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England - gleaming in the distance

  across the doggerland dogged people trudge
  Neanderthals, Heidelbergers...Sapiens, the last ones standing
  hairy mammoths, heavy life bearing down
  the mighty maw of an ice wall crunches, enforcing southward retreat
  remoulding the land for the next migration
  a steady thaw reveals a white-cliffed island, gleaming in the distance

  just visible beyond the sea channel flood
  eyed by shifting continentals, dark haired folk from Iberia
  warrior tribes, an evolving Celtic realm
  chieftains exert loyalty, communal living in changing weather
  mindsets underpinned by natural rhythms
  seaways and rivers become highways, ships delivering destiny

  cohorts occupy a Britannia rump
  civilisation probing northward, agents of a Roman empire
  military encampment, governance
  settlements, forts, roads and villas, the written word, trade all ramping up
  intermingling eastern cults of deity
  christian monotheism layered over polytheistic tendencies

  defensive walls, Scotti raids from Hibernia
  piercing Picts from Caledonia, continuing mainlander incursion
  overstretched, imperial crisis impending
  imperative to save the soon to be vandalised seat of power
  leaving behind a weakened island flank
  waves of germanic tribes... Angles, Saxons and Jutes

  a name takes root, Engla Land
  a tribal ' aenglisc ' language coalescing short of Cymru and Dumnonia
  unifying strength in the face of others
  the usual raiders, now joined by vikings, yet more continentals
  christian footholds confined to the west and north
  written word disappearing, Anglo-Saxon dominion in Engla Land

  seven kingdom heptarchy...Wessex, Sussex
  Essex, Cantia, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria
  heart of Engla Land, this sceptred island core
  focus for missionary emissaries of Rome spreading influence
  to the pagan locus or the long way round
  through Hibernia, Dalriata, Scotti lands down to Lindesfarne

  a Danish dominated North Sea empire
  partitioning Engla Land, making war and peace, danegeld everywhere
  danelagh holding sway east of Wattling Street
  vassal kingdoms, viking strongholds from Scandinavia to Russia
  the Irish coast, Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales
  inexorable drive of Norsemen through the Low Country to Normandy

  much machination and devious interplay
  kings, lords, bishops and monks, armies, coinage and marriage
  priesthood, sainthood and kingship intertwining
  eventual end of Danish rule, three main contenders to ascendency
  an English earl defeats a Norwegian king
  but a Norman duke wins all, succeeding to the throne of England

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 9/10/2018 6:07:00 AM
A brilliant historical verse Ian, I enjoyed this one. Tom
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