After the sack of the City when Rome was sunk to a name,
In the years that the lights were darkened, or ever St. Wilfrid
Low on the borders of Britain (the ancient poets sing)
Between the Cliff and the Forest there ruled a Saxon King.
Stubborn all were his people from cottar to overlord--
Not to be cowed by the cudgel, scarce to be schooled by the
Quick to turn at their pleasure, cruel to cross in their mood,
And set on paths of their choosing as the hogs of Andred's Wood.
Laws they made in the Witan--the laws of flaying and fine--