Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Farey chimes in

It didn't take long for Peter Farey to answer Lorenzo's music with some notable arguments of his own in rime royal, to boot. He wrote

> The documented record is quite clear -
> A quarrel over just a 'sum of pence'.
> With Skeres and Poley sitting very near,
> Kit died, and Frizer claimed 'twas self-defence.
> Few think this true. It lacks the evidence
> Of how it came that they (and only they)
> Were gathered at that place, that time, that day.
> He should have been at Nonsuch, checking in.
> And Poley had some messages 'in poste',
> The other two a coney for to skin,
> And in their mind such things were uppermost.
> Why were these three in Deptford, playing host
> To Marlowe, poet/playwright, atheist,
> Unless they had been called on to assist?
> Assist in what? Perhaps his 'sudden end'?
> A murder has been mooted oftentime:
> But Cecil (boss) and Walsingham, their friend,
> Were hardly like to join in such a crime.
> To help him flee? I have to say that I'm
> Unable to buy that - the corpse denies.
> So what is left? A make-believe demise.
> Undoubtedly he was in deepest shtuck,
> Odds on for execution, so they say,
> You write an anti-Trinitarian book,
> You get sent permanently on your way.
> Perhaps his friends could get the Queen's OK
> His skin might yet be saved, if not too late,
> His talent still of value to the state.
> The team's assembled: one to perpetrate,
> One to keep watch and one to organize;
> A man condemned to die around that date;
> A safe house, far away from prying eyes.
> The Queen's own coroner to supervise
> The inquest, and to see the jury swore
> The tale they heard was true - no less, no more.
> Is there a happy ending? That I doubt.
> The likely penance permanent exile,
> False name, false background, from now on without
> Old haunts, old friends (but newest juvenile?),
> The Rose, with Alleyn putting on the style.
> He still could write, of course. The play's the thing
> Where reconciliation he might sing.
> Did he? Who knows. But on the Avon's brim,
> A monument with wording strange we find
> (To Stratford's William Shakespeare, not to him,
> Except for those with a more curious mind).
> "Read who is here with Will, if you're not blind"
> It says, and there he is, as born anew.
> And odds of twenty million cry "It's true".

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