anglo saxon chronicle, gildas, fall of rome, angles, saxons, romano-britons

Cenric's Ossuary

Will they discern the lineaments
Or the decaying Irminsul
Will they find the royal gold
Stolen from the battlefield
And a robbers lone and mangled skull,
Here upon the bloodied Weald,
Stripped by every crow and gull.

The Bishop's blame pelagians,
The King's blame all but they alone
To enter Woden's hallowed fold,
The Briton chose a new defence
A mead hall stench of boiled bone,
Mixed with flax and strong incense,
To God these fallen will be known.

Better to fight than live in fear,
To flow with the North Sea tide
There will be no return to days of old;
A faithless outpost of open dissent,
A nation divided by envy and pride;
They never knew what Honorius meant
Until after the Empire died.

A barrow is raised for a Kentish prince
Incursions kindle the fires of war
Vengeance will be uncontrolled
The trading routes will be secured
Who knows what hell the Gael saw,
Or what agony the Pict endured
The West now spurns the Eastern Shore.

Mixed blood flowed through these young bones
Nobles claim their blood runs true
The failings of Rome were manifold
Aëtius knew our people well
In practice do as the Romans do
In battle mirror the legions of hell
And honour in death is a King's virtue.

© Severn Dwyer. Six month research project, 2010

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