And here he is at the head of a line
of his Wild West Circus artistes, Native
Americans in traditional feathers,
sharpshooters and rodeo cowboys,
all ahorse, with a chap in a raincoat
and trilby standing by on the turf
as if calling out ‘Starters’ orders!’
and well dressed spectators
leaning over the parapet of the Roman walls.
The Roodee used to be a tidal pool.
It silted gradually and became
a vast Guild sponsored football pitch until
the injuries and the drunkenness forced
the city fathers to outlaw football
and create a race course, which prospers today
and populates the city each fixture with
extravagantly dressed and largely pacific
inebriates. So, here he is, slaughterer,
impresario, free mason, army scout,
a modern hustler despite his whiskers –
who rode thirty miles, when he was ten,
to warn his anti-slavery father
of a plot to kill him – measure for measure.