Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A DANISH BARROW; ON THE EAST DEVON COAST, by FRANCIS TURNER PALGRAVE



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A DANISH BARROW; ON THE EAST DEVON COAST, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Lie still, old dane, below thy heap!
Last Line: As thou within the mother's breast.
Subject(s): Alfred The Great (849-1899); Great Britain - Danish Invasions; War; Alfred, King Of Wessex


LIE still, old Dane, below thy heap!
A sturdy-back and sturdy-limb,
Whoe'er he was, I warrant him
Upon whose mound the single sheep
Browses and tinkles in the sun,
Within the narrow vale alone.

Lie still, old Dane! This restful scene
Suits well thy centuries of sleep:
The soft brown roots above thee creep,
The lotus flaunts his ruddy sheen,
And, -- vain memento of the spot, --
The turquoise-eyed forget-me-not.

Lie still! Thy mother-land herself
Would know thee not again: no more
The Raven from the northern shore
Hails the bold crew to push for pelf,
Through fire and blood and slaughtered kings
'Neath the black terror of his wings.

And thou, -- thy very name is lost!
The peasant only knows that here
Bold Alfred scooped thy flinty bier,
And prayed a foeman's prayer, and tost
His auburn head, and said, "One more
Of England's foes guards England's shore,"

And turned and passed to other feats,
And left thee in thine iron robe,
To circle with the circling globe,
While Time's corrosive dewdrop eats
The giant warrior to a crust
Of earth in earth, and rust in rust.

So lie: and let the children play
And sit like flowers upon thy grave
And crown with flowers, -- that hardly have
A briefer blooming-tide than they; --
By hurrying years urged on to rest,
As thou within the Mother's breast.




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