Arthur’s Bosom

Gruttzner, Falstaff, Wikimedia CommonsHe’s in Arthur’s bosom, if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom…
Shakespeare, Henry V

The scene: a low inn, outside Camelot
a once and future inn, with straw-spread floors,
square tables, spotted knights, and blousy whores,
who meet, and drink, and gamble all they’ve got.

There is a knight, well, yes, of course there is.
One fat mendacious coward in a ruff
who calls for sack and capons, talking tough,
sponging when others pay, not paying his.

Outside lie grails and ladies, questing beasts,
But no. “More sack, more wenches,” calls the knight
and turns aside to tell his acolyte
that when he‘s king, they shall command more feasts.

And Mordred smiles and mocks his knightly pal,
But Falstaff sometimes misses golden Hal.

22nd September 2010