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The Liverymen's Lament


We heard our fate – “Don’t congregate!” – the Companies were aghast

Corona’s struck, we’re out of luck, our meeting days are past.

No dinners at the Skinners’, or any other Halls

The Pewterers and Fruiterers are silent, like St Paul’s.

 

“Stay at home - don’t try to roam” - so nobody’s around,

The Haberdashers dash away; the Founders can’t be found.

Barbers are barred from Monkwell Square, the Cutlers’ links are cut,

The Stationers are stationary, and every Hall is shut.

 

The Saddlers are unsaddled, Musicians make no sound,

The Coopers are cooped up at home, nobody’s badged or gowned.

The Chandlers - Wax and Tallow - have candles no one needs

Our Halls are lying fallow, their gardens growing weeds.

 

The cellars of the Leathersellers – sadly underused,

No one can dine with Vintners’ wine, and Brewers feel bruised.

The City’s empty now; but still, the Companies will thrive

They’ve been through times like this before - in Sixteen sixty-five!


With acknowledgment to Geoffrey Preston, Barbers’ Company

© Nigel Pullman 2020