Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Merrie England

Don’t smile in the street

or someone you meet

of the opposite sex

(or even the same)

may think you mean them.

England Suspects.

If seized with a laugh

conceal it in cough.

Of course we have humour,

but laughing aloud

is odd in a crowd

and gives rise to rumour.

Don’t talk in a train

unless to complain.

Veil up your soul:

don’t weep at the play

or someone may say

“He’s no self-control.”

This respectable curse

is laid on us: worse

than women or drink

is laughter, is sobbing.

Who killed Cock Robin?

Cromwell, I think.

Victoria busily

stamped the grave Wesley

and others had filled;

but Cromwell (and Charles

the foolish and false)

they it was killed.