Tuesday 17 April 2012

Epitaphs on politicians


I met a man who told me working in a children's bookshop was like living in heaven. Yes. 

The English give their most profound authors to children to read. Swift, Carroll, Belloc.

Here is Hilaire Belloc on politicians. The first epitaph seemed to me the only fitting comment on Ted Kennedy's ducal funeral Mass, given by a Cardinal and many priests in Boston Cathedral:

Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician's corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.

And these apply to very many Romanian politicians, in all parties: 

This, the last ornament among the peers,
Bribed, bullied, swindled and blackmailed for years:
But Death's what even Politicians fail
To bribe or swindle, bully or blackmail.


The Politician, dead and turned to clay,
Will make a clout to keep the wind away.
I am not fond of draughts, and yet I doubt
If I could get myself to touch that clout.

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