This was one of the first poems I ever wrote – and it shows! Errors and inaccuracies are my own. But the story…
Before he bestrode the world like a colossus –
or was that Jukius Caesar before him –
he’d climbed Hadrian’s Wall and stopped in Dundee,
when mobile was an adjective not a noun.
Honourable member for the Radical Town
or if you prefer semi-oxymoronic
Tory Liberal maverick personified,
zones of zeniths no nadirs in view no doubt.
But one lurked by McGonagall’s silvery Tay
in homage to whom it behoves me to say
from out on left field it came Churchill’s way
and fermented a vintage case of irony.
For the Irish diaspora there met and fused
with radicals and suffragettes par excellence
to defeat a man who’d sent the Black and Tans
and ordained that women should look to their men.
O Machiavelli O Machiavelli
let us take a leaf from your book if we must.
Working class hero or man who’d crossed the floor?
Sure anyone bar Churchill gets our votes.
Cometh the hour cometh a town’s piper pied.
Ned Scrymgeour his name prohibition no game –
from City Hall he brought the temperance toga.
No toom tabard he – more a man of the people.
Hence ex-suffragettes and Irish men of jute
supped long and deeply on that dish best eaten cold.
Abstinence abstained when temperance triumphed
with others’ great man as the casus belli here.
WC without a seat they jeered and cheered
and sent Scrymgeour to Westminster with a smile.
Thence to the taverns to toast prohibition
since like David they only needed one smooth stone.