Roger de Mortimer, 4th Earl of March and 6th Earl of Ulster, was heir presumptive to Richard II between 1382 and 1398
King Roger! We nearly had a King Roger!
So, did we dodge a
bullet or should we, in fact, bemoan
the fact that Roger never, ever
made it to the throne?
When Richard needed spies,
then he applied for the position.
So, Roger went to Ireland
on a very secret mission.
He skulked about and got himself
in thrilling scrapes galore.
Was he James Bond?
No, he was Roger, more.
To blend in with the Irishmen,
he found it a no-brainer
to paint his face a lurid blue
and wear the brat and léine.
So maybe he went AWOL,
but I can still relate if
he got a little overkeen
and went a little native.
Some said he took it way too far,
some said, “He’s off his trolley!”
but I say, like the pirate flag,
Roger was jolly.
Roger’s story reached its end
He walked into a brigands’ trap:
they fell upon him, straight.
They knocked him off his horse
and then they pummelled him about.
Alas, that was the end of him:
Roger was over and out.
Melanie Branton is a spoken word artist from the Bristol area. Her published collections are Can You See Where I’m Coming From? (Burning Eye, 2018) and My Cloth-Eared Heart (Oversteps, 2017). She is inordinately fond of hats, historical linguistics, and porridge.