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ON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

‘Earth has not anything to show more fair:

Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty.’

COMPOSED ON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 3, 1802

William Wordsworth

 

After their slow revolve on the London Eye,

the kingdom’s power nexus spread beneath them –

palaces, churches, offices, parade grounds –

many tourists walk across the bridge.

 

Today industrial scale ‘Find The Lady’

awaits them: six identical sets of mats,

tin cups, balls, and keen punters shamming –

distractions for marks pickpockets will make.

A pair of police constables strides

with intent from the Embankment. One calls out

as the many miscreants disperse.

Good to know that – armed with taisers and batons,

on a bridge fortified against terrorists –

a burly bobby still shouts, ”Oi, you!’

 

At the foot of the bridge near the entrance

to Parliament’s guarded underground car park,

a Scottish piper plays a pibroch,

‘Lochaber no more’, a lament of exile.

The plangent notes swirl amongst the passing crowds.

© Copyright David Selzer
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