Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Keeping up with (Inigo) Jones

To Banqueting Hall, by Inigo Jones
In classical style in Portland stones
From London taxi I alight
At entrance, still festooned in white.

An audio tour is here proposed
Which, aided by big panels, shows
The glorious ceilings, Ruben's work
There are 8 in all, bought from Antwerp.

It seems a series of bad fires
Destroyed much; but what's left inspires.
Great pageants have been here displayed
Ambassadors received; masques played.

The pride of James, our "Scottish" king
It served as site to purge Charles' sin
Ending his life upon the block
Black velvet trappings hid a lot.

But faithful Juxon heard last words
Recording them for future ears.
Last royal scene, when Parliament came round
Begging Will and Mary to accept the crown.

Repaired, embellished, pulled about
At one time a chapel for the devout.
It had become a museum piece
Victoria had seen to this.

Of late restored to erstwhile splendour
'Tis sometimes used (as this November).
A sign proclaims its dual role
As many are the scenes it stole.

No need these days to advertise
Des. Res. For rent - it's no high rise!
Banqueting Hall with stunning views
Remains the place the Top Brass use.

(Written in 1990)

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

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