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A Humble Petition

‘King Charles III will not pay tax on the fortune he has inherited from the late Queen’ — The Guardian, 13 September 2022

King Charles the First, ordained by God
to be his country’s head,
was personally shortened by
an axe’s stroke instead.

A tyrant who deserved it? Still,
it seems extreme to us
that he — a stubborn royal fool —
should be diminished thus.

‘A sovereign and his subjects each
have duties to fulfil,’
so he believed: his to command
and theirs to foot the bill.

How different is King Charles the Third,
our modern head of state!
To him fall heavy tasks at last
(he’s had so long to wait):

the dishing out of titles,
the choosing where to stay;
his castles all have ‘pleasant seats’
for which the people pay.

Although in these enlightened times
we’ve put away the axe,
is it too much to ask the man
to pay his share of tax?