A drink to Richard; 22nd March 2015

In March, I was lucky enough to gain one of the places at Compline, to be in Leicester Cathedral when Richard III’s body was received into the Cathedral, ahead of his funeral services. This poem was written after the service.

A drink to Richard

Leicester Central Travelodge is allegedly built on the site

of the old White Boar Inn, the final place

where Richard lay his head, to rest,

before Destiny called him to Bosworth.

He apparently “slept ill in strange beds,”

filling the inn’s “large, gloomy chamber”

with his own great bed.

Tonight, in the bar, I sip red wine, think

about ‘my’ Richard – the man, not the myth –

who had a troubled night, here, fretting,

about what danger may lie ahead.

My mind wanders back to the cathedral,

where he now lies, guarded, waiting

for his true final rest.

Later, crawling between pristine sheets,

I wonder what became of his, abandoned,

as England turned to harsh blood red.

Did one shield him, at the end, protecting

what dignity he had been allowed to keep?

He could have had one of mine, I think,

as I switch off the light,

descend into sleep.

Richard's coffin on display after Compline, 22nd August 2015

Richard’s coffin on display after Compline, 22nd August 2015


Posted on August 22, 2015, in History, Poetry, Richard III and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Nancy Jardine

    I don’t quite see a pristine white wrap leaving the bloody battlefield, Jen, but your poem is evocative!


  1. Pingback: An odd anniversary | Jennifer C. Wilson

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