I was too busy yesterday writing another poem to note that my fairly long break from writing the liturgical poems was over and I now had another poem to write. This one is for Margaret of Scotland, a remarkable woman normally celebrated on November 16 but, due to my disorganisation, remembered here today.
The Beggar Queen
(For Margaret of Scotland, Queen and Helper of the Poor)
You’ve heard the tale of Norman armies,
William at the lead, at Hastings,
Knocking down King Harold, taking
England in their swooping grip.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Edgar Aethling,
Nephew to the late King Edward,
Chosen to succeed King Harold,
Stopped by William of Normandy.
But have you heard of Edgar’s sister,
Margaret, Scotland’s refugee queen?
Have you heard the tales of her
Prayers and constant charity?
Have you heard of how Queen Margaret
Stole the Maundy Thursday offering,
Giving it to every beggar
Who came by the house of God?
Have you heard of how she welcomed
Those who fled from William’s power?
Have you heard of how she took in
Enemies and begging lords?
Have you heard of how she lived
Upon her knees in endless prayer,
Scotland’s queen but God’s firm beggar,
Begging nothing for herself but
For God’s kingdom, everything?