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The body has no weight. A hidden knee

Supports his general impulse to ascend,

And kneeling’s not in question. What we see

Is a soul arising. Nothing to offend

In silken folds and earthly crown discarded,

In head and hands too self-absorbed for prayer,

The space before the heart gracefully guarded

By delicate fingers plucking a lute in air.

 

Beneath this tragic eikon, which defines

Self-justifying memoir as devotion

(“Conscience before kingdoms”), the poets’ lines

Conjure a not dissimilar emotion.

George, Gavin, Peter, Anthony, Kit,

Perhaps you remembered (and remember) it?

 

John Fuller

 

Author's note: Ferrour's portrait hangs above the platform at the Poetry Festival in the Town Hall, King’s Lynn. It is based on the frontispiece to the Eikon Basilike, a pious defence of the divine right of kings and a forgiveness of the regicides, supposedly written by the king himself and published ten days after his execution.