Boadicea: An Ode

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When the British warrior queen,

Bleeding from the Roman rods,

Sought with an indignant mien,

Counsel of her country's god's.


Sage beneath a spreading oak

Sat the Druid, hoary chief

Every burning word he spoke

Full of rage and full of grief


'Princess, if our aged eyes

Weep upon thy matchless wrongs,

'Tis because resentment ties

All the terrors of our tongues.


'Rome shall perish—write that word

In the blood that she has spilt;

Perish hopeless and abhorred,

Deep in ruin and in guilt.


'Rome, for empire far renowned,

Tramples on a thousand states;

Soon her pride shall kiss the ground,—

Hark! The Gaul is at her gates.


'Other Romans shall arise,

Heedless of a soldier's name,

Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,

Harmony the path to fame.


'Then the progeny that springs

From the forests of our land,

Armed with thunder, clad with wings,

Shall a wider world command.


'Regions Caesar never knew

Thy posterity shall sway,

Where his eagles never flew,

None invincible as they.'


Such the bard's prophetic words,

Pregnant with prophetic fire,

Bending as he swept the chords

Of his sweet but awful lyre.


She, with all a monarch's pride,

Felt them in her bosom glow,

Rushed to battle, fought and died,

Dying, hurled them at the foe.


'Ruffians, pitiless as proud,

Heaven awards the vengeance due;

Empire is on us bestowed,

Shame and ruin wait for you!'

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.