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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
•  Rising
•  Walking with Ghosts Pts 1&2
•  My Sweet Idiom
           >> View all 102


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


 


But…


 


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!
Jill
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!
love,
eileen
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...

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