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(1957)

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The Wedding

Parry’s ghost was glad –
Now that everybody knew him
From the surging wave of Britishness
That thundered from
The double ophicleide.

More Parry –
Articulating pride throughout the play
Of choir and strings;
And yet again! –
Hailing glory in the crash of cymbals.

Interspersed, other British geniuses
That cast our land in music.

So British, all so British!
This wedding of patriots
Swathed in sovereignty
Bursting in its rebirth
Shared with crowds of carers, revellers,
The curious;
Phantoms
Horses
HD TVs
Bearskins
Digital radios
Royal coaches;
Yet this anachronistic family saw it work.

Like children we acted out a bygone age,
Wallowed in an ancient Empire –
Tears of pride usurped recent confusion,
Austerity, ambiguity –
We understood anew the need for royalty!

Their betrothal gave coherence
As our standards flowed with purpose
In the laughing breeze.

But then I saw the carbines
And shuddered at reality:
The paradox of modern Britain.


Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2011










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Submitted: Saturday, April 30, 2011
Edited: Wednesday, May 11, 2011


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