James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 2

Richard III

By Francis Saltus Saltus (1849–1889)

  • Last King of Plantagenet line, born at Fotheringay Castle, Oct. 2, 1452.

  • MIRACULOUS genius, grasping at the whole!

    Gossiping history calls you cruel, mad.

    Was not your hump enough to make you bad,

    Politic despot? Aye, with bitter soul,

    You played a grand and most stupendous role;

    Numbing your secret nature, good and glad,

    To juggle with crowns as does with stones a lad,

    And wade through blood to a stupendous goal!

    Brave, cunning, reckless, on broad Bosworth field,

    Where red swords gleamed, when Death claimed you his own,

    You did not falter Richard, nor did yield,

    Or hear again the smothered princes moan.

    No victim-ghosts before your mind’s eye reeled.

    What your grand soul regretted was a throne!