In an Underground Magazine first, we welcome education secretary Michael Gove as guest poet.
Bent double, like old Labour under Brown,
Knock-kneed, coughing like spads, we cursed through drudge,
Till, still saying our prayers, we U-turned down, A
nd towards our distant rest of 2015 began to trudge.
Ministers marched asleep. Many still spoke the lies
But blathered on, mindlessly. All were lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the cries
Of tired, outstripped Balls that dropped behind.
Gove! Gove! Quick, Michael!—An ecstasy of mumbling,
Filing the clumsy Mail piece just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and bumbling
And flound’ring like a man on Question Time…
Dim, among the misty panel and bright studio lights,
As before a Dimbleby, I saw myself drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
The academics go for me, spluttering, joking, frowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Before the veterans that take my comments on the chin,
And watch my white eyes writhing in my face,
My hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the flood
Of jingoistic bile from my froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable lies on ministers’ tongues,—
My friend, you might not tell with such high zest
To children studying, for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria Tory.