A Quiet Place

The stately homes of England
Magnificent and mad
Monied folk and opulence
Beautiful and bad
While many live in hovels
And scarcely daylight see
The gentle folk of England
Were on a spending spree

They ruled the roost
They had the dough
They spent it as they pleased
Monstrosities of elegance
Parkland at their ease
Money made from coalmines
From plantations overseas
Money made from slavery
Others on their knees

The First World War it scuppered them
Lifeblood ebbed away
Sons are buried now in France
Fell and there they stay
Servants too no longer came
Looking for employ
Those days of simple servitude
Serving maid and boy

So many homes have been knocked down
Demolished where they stood
Yet some remain and visited
They maintain a livelihood
And one a refuge from the crowd
An oasis in the din
The house at Chequers Buckingham
The PM weekends in

We all need peace and quiet
If not a country house
I’m blessed in Stirling where I live
So quiet don’t hear a mouse
I once lived in a stately home
Hawkstone Hall in Salop
Now a handsome fine hotel
The Reds they had to sell up

The grander places were obscene
Built for flaunting wealth
Beautiful I grant you –
To benefit whose health?
While huts and hovels scar the earth
How blind and foolish we
For building monuments so grand
To stand alone – empty

Brian Fahy
18 July 2021

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