Richard Westcott: Will Somers Carries On

Will Sommers. Engraving ca. 1618

  I am a jester. Good King Henry’s
  the source of my sauce, the role for my royalties.
  I, Will, bring light and warmth from my season –
  to all and sundry something of Somers:
  be you clouded or sodden, whatever the weather –
  whether your son is shining or whether
  the reigning gives you rheum and chill.
  As a rule, Will will bring good folk good Will.

  You may rely upon my puns,
  rocky rhymes and feeble reason,
  rhythms that will trip you up –
  my queries, quips and quiddities,
  juggles, jests and jolly jokes –
  they all live on, although
  I lied and died in 1560. Still laughing

  Will survives, which is jester’s
  well – you yet have need of Will.
  Without a Will, we have no future.
  (Make your own Will, incidentally)
  Kings and Queens have come and gone,
  I’ll continue – my trusty monkey
  chattering on, chasing fleas −
  the work of monarchs, if you please,
  for I suggest life’s just a jest