King Of All Swine

In memory of Harry Pollard, 1930-2009.

Measured by sycamore alder and birch the sweep of the Holderness Plain
Like glass kept by lead in the stains of a church a land scarred by ditches and drains
Twas here that a union of squire and maid seventy-nine summers ago
Gave rise to the life of a lad unafraid that all would be happy to know

Raised with the seasons to follow in time the rhythm of life on the land
No crown to be worn for the King of All Swine but a princess at home on his hand
A tradesman he’d be and nobody’s fool to labour hard under the sun
No greatness for he no riches or jewels just honour and friends to be won

The message that I never wanted to hear had come not a moment too soon
He’d lost in the war that had raged for a year on a Sunday at quarter-past Noon
An end to the demon that rode in his blood tortured and ravaged his bones
The evil destroyer of all that is good had finished its work and was done

They say that God moves in mysterious ways and ours not to question his will
That fear and disease are the Devil at play on an unholy mission to kill
But spare me the sermons of Heaven and Hell a pointless desire to blame
Face up to the truth that there is no divine death levels us all just the same