The Hunchback's Song

Poem By David SmithWhite

'Let me thank you for taking
the trouble, forsaking
more valuable use of your time.
I know some bespeak me,
they lie and critique me;
you know I'm not guilty of crime.

'I thank you for making
my burden less aching,
I'm never the best on my plod.
Like the prophet Ezekiel,
you stand as an equal,
to the might and the grandeur of God.'

- Oh little Richard, three times named.
Once for your talents. Once for your fame.
Once as a king of all you survey:
one sniff of intrigue, one murder away. -

'From the soil of pale roses,
you burst forth a Moses,
to show us Jerusalem.
In the chosen enclosures,
your presence imposes.
Am I worthy to kneel at your hem?

'I thank you for making
my burden less aching,
I'm never the best on my knees.
These chips on my shoulders
are the elegant, moulded,
prostheses for Hunchback disease.

'I thank you for giving,
me some kind of living,
a hand-to-mouth piece
as a voice of the slave.
Though we share the same mother,
it's as well as another,
for all of the favour
as brother you gave.

'So don't say I 'm faking.
My heart's truly breaking.
You can't think me made of cut stone.
To a fault I am loyal,
to your hearth and your royal
sons that I love as my own.'

- Oh little Richard, from deep in the tower,
do you hear the young princes lament by the hour?
Do you still see your nephews shake, weep and cower,
from your studied indifference and raw quest for power?

Oh little Richard, your crimes of the blood,
will henceforth be pictured a name that is mud.
Oh little Richard, done down by the Bard,
while uncles 'in situ' laugh a little too hard. -

'I thank you for coping
when I was past hoping,
and moping around in despair.
I thank you for tokens,
affections unspoken,
loyalties unbroken, by ambition or fear.

'So thank you for masking
your pity by asking
for answers I need you to know.
To say without attitude,
the appropriate platitude:
that gratitude's only for show.'

- Oh little Richard, it comes now to force.
Your army is scattered, unseated of horse.
Oh little Richard, your kingdom is lost.
Soon to be butchered, was it all worth the cost?

Oh little Richard, you will be so cursed,
to live in dim memory a monster or worse.
Oh little Richard, three times named;
the archetype villain we all love to blame! -

Comments about The Hunchback's Song

A clever piece to write. I felt perhaps a little long but you had the story to tell and you certainly did that! I enjoyed reading it. Sincerely Ernestine Northover


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