Planetary conjunction, behold catastrophe, o’ trembling earthquake

Afore thy outbreak, for terror has struck – omens of bad luck

Of rats aboard large ships of trade

Black Death, Black Sea, what becometh thee?

Rain of fire be seen, plague-ridden body on board

We have reached thy port, yet to attest, how plague affects

Swelling glands, pain of anguish, rats be driven away!

Your mere presence has brought such decay

As we whip, thy iron-tip, our atonement for sin

Carvened Danse Macabre

Such an illusion – dissolutions thee

Charms of protection, a defensive guard

Twas written, twas seen

O’ comet, striker of the sky, what do you signify?

Pepys can testify

Anger from above, epidemic take hold

Wagons rumble o’er cobblestones

Familiar cries, threepence my dear

Our streets form an open sewer, coins in vinegar, avid memoir

O’ do not tarry, empty thy cesspit

O’ waste

Watchers in haste

Yet beyond the square, our city of London, along the Thames

Statistics ever-rising – bills of mortality

Your curing touch, King healeth thee

O’ silent city, cross be marked

Doors marked red, as peoples fled

Orders for health, examine, oversee, Royal Society

Even physicians flee

Of herbs and spices, no cure for thee

A fire, so great as broken out, thy plague wiped out

As events unfold, we shall retain control


Written by Geraldine Taylor ©