Following a hunch

Well, Crookback; here you are again. We’ve found
Your slight and poor remains, five hundred years
And more since Bosworth Field. No contrite tears
Were shed for you in England – and what ground
You lay in all that time: no royal bed
Or gilded tomb to pass eternity;
Just common clay, and for a century
We parked cars on your uncrowned, sword-hacked head.
But we’ve been led astray by Will, it seems,
Maligning you as monarch, and as man.
Your kingdom must recast you, if it can
From halt and hunchbacked monster of dark dreams.
Though now we look more kindly on your age
You’ll always be the villain on the stage.


The mortal remains of Richard III have been dug up in a car park in Leicester. Sometimes, this is a great country to live in. And while Shakespeare may have propogated rumours, half-truths and a good many outright whoppers about the last Plantagenet king (a sensible move for a playwright working under the Tudors) he did get one thing right in Hamlet: we all end up as dust, be we commoners or kings. N.


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