Queen Mob Presents: Christopher Woodall

Do AND Die

(With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson)

Half a brain, half a brain,
Half a brain onward
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Forward the Brexiteers!
Scorning Remainers’ fears!
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Forward the Brexiteers!
Deaf to the country’s jeers,
Deaf though the MPs know
Someone has blundered:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the four hundred.

Farage to right of them,
Ken Clarke to left of them,
Trump-Xi in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Blindly, they rode and fell,
Into the jaws of Death
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the two hundred.

When will their follies fade?
O the vast mess they’ve made!
All the world wondered.
Fight for another say!
Fight for a better day,
Confound the one hundred!


Christopher Woodall was born in London. Between leaving school in 1971 and starting work ten years later as a jobbing translator, he travelled in Europe, the Maghreb and East Africa, worked in factories, a restaurant, language schools, a crude-oil facility, and on the land, took two degrees (BA English at Cambridge, Sciences du Langage at Bordeaux), acquainting himself along the way with the French, Italian, Spanish and German languages. His novel November was published in December 2016 by Dalkey Archive Press, and story Midnight's Orphans was published by Berfrois. His website is: www.christopherwoodall.org

Photo by Grace Tetley (Unsplash).

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