Boadicea: An Ode
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!'