Rhodes is in his grave
Long since.
Oxford students wince
And call
For his statue to fall,
Yet continue to take the cash
Of one they would consign to history’s trash.

We all have feet of clay.
How easy it is to judge
And bear a grudge
Towards those who have passed away,
For the dead can nothing say
To mitigate
The hate
Of callow youth,
So convinced are they of their own rectitude and truth.

It is easy to look back through an opaque
Glass and take
The high moral ground.
‘Tis a truth throughout history found
That yesterday’s hero
Will into the garbage go
For they were not “progressive” (although they thought themselves so).

Do those sitting in student bar
Congratulating themselves on how far
We have come, ever pause,
look beyond the self-applause
And ponder
On yonder
Setting sun.

I agree with the historian Mary Beard that the attempt to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford is a dangerous attempt to erase the past, (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/mary-beard-says-drive-to-remove-cecil-rhodes-statue-from-oxford-university-is-a-dangerous-attempt-to-a6783306.html).

2 thoughts on “Rhodes

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