...a tribute to British novelist and illustrator
Mervyn Peake, and his trilogy, 'Gormenghast'
Behold his birth, a brand new Earl,
the Guardian of the Halls of Groan!
yet 'til he reach the age of seven
his father Sepulchrave will own
the ritual and the royal robes
of office o'er this shadowed realm,
'til Titus, as is writ in stone,
shall supersede him at the helm.
Yet all the while another boy
has set his sights on majesty,
Steerpike, lowly kitchen hand, who's
bound to foil this sovereignty.
A narrow-shouldered, evil lad
with schemes to murder and to burn,
to render chaos, anarchy
and withal the throne to earn.
The Library engulfed in flames,
Lord Sepulchrave's most favour'd spot,
his sisters Cora, Clarice too,
locked in their rooms and left to rot.
Barquentine, who minds the Books
'til Titus is to come of age,
succumbs to death at Steerpike's hand,
fated to drown, the trusty sage.
The faithful old retainer, Flay
is banish'd by the this lad's design,
and Swelter, Master Chef, is slain
no more to cook, no more to dine.
The Lady Fuschia, Titus' kin,
is fooled by Steerpike's boyish charm,
confused, beguil'd by lover's eyes,
she cannot keep herself from harm.
It falls to Titus to engage
this devil with a devil's rage.
In mortal combat he doth strive
'til he's the one who's left alive.
Though Master of the Sacred Halls,
he's overcome with grief and woe;
alone and with a saddened heart
he quits his home, it's time to go.
Copyright © Keith Bickerstaffe