Treasure Island

Mary Hannay Foott

(1846 - 1918 / Australia)

The Massacre of the Bards


The sunlight from the sky is swept,
But, over Snowdon's summit kept,
One brand of cloud yet burns,
By ghostly hands far out of sight,
Held, glowing, in the even-light,
As Fate still keeps the weapon bright
That lingers and returns.

- - - - - -

O day of slaughter! Day of woe!
But once, a thousand years ago,
Such day has Britain seen;
When blushed her hoary hills with shame
At Mona's sacrifice of flame;
While shrieks from out the burning came
Across the strait between.

Death-helping day! That couldst not find
One weeping cloud to hide behind!
Cursed day whose light was given
For search-mate to the Saxon sword
Through coverts that our rocks afford,
While Edward's godless minions poured
The blood of the unshriven!

- - - - - -

Ill fare we when the trees are rent,
Whose friendly shelter erst was lent
In sun, and wind, and rain.
Ill fare we when the thunder-shocks
Let loose the torrents from their rocks,
To sweep away the mountain-flocks,
And flood the standing grain.

But where the forest-giants groan,
By winds that waste the woods o'erthrown,
New saplings blithely spring!
Sank herd and harvest 'neath the tide?
There's bleating on the mountain-side;
O'er cornfields, ere the dew has dried
To-morrow's lark shall sing!

Sore sighs the land when she has need
The dragon-jaws of war to feed
With those who love her best;
And long shall Cambria's tears be shed
For him who late her armies led,
Llewellyn, whose dissevered head
The Saxon crowned in jest!

Yet, in their stead whose blood is spilt,
Newcomers seize the sword's warm hilt,
Or o'er it reach the ground!
Llewellyn! every night-watch drear
With grief for thee, brings morning near;
That morn when Arthur shall appear,
Once more our leader crowned!

But when the blood of bards is poured,
Who gathers their forgotten hoard
From memories sealed by fate?
What daring songster e'er shall soar
For us to Heaven's death-guarded door,
And tell thereafter of the store
That glimmers through the grate?

When Famine's empty hand is filled,
When years the shattered oaks rebuild,
Shall heroes spring again,
Brave spirits of the past to greet
Who rise at minstrel-summons sweet,
When bards the olden tales repeat
Of Britain's mighty slain?

Nay, by the harps our fathers heard
No more shall Britain's heart be stirred,
Lost is the ancient lore!
Spent is the breath of song, that fanned
Freedom's low fires! The bard's light hand,
Whose beckoning brought the martial band,
Shall seek the strings no more!

Submitted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Massacre of the Bards by Mary Hannay Foott )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Food, Clothes And Drink, Edgar Albert Guest
  2. Let's Go, Edgar Albert Guest
  3. The Whiners, Edgar Albert Guest
  4. Down The Lanes Of August, Edgar Albert Guest
  5. Song Of The Many, Edgar Albert Guest
  6. The Jedge Of Bowie County, Edgar Albert Guest
  7. ‘Erbert's H'Opinion, Edgar Albert Guest
  8. Welcoming The New Year, Edgar Albert Guest
  9. My Proud Pa, Edgar Albert Guest
  10. Strange, Edgar Albert Guest

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Lawson


The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought,
The cheque was spent that the shearer earned,
and the sheds were all cut out;
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]