Sir John Betjeman's death last month has left
A title vacant and his Queen bereft.
Who now will hymn enduring England's glories,
Her verdant greenery and ruling Tories;
Who is to laud Elizabethan splendor,
Monarchic births and teas, and sterling tender?
Who, in short, can fill a post so hoary it
Dates back to Dryden, the first Poet Laureate?
Since then, succeeding crowns have given benison
To sixteen poets, e.g., Wordsworth, Tennyson;
And some who scaled Parnassus not as high,
Including Tate, Rowe, Gibber, Eusden, Pye.
All talents, large or nil, agreed to nurse
Knee-jerk reactions into public verse