He learned to read from a black-letter Bible,
was thought a backward boy, no scholar.
Lonely, close and comely,
poor boy was deemed a dullard.
He forged his first letters
from illuminated capitals;
cutting consonants, reviewing verbs,
giving names to nouns.
Memory on memory make his story,
they talk of it still sighing their sorrows.
Merciless London, no crumb offered,
the baker rebuffed him for begging a loaf.
Chatterton (Black Pear Press, 2014)
Available as an eBook