Here is a poem, written by Joanna Lumley and Richard Stilgoe for Terry Wogan’sMemorial Service at Westminster Abbey, on 27th September 2016:
FOR THE FORMER GREATEST LIVING IRISHMAN
HOW shall I praise him? Let me count the ways.
I think he was the tops, the cat’s miaow;
For pity’s sake, who else would you allow
To mutter in your ear each dawn of days
Just rambling on, with nothing on his mind?
A brainy burbling, charming us to shreds
When we should long have risen from our beds.
But then he signed off, leaving us behind.
I worked with him, and twice I took his place.
If he was here I’d kiss his handsome face,
And tell him that they simply broke the mould
When he was made. He’ll never now be old,
For now he’s scripted by the Holy Ghost
And billions of lost souls are feeling cosier
As, with their morning helping of ambrosia,
They listen in to their new heavenly host.
That voice—(an aural newly-ripened peach
That never spoke to all, but spoke to each,
Each one he never met, but made his friend)
Now sounds for evermore, world without end.
Oh, lucky cherubim and seraphim,
With breakfast hymns forever linked by him!
by Joanna Lumley (b 1946) and Richard Stilgoe (b 1943)
Based on: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.