Guy Fawkes' Lantern

Guy Fawkes' lantern
Is a surreptitious
Place of pilgrimage

For anonymous
Armies of anarchists who
Visit the glass case

Where it is preserved
In the Ashmolean
Museum, Oxford.

`What if?' they ponder,
`What if Guy Fawkes had done it?
`Had done the business

`For what's changed?' they ask,
`Kings and parliaments spend tax
`On wars no one wants.

`There's still a monarch,
`Most of whose Parliament
`Is unelected.1

`Since eight hundred Lords
Outnumber the rest, it makes
Voting a damp squib.'

Boisterous voices
Then frighten the life out of
Japanese tourists...

`Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow.'

Heathcote Williams