Upon Viewing Hadrian’s Wall~
Traveling deeper through that country I loved, the very earth full of history;
Until there it is, the wall, glistening in the morning like whited bones,
Ah! I have dreamed of this moment; the mists are lowered as a pall
As if to hide the history of those stones; though in my mind’s eye I see
This monument still standing! Full eighty miles in length you be;
You spanned the isle from sea to sea and still so span. It was here
the might of Rome would often merge
against that vicious, vulgar, ill-begotten surge,
That in these lands so roused both hate and fear—
Standing firm until some leader of a legion, with hopes of kingly glory
and for Caesar’s crown; seeing lands and honor for his own son
to claim; Would, with his mighty forces leave the region
And let the horde again come crushing down.
When gone, how easily was torn that thin brigade,
That token force against the Northern lands;
Even now I see in thought those bloody hands
that scaled the wall as victors and surveyed
the death which they had in their madness wrought.
Deer skins their clothes and war their trade—
Those ragged, rugged regiments that fought
with fierceness foreshadowing the Dane;
Until, with fury spent, returned to home and hall;
Though soon to come again and yet again.
Like ageless tides these wars were waged, and through it all
One stood firm and timeless like the tide—- the wall.
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