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Tutor royal poetry

Imagine if the Royal family were a bit more like the ones in Tudor times? Where brother fought brother for the crown, and wives were more concerned with manipulating their men to gain power, rather than dresses, charity and polo games.

So, in Shakespeare sound, and heart (little truth but much blood), though neither power nor metre, shall I a story for thee spin.

 

Catherine, daughter of a merchant of Middletown,

Did pilgrimage to the land of Scots

Wherein for past sins to fast and pray.

Soon she did bespy with her fair eye

The son of the English King

And in a village named for Andrew,

The saint of that name,

Did meet him outside the church gate

One frosty spring day.

She did smile and bow and sigh

Such pretty sighs that soon did catch Prince Williams’ eye

And following close behind,

his heart.

 

They did bethrothe on St Swithin’s Day,

When birds did cheep carefree and gay

And the sun beat down hot

On the cattle eating golden hay.

 

But Beatrice and Eugenie felt anger

burning in their fiery breasts

At such a union as this,

Between royal household

and common trader’s child.

It brought shame to the family name.

One full-moon night did the sisters swear,

with drops of blood from finger-pricks,

To avenge the purity of their

Newly sullied line; now mixed as it was

With unclean toil and sweat and brine.

They had the crown of England in their sights.

 

Beatrice had wed Edward,

The Earl of Warwick’s son

Two summers hence,

A handsome man with chiselled jaw

And right arm strong,

But whose trusting mind

was weak and easily lead.

And now Beatrice, round and hard

Like September’s apple,

though not as sweet, did carry his heir.

 

On a night when thunder roared

And lightning carved an ancient oak in two,

She gave birth to twins:

Boys with hair as red as fire

And eyes like crystal pools of blue.

As they sucked at her milky breast,

Did she plot against her cousin prince.

 

The sisters consulted the stars

And devised a plan to demote

the King’s heir to merely a man

And for Edward to rise

As, at least in their eyes,

The rightful ruler of the land:

The fruit of Royal loins

Wherein regal blood flowed,

Untainted by common woman.

 

So Beatrice did in her Edward’s ear

Whisper, with tales of bitterness.

She accused her cousin Will

Of plans to murder Edward

As he slept in his bed,

For reasons unknown except

Jealousy against

a fair face and strong sword arm.

So like a fool in a carnival

Did Edward fall for his wife’s lies.

 

She goaded him and whined each night

Of her terror, of her fright.

Complaining of the injustice of William’s plot

And over time, helped by false tears,

Did drive gentle Edward to despair.

He pulled at his soft brown hair

And swore to poison the Prince’s drink

When next they met

For a hunt in the King’s forest.

 

He did not wish to kill a man

Whom he had called friend,

But his wife and sister-in-law

Had driven him with women’s wiles

To wish Prince William’s bitter end.

 

Eugenie purchased a witches’ poison

And gave it to Edward

The night before he set out on the hunt,

Whispering “You know what you must do

To save your life,

and that of your sons.”

 

Foolish son of the Earl of Warwick

Was so easily by maiden tricked.

When at the hunting lodge did

With Price’s men one dusk recline,

When all were full of meat

And drunk on French wine,

Edward slipped a drop or two

Of the foul witches’ brew

Into unsuspecting William’s goblet.

 

The King’s son drank, and soon

Fell to the floor in a swoon,

From which he never awoke.

Overcome with sorrow and sensing the most

Terrible truth of two women’s lies,

And of justice on the morrow,

Did Edward flee on horseback

As swift as the wind,

and was in green and pleasant England

Never seen again.

 

 

 

Fret not, my friends,

That this may be prophesy or truth.

Instead ’tis merely make-believe

And with that I shall take my leave.

 

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The gate

 

 

I didn’t want to get up this morning. I was tired and my brain fuzzy, in the increasingly familiar hay fever way.

As I waited for the bath to run, I read a bit from the Bible, like normal. Today it was John 10.

Jesus says:

I am the gate; all who enter through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

(John 10: 9-10)

Instantly my head felt clear and alert. I suddenly could understand much more clearly what Jesus is saying to us; not just intellectually,  but spiritually too.

Jesus’ plan for us is to have life,  and life to the full. The enemy (thief) wants to steal, kill or destroy that life which God has given us. There is a battle for our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits.

If we allow illness, bad relationships, past pain or fear to rule our lives then we are allowing some victory to the enemy; who, let’s be clear, is not a cute cartoon devil who pokes people with his trident, as our culture would have us believe.

 

I had cancer last year. I had chemo, surgery and then radiotherapy. Thanks to God and the medical profession, it is gone. It is my past. Yes, it has changed me physically, shaped my story and its after-effects will be felt for some time; but it does not have a hold over me. I will not let cancer dictate my future.

I have come to realise that many people who have had cancer and are now better, can struggle with a terrible fear of the cancer returning. Logically, this does make sense, because sometimes cancers do return. So I  sympathise with them, because it is a horrible, life-altering or destroying disease.

But for myself, there is no fear of this cancer, or any other cancer. That does not mean that I am going to take up smoking or sunbeds, because of course we should all live reasonably healthily. But, the best explanation that I can think of for this is that God has set me free from fear of cancer. I know that he does not want me to live a fearful life, one where I worry about big or small bad things happening to me. I know this because he tells us not to be anxious so many times in the Bible. And because he loves me.

Someone at church told me that the enemy tried to destroy me with cancer, but he failed. God has the victory. Yes, this makes sense. God has a plan for my life, and he wanted me to win this battle. He knew that I would. I trusted him to fight it with me.

Jesus came to give me life to the full, so I am going to enjoy it.

He never promised us an easy life, far from it. He is the good Shepherd though, and he chose to lay down his life for us. To believers he speaks freedom not just from illness, but from the fear of illness. Freedom from the past, as well as from the mental or spiritual hold that past pain can hold over us. Claim that freedom, it’s a gift.

(Note: I know that one day I will die of something. But that is also OK,  because I know where I am going.)

 

John 8:36

So if the Son sets you free you, will be free indeed.