Absolutely fabulous news for racing as Joanna Lumley read Henry Birtles’s Ascot poem to open Channel 4’s coverage of Royal Ascot 2014.
“The theme is Great British Drama and what an honour to have Joanna Lumley put her voice to the poem I wrote for this year’s Royal Meeting,” said Birtles, speaking in 2014.
You can watch the film here.
Royal Ascot by Henry Birtles
Upon this striking Heath a joyful throng shall once again with eagerness descend
Whose deafening voice will rise and fall in tune with fate’s irregular decree
Upon these lawns a million dreams will clash and find their waking judgements end
As victory and defeat both fight it out for all the sporting universe to see
Upon this Turf, a stage is set to celebrate today and all that’s past
Where names of those long gone, yet still revered,
Once nailed their famous colours to the mast
Where Queens and Kings have also felt the thrills
Some might just think exclusive to their own
And everyone here gathered understands through this and more,
Our history shines so gloriously alone
Upon my soul this burst of every shade an alchemist could possibly conceive,
Enlivens spirits for the Racing feast that lies ahead
And weaves this Royal Ascot week a tapestry
Great British Drama brightly laced with reams of endless multi-coloured thread.
To read more about Birtles and his work see www.henrybirtles.co.uk
Read our interview with Henry Birtles here.