more, protect the whites. Think of what our Nation stands for, Books from Boots and country lanes, Free speech, free passes, class distinction, Democracy and proper drains. Lord, put beneath Thy special care One-eighty-nine Cadogan Square. Although dear Lord I am a sinner, I have done no major crime; Now I'll come to Evening Service Whensoever I have the time. So, Lord, reserve for me a crown. And do not let my shares go down. I will labour for Thy Kingdom, Help our lads to win the war, Send white flowers to the cowards Join the Women's Army Corps, Then wash the Steps around Thy Throne In the Eternal Safety Zone. Now I feel a little better, What a treat to hear Thy word, Where the bones of leading statesmen, Have so often been interr'd. And now, dear Lord, I cannot wait Because I have a luncheon date.
I don't want to run down patriotism, or the giving of charity - both are always needed. But I have my suspicions - to the point of rather retching - at the quick and easy way patriotism is quickly taken up by people, and just as quickly dropped (except where required for electoral purposes). About Betjeman no info at hand, and I know there's tons, about his Poet Laureateship, and his public image and more, but am too lazy to go rooting for it at the moment. Vikram. PS. Bio: poem #543 - t.