cloister - Sir John and Robert massacre all at Cesena

Sir John and Robert massacre all at Cesena

Hawkwood, mercenary general, condotierre

L’acuto, “keen one” was his nom de guerre

In Renaissance wars he fought on every side

But Robert’s massacre crushed his pride


Cesena City seized by Robert, the anti-pope

Hawkwood, conquering general, gave all hope:

“The besieged city walls will be repaired.

And the innocents of Cesena will be spared!”


But the cardinal insisted, “tis not to be!

I’ll not give the people of Cesena liberty!

No rest until their slaughter is complete.

I want to see them rotting in the street!”


Said Sir John, “Eminence you’re a man of God!

Innocents beneath the feet of war are trod!”

Cardinal replied, “God speaks not of warfare!

Not one single swaddling babe shall I spare!


Send your drunken soldiers into each street.

And for every terrified citizen that they meet

thrust a rusty sword into his quivering belly.

Lord have charity; for the Church hasn’t any!”


Patrick Mackeown, July 2006


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