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The Ridgeway

Ancient Trackway


Thoughts of the Icknield Way
(downs of Berkshire)

When wild west winds sweep o'er these Downlands free
And sway ripe cornfields 'neath a changing sky
They lash to dancing ev'ry storm-tossed tree
And shout and sing of ages long gone by -
We walk the Ridge, as did those skin-clad men
Who chipped the flint and worshipped each new day,
The Sun, Deliverer from night's terrors then,
Ere Roman legions tramped that windy way.

Where now wave toadflax and the scabious blue,
Where Pasque flowers nestle, as the heights begin
Of rounded hills lit with a rainbow hue: -
Once ran the hares before the battle's din.
Time was, when as the startled larks took wing,
The blowing-stone went sounding far and near,
As Saxon warriors rallied round a King,
Who saved his land, yet held Christ's Faith more dear.

Men saw his valour on the Field of Fame,
His great forgiving of a captive foe,
To whom, baptised into Christ's saving Name,
Was granted freedom, and a new life to know.
Men knew his zeal for learning and for law,
Culture and music, love of kith and kin,
But God alone his nightly vigils saw: -
Those prayers in suff'ring that Heaven's strength could win.

Sister Sylvia

'Field of Fame' = Ethandune
'captive foe' = Guthrum and the Danish Leaders
wysefool Posted by wysefool
14th May 2007ce

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