The Poet Laureate of Crime

The cream of crime were gathered at St Bartholomew the Great
To bid a fond farewell to an esteemed associate
A mastermind, a leader of men, a father, a brother cellmate
Whose criminal intelligence once made a robbery great

This Royalty of Ruffians with necks as thick as thieves
And barely one unbroken nose among them
Stood up in church with voices loud enough to rattle the eaves
And with all their vast and villainous hearts they sang
‘Abide With Me’

Through incense clouds they hoisted him above the ancient isle
Evading Scotland Yard for the very last time
They bowed their heads, and ladies wept as he moved down the line
A first class send-off for the Poet Laureate of Crime