John Everett Millais The boyhood of raleigh
John Everett Millais 'The boyhood of raleigh'

The Boyhood of Raleigh

Roger McGough

Entranced, he listens to salty tales
Of derring-do and giant whales,

Uncharted seas and Spanish gold,
Tempests raging, pirates bold.

And his friend? 'God I'm bored.
As for Jolly Jack, I don’t believe a word.

What a way to spend the afternoons,
The stink of fish, and those ghastly pantaloons!'

John Everett Millais Ophelia
John Everett Millais 'Ophelia'

Roger McGough, born in Liverpool and now resident in Londen, has two volumes of his selected poems 1967-87 published by Penguin, Blazing Fruit and You at the Back. His most recent collection is Defying Gravity, 1992.