Rose and Crowne Niggles

Nigel the court’s pianist had been up to his nose
in finger exercises when the queen’s groom
called him out for a crusade to be fought with a rose
and a half crown found funding the ladies room
until, pyramid-scheme like, the new ruler’s broom
had swept the forecourt cleaner than star-crossed BP
could hope to dream of. Cheaply shouting ‘whoopee’
for reason if any of rhyme, Nigel, with thorn as sword
and coin as shield, essayed stopping totally
the oil slick thrown up by taking at their word

the crown’s oil barons, greedy as us all
but not restrained by pecuniary difficulties.
The groom, oily and opportunistically bad, suggested they start small
and they did, attacking not the entroughed aristocracies
Left and Right, but butting butlers till they wheezed,
and savaging supine servants of all ranks
beneath their own until they both gave thanks
to the God who’d let them rise so far.
Outside the court, along the river’s banks,
survivors watched the water turn to tar.

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