Tower Of London

By Theresa Stephens

Conquering Normans in siege they lay
waste to all England
to pillage and slay.

William the Conqueror rode overland
with nobles and ladies
of high ranking band.

Surveying all territories with equal measure
His decision unanimous,
and at his leisure

Decided on Londinium, the roman town
By the river Thames,
his fortress he found.

Erected by labourers, a mammoth task,
A castle keep,
made to last.

In building this edifice of towering strength,
Quelled all resistance
at each wall length.

Forming a formidable structure to intimidate
all Saxon nobles
reduced to peasant state,

As centuries pass amid tales of woe,
from palace home
to fighting the foe,

Political prisoners held in the white tower
in angst deprivation
as they await the hour of their execution.

Queens and Princes murdered there
Heads lopped off
As the populace stare.

Beefeaters, knights and crows stand guard
at the portcullis, gatehouse
and inner courtyard.

Since 1078 the white tower stands
unaffected by seasons
and war-bombing strands.

The second world war brings chaos all around
From blitz bombardment
an ear-deafening sound.

Tower of London sheltered all within
Who seek to find refuge
from the annihilating din.

In peacetime came tourists from foreign shores
Keeping coffers full
As the river Thames flows.

Many visitors being guided around
listening to Beefeaters narrative
in awe spellbound.

Viewing medieval suits of armour along walls of stone
including a glass case
holding Henry V111’s own.

Six feet four embellished in gold
Surveying Tudor artifacts
as their history unfolds

Quequing lines of people awaiting their turn
to see priceless crown jewels
all expectations confirm.

Gems of such brilliance in shape and size
from adorning royal personages
the nation’s prize.

Scheduled archaeological digs still carry on,
uncovering hidden passages,
where our history comes from.

Should the resident clipped crows disappear through the gate
legend states London is lost
left to it’s fate.

If walls could talk to be precise
what secrets revealed
to it’s possible demise.

Longevity establishes a sense of worth
uniting the population
in the land of their birth.

Long forgotten enmities lost in the chronicles of time,
the Tower represents
a landmark fine.

As the keys approach at the designated hour
the bayonet drawn guard
calls out from the tower

“Halt who goes there?”

And answering comes the time honoured refrain
The Keys of Elizabeth,
our Sovereign Queen in name.

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