And So It Was!

And so it was

The English had forgotten who they were

Great English Folcmoot - August 2011

The Great English Folcmoot – August 2011

Lost in darkness and shadow confused and uncertain

For what is a man without his past?

Hear then the deeds of your ancestors

I Æthlflæd, Lady of Mercia, stand before you

I have crossed the Rainbow Bridge

To tell you who you are.

Clear and insistent,

The bard’s song echoed through the mead hall

Tales of heroes, gods and giants told in the dusk of evening

They listened and were entranced

Seated at their benches

Around the brightness of the laughing, dancing fire

Warriors and farmers dreamed the same dream

Good land to till, homes for their families.

From Denmark and Germany

A North Sea people, skilled seafarers

They knew the fame of rich Britannia

Sailed the sea paths

In their high prowed ships,

The legions all departed

The invaders reached the shore, 

Few in number but determined.

Then who has heard the tale?

It was Vortigern, a British King

The Chronicles recall

Hounded by the Picts, sent for help to Angle

Three ships came to Ebbsfleet

A brave war band

Engaged in savage conflict

Won honour and glory and were victorious. 

King Vortigern rewarded these mercenaries

Was generous with his gifts

Buckles finely wrought, gold rings, sharp edged swords and land.

Then came a mighty host

Men of three tribes, Saxons, Jutes and Angles

Bound by kinship and loyalty

To their lords – Hengest and Horsa

These warriors fought but did not obey this king.

Sword on shield clashed, axes rose and fell

Many were slain in bloody battle,

Hengst and Horsa took land for their trouble.

The Jutes, Kent, for their homes

Great craftsmen these, and traders

Saxons and Angles to the east and middle country

Others saw their chance and followed

Over the wide grey sea.

Villages were built, houses of wattle, daub and thatch.

Not town dwellers these Anglo Saxons

Lovers of the open land, dark pine forests and wide rivers.

Their settlements tuns and hams

The Roman towns deserted, haunted, cold harbours.

Warriors hung up their war gear now

Listened to the bard as he sang in the mead hall

In the land of the Angles, their new land of England.

And so the fates who weave the threads of all men’s lives

Created a wondrous tapestry for these people;

Green, sea blues and greys

Blood red, gleaming gold, silver and purple

For these were clever and sophisticated people.
104

Skilled farmers, seafarers, brave warriors, great kings.

These were your ancestors.

Remember them.


[And So It Was – was kindly written by a friend and supporter of Northants English Welfare Society, March 2013]

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