|This is a poem that fronts a book entitled 'A School History of Berkshire' by E A Greening Lambourn.
Old god of ancient worshippers,
Hoar guardian of the Vale,
Reveal the secrets of the years,
And to thy children's eager ears
Unfold thy wondrous tale.
While yet the she-wolf's litter played
On the seven hills of Rome,
I saw yon dimpled hollows made
With pick of stone and wooden spade,
To be the Flint-man's home.
I watched the painting victim bound
On Wayland's altar-stone,
The low-browed priesthood chanted round,
I saw the red blood soak the ground,
I heard the dying groan.
Look where the lines and circles there
Make patterns in the wheat:
Oh, that was a city, great and fair,
With temples tall and market-square,
And many a stately street.
Where wind-swept Ashdown stretches free
Above the laden plain,
I saw the Northmen break and flee,
Heard Alfred shout for victory,
And saw Earl Sidroc slain.
I heard the Gospel message given
Where village crosses stand;
Where wild beast-men had snarled and striven,
I saw the spires rise white to heaven,
Throughout a peaceful land.
Where Ock once ran through wild and waste,
By rush and reed and thorn,
I watched the jolly monks, moon-faced,
With shaven head and corded waist,
Bind up the rustling corn.
But yesterday I saw you claim
Your Father's heritage;
The land that bears the English name,
The race that won the English fame,
I watch from age to age.
Old Watcher we are known to thee
As children of the breed:
We will not shame the ancient name
Nor fail the ancient creed.
E.A.G.L. (published 1908)
Posted by wysefool
5th November 2003ce