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Paul Williams

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  When the Legions came
by Paul Williams
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by Paul Williams
•  Disturbing Ovid 2013
•  Hideous spirit
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I've re-wrote this poem again! and changed the structure slighty I would welcome any constructive criticism...enjoy anyway, even if you've read it before lol. I promise there is new stuff coming soon, I want to get some of the old stuff right first. Thank you all who to take the time to read me.

When the Legions Came


Above the North wind at the edge of the known world

where talking heads and giants dwell

and where stories of dragons unfurled,

lay an Isle of mystery and mists

a blessed land of apples, unicorn kissed

or so their legends went…

It was how they saw our land.

To claim it for their own their plan,

so a vast army they sent

to make desolation and call it peace

Pax Romana Ha!

For centuries to be slaves no hope of release.


Across the ferocious mere in galleys they rode

wave horses bucking them to and fro

Eagle standards like needles on show.

Legions of conquest with craven allies came

from this day forth

nothing would ever be the same.

Samnites, Thracians and treacherous Gaul’s

Roman denarii filling their treacherous halls

Some we had met and fought before

In the lands of Iberia

These arrogant men of war




never had such a machine violated

our blessed Isle, our sacred shores.

These whores from foreign lands

with scorpion, ballistae and catapult 

who came to taint the pure white sands.


Sky sheep away from the horizon flocked

from the shadow of the thunder-wolf,

who with lightening smile mocked

our bodies in woad strung blue

lime washed hair stiffened a frightening hue

And Torc’s that shone with the power of Sol.

We monsters of the Isles bared our teeth,

ready their bodies to rend, their blood to shed

upon the slashing swords of the murderous horde

bound with madness by the Druids cord

drunk, on stewed mandrake and henbane brew

the chosen of the Gods, berserkers insane

the sacred few.


The war raven on black wing flew…

Waiting to pick the bones of those we slew.


Singing irrational anthems clashing our shields,

their blood we’d spill on the green of our fields.

Their auxiliary curs cowed as the great boar

Carnyx howled, ‘R’vannith’ our deafening roar

and charged after our chariots leading us into war

and death rained from above.

Cracking limb and crushing bone

we tired to drive these invaders home

hack by slash back into the sea

but it became a blood soaked melee.

Draco’s cavalry with whistling

dragons on our flanks

the whistles became a deafening roar

as they smashed our ranks…

from that point on we were lost

for centuries to pay the cost

that day…

the legions came.


Upon pilum and gladius we died

in our thousands, and our women cried

before their liberty was taken without a smile

by the legions who destroyed

the myth of the misty Isle.


So fugacious fugitives we became

wraiths haunting our own land

our insurrection a game

doomed not to last

as into legend we passed

Nothing was ever the same

once the legions came.


© P Williams 2005





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Reviewed by SilverCeltic Moon 3/9/2005
I loved this.

As the Irish say about all their so-called conquerors. No one ever conquered Ireland, Ireland conquered them.

They came, they saw, they fell in love and they stayed.

Great poem!! ;) Silver
Reviewed by Jill Eisnaugle 3/9/2005
It is very Old-English in perception and very good, Paul. Epics are a unique part of our poetic heritage.
Great job!
Reviewed by Andy Turner (Reader) 3/8/2005
They did give us the 303.

Really like how this reads. Can almost here it whispered, in a long gone Briton voice..
Reviewed by E T Waldron 3/8/2005
I think it's a great poem and thought the same before;-)
Guess I'm no help! It's wonderful as is!
Reviewed by Judy Lloyd (Reader) 3/8/2005
This reminds me of the Beowulf epic that we studied in English literature. It was hard to read but yours seemed to flow. However I remember that one well.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 3/8/2005
I truly liked this epic poem the first time, Paul, and I like it even more now.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 3/8/2005
It's getting better every time!!

This is one Helluva Masterpiece Chuck!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by L. Figgins 3/8/2005
More edge, even more powerful than the first draft! A fine work, Paul...

  1. Loss
  2. Falling
  3. Womanhood
  4. Mud Pups
  5. The red ink flower tree
  7. Bubble Slaves
  8. Waterfall
  9. Body Quakes
  10. He Took A Bath Once
  11. Quandary
  12. True Friends
  13. Beringia
  14. Ego
  15. Inevitable
  16. My Storm
  17. About Twenty Inches of Snow
  18. A Lovely Day For A Swim
  19. Enchantment
  20. The Shredding Machine

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