Queen Seaxburgh (A.D. 672-674)
The land it seemed adrift as in a dream.
In summer’s sultry haze most seemed so still,
Yet ripples on the eddies in the stream
Reflected sunshine warm on waters chill.
Each bird that flew it flew with languorous flight,
With no clouds now, the sun baked some fields dry.
A warm portent of famine and of plight,
But torpid folk seemed too fatigued to sigh.
For where’s the strength to sigh in so much heat,
Where is the strength to do that much at all?
And all now droops before the Sun’s deceit
Save for one blackbird with its warning call.
Her old lord king was dead and gone to Grace,
This mother of a king now ruled his land.
She held the reins a short while in his place,
Though all was still – tumult was close at hand.
The envy of the lesser men so low
Just would not see a woman could be wise.
As envy at its height brings nought save woe,
A tumult stirred beneath the still blue skies.
From: “The Children of Gewis”
© Trevor Morgan, 15/10/2018