The Trial and Sentence of M’Lord

The court has noted, Sir,
your lands were gained by treachery;
mortared by much blood;
sustained by base barbarity.

And it has witnessed in addition, Sir,
your avarice has outstripped your rapacity,
and seizures and confiscations were, to you,
fair means of making good again your treasury.

And there is copious evidence concerning, Sir,
your life of vile debauchery,
a catalogue of sordid acts such as defy
all ancient and accepted notions of morality.

It has much grieved the court to view, Sir,
your decadent judiciary.
Your laws – expedient fabrications;
and you yourself have daily smiled on perjury.

Neither has it escaped our notice, Sir,
the common people dwell in abject misery,
sore-taxed, forced into labour,
starving, helpless. Crushed by penury.

And most clearly you incited, Sir,
the other and more blessed orders of society
to ape your own corruption till they became
well-schooled in arrogance and in hypocrisy.

In summary, the court has found you guilty, Sir,
of gross and foul iniquity –
abuse of power, oppression,
high callousness, and downright inhumanity.

And now, we solemnly pass sentence, Sir,
upon such heinousness and thorough-going perfidy.
The people will be silent!
The sentence, Sir: Untouchability.

From ‘Epigrams’

4 thoughts on “The Trial and Sentence of M’Lord

    1. Thank you, Viv, and so sorry for this late reply – I’ve had a problem with the system which has lasted a week or so and was unaware of all comments during that time. I wrote this placing it in a purely mediaeval context, but it occurred to me a few weeks ago that the attitude of both ‘M’Lord’ and those judging him might be regarded as completely up-to-date. :/


    1. Thank you, ‘poetryatnightblog’. Yes. The mediaeval context was all that was on my mind when I wrote this (a long time ago), but in this 21st century we’re right back there!

      Liked by 1 person

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