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Kipling: The River's Tale (The Thames)
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I love Kipling! Simple and uncomplicated, but he knew his stuff. He wasn't keen on the Romans either.

from The River's Tale (The Thames)

"But I'd have you know that these waters of mine
Were once a branch of the River Rhine,
When hundreds of miles to the East I went
And England was joined to the Continent.

I remember the bat-wing lizard birds,
The Age of Ice and the mammoth herds,
And the giant tigers that stalked them down
Through Regent's Park into Camden Town.
And I remember like yesterday
The earliest Cockney who came my way,
When he pushed through the forest that lined the Strand,
With paint on his face and a club in his hand.
He was death to feather and fin and fur.
He trapped my beavers at Westminster.
He netted my salmon, he hunted my deer,
He killed my heron off Lambeth Pier.
He fought his neighbour with axes and swords,
Flint or bronze, at my upper fords,
While down at Greenwich, for slaves and tin,
The tall Phoenician ships stole in,
And North Sea war-boats, painted and gay,
Flashed like dragonflies, Erith way;
And Norseman and Negro and Gaul and Greek,
Drank with the Britons in Barking Creek,
And life was gay, and the world was new,
And I was a mile across at Kew!
But the Romans came with a heavy hand,
And bridged and roaded and ruled the land,
And the Romans left and the Danes blew in-
And that's where your history-books begin."

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Posted by PeterH
11th May 2005ce

In reply to:

Kipling - In the Neolithic Age (nigelswift)

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