Treasure Island

Geoffrey Hill

(18 June 1932 / Worcestershire)

Requiem for the Plantagenet Kings


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.

Submitted: Saturday, October 15, 2005

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Comments about this poem (Requiem for the Plantagenet Kings by Geoffrey Hill )

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  • Townee Towne (6/16/2006 7:41:00 PM)

    the ending line is especially effective.

    the implied sacrifice in it... but, also, the image of blood pouring out... and the saving... the erosion of even a moment of permanence... of grace period...

    oh! the diarrhea... (Report) Reply

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