Cicely Fox Smith
A Norseman - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
Beneath the golden eagle's shade
Gleam restless eyes of steely grey,
That look out calmly, unafraid,
From brows deep-tann'd by salt sea-spray,
Thro' many a year of sun and breeze,
Spent toiling over unknown seas.
Ah, dreaded! when that burnished helm
Flash'd back the glare from blazing farms,
And the red glow o'er all the realm
Awoke the peaceful land to arms,
And the fierce tumult drawing near
Palsied the listening monks with fear.
So childlike, when the work of years
In frolic thou wouldst swift destroy;
So manlike, when at clash of spears
Shivered a swift and sudden joy
Thro' all thy mighty frame, to feel
A foe man worthy of thy steel.
And now, when battle draweth nigh,
'Neath modern culture's slight veneer,
The Briton feels his heart beat high,
Showing that Viking blood is here.
The manlike destined still to last,
The childlike buried in the past.
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