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Requiem for the Plantagenet Kings

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Written by Geoffrey Hill

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 For whom the possessed sea littered, on both shores,
Ruinous arms; being fired, and for good,
To sound the constitution of just wards,
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.


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