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Monday, 17 September 2012

These Bones

These bones have mouldered many years,
laid to rest with none to mourn,
nor mark my time on earth,
save the tolling of the Greyfriars bell,
and the holy brothers’ funeral dirge.

I lost my life on Bosworth field,
mired in mud and treason.
A sword cleaved my crown,
an arrow pierced my misshaped spine,
and sent me, grim-visaged, to the next world.

And now this garden yields a harvest rich,
these bones, cheated of feature,
are hung up for monument.
The ground is rudely stamped,
and there are merry meetings.

I foresee the winter of their discontent,
and wranglings twixt the learned few,
who wish to prove a villain of these bones,
but first must ascertain that this was
Richard’s tomb indeed.

Yet I remain, unfinished, scarce half made-up,
brought before my time
into this breathing world.
How long before these bones
will know their rest?

© Marilyn Brindley

Richard III dig: 'Strong evidence' bones are lost king

Marilyn is a retired primary school head teacher, who now has the time to indulge in the writing she's always wanted to do and read the works of other creative individuals.


  1. Nicely done Marilyn. I like the way that you reference Shakespeare but it is it's own poem.

  2. I really like this poem. You've captured the voice very convincingly and, like Hamish above, I like the Shakespeare references!

  3. Ditto, me. Haunting (literally). I had seen the news about unearthing R's bones and thought it deserved a poem. I've also read that R was not misshapen/spined, that was part of the anti-R pro-Tudor agit-prop. Good poem.

  4. I enjoyed the Elizabethan feel to this, too. And watching Robert Taylor at the press conference – seemed like he could hardly sit still with suppressed excitement, bless him! As you say, though, I wonder how long it will last.

  5. Thank you for your kind comments everyone. i couldn't resist borrowing some of Shakespeare's own lines from Richard III. I've always had a feeling that Richard was much maligned.

  6. Great poem Marilyn. I was in Leicester the day the bones were found and wrote something myself but not as good as this!
    Well done!
    David Subacchi