Requiem For The Plantagenet Kings - A Poem By Geoffrey Hill



For a quiet end to the month of February, here is a favourite sonnet of mine by the sorely missed Geoffrey Hill. Text from this website.


Requiem for the Plantagenet Kings
 For whom the possessed sea littered, on both shores,Ruinous arms; being fired, and for good, To sound the constitution of just wars, Men, in their eloquent fashion, understood.  Relieved of soul, the dropping-back of dust,  Their usage, pride, admitted within doors; At home, under caved chantries, set in trust,  With well-dressed alabaster and proved spurs  They lie; they lie; secure in the decay Of blood, blood-marks, crowns hacked and coveted,  Before the scouring fires of trial-day Alight on men; before sleeked groin, gored head,  Budge through the clay and gravel, and the sea  Across daubed rock evacuates its dead.