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I am a great admirer of English poetry from the time of Chaucer up until the middle of the twentieth century when it appeared to lose its way. I love all aspects of this planet but are sometimes sad when I think of what we are doing to it.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Lament For Urien Rheged

Where the waves like clawing creatures
paw the northern shore
Urien of Rheged
strode through heathen gore.

From the walls of beetling Alclud,
from their rampart heights,
Cymry armed and bloody
came thick as stellar lights.

With spears fang-sharp and bitter
as hearts of angry men
the swords of the North tribes
made harsh harp-notes in the glen.

Back fell the flaxen Sea-Wolves,
back from the reddened land
till the thunder of the ocean
rolled on the bloody sand.

On Metcaut’s crumbling rock fields
they smelled the stench of death;
loud and fast and shallow
came their hunted breath.

But there his doom was dealt out
by Britons cursed and low –
The shield of the Northmen
fell to a Cymric foe!

O Urien – our bright one!
Our shelter and our shield
A death from your kinsman!
- To no other would you yield!

Dark and cold the North Land
Gone the friendly fires;
None but Godless Saxons
Shall stoke our funeral pyres.

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