Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

They paved over Richard—that’s Richard the third
The Richard that used to be King.
Will I be remembered? The notion’s absurd!
But who knows what the future might bring?

Will the world of the future seek out where I rest?
Will they quarry in search of my bones?
Will they pore over details of things I’ve professed?
Will they look for the truth in the stones?

Will I live in the memories of those I have left?
Is this rational thought, or mere snobbery?
Will my grave be exhumed? And, for science, or theft?
Archaeology, maybe, or robbery?

They paved over Richard; they’ll pave over me
And a car-park may cover my head
My bones will be hidden where no one can see…
But I really won’t care. I’ll be dead.

In my opinion, the coolest site by far for looking at all the Richard III stuff is this, the University of Leicester page on the search. Great explanations of the dig, of the DNA search, of the analysis of wounds, of the reconstructed face…


  1. rq says

    Thanks for that link! I’ve been enjoying that story on other sites. I know it may seem like a useless piece of science to some (I’ve heard the notion), but it’s science – you know, Why seek out Richard III, why look for him at all? Because we can.
    So there. ;)

  2. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    So, the cause of the Wars of the Roses was a disputed parking space. Have I got that right?

  3. rq says

    And for what it’s worth, I’ve been coming back to this poem again and again, today. I’m not sure why. But I think I found what should be read at my funeral.

  4. Cuttlefish says

    Wow, rq… I’m trying to think what comment could possibly be better for an author to hear in this situation, but I got nothing. Thanks!

  5. says

    @ Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    If you’d ever tried to find a parking space in Leicester, you wouldn’t ask!
    Poor Richard: last legitimate king (unless you’re East Anglian, in which case it’s the Sainted Eadmund).

    Had his kingdom usurped by that slimy Welsh miser, and was then lied about in a Tewdwr misinformation campaign (damned Bishop Morton and Thomas Moore and double-damned WS for trying so successfully to be sycophantic).

    I shall be watching the first episode of that delightful (and not much less historical) situation tragedy The Black Adder as a tribute.

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