The Iceni Legend

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pencil pusher
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The Iceni Legend

Post by pencil pusher » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:22 pm

The Iceni Legend


Where now lies the Iceni spirit?
But all about in Anglian air!
In copse and brook and quarry pit,-
Envisage the glory and feel it there.

Boadicea stands now as statuesque Queen,
At Westminster bridge in old Londinium.
Her image emblazons the penny, now unseen,
Her like won’t be met in another millennium.

But though we live the here and now,
It’s to the past that we must look.
So remember, and learn, as I tell you how,
The Iceni legend came unto our history book.

In the ivory towers of ancient Rome,
At the corrupted hub of a sprawling Empire,
Was the licentious Nero, who lay at home,
Dreaming, unwittingly, of funeral pyres.

Far away, on the edge of Empire grand,
The Cohorts and legions, who as invaders had marched,
Swathing across such green and pleasant land,
Now policed a nation now of freedom parched.

In one great domain of true Celtic blood,
Death deemed it due, to sup on Prasutagus’ soul,
And thus created opportunity, for legend to flood,
Through Boadicea, to embody her fated role.

For Prasutagus had acquired a vast treasure hoard,
But had failed to produce an heir.
So in order to protect the family he adored,
He foolishly willed Nero, an equal share.

Roman eyes glinted with malice and greed,
And sacked the estates of the belated King.
Countless Centurions on criminal deed,
Obeying immoral orders, sealed by Nero’s ring.

And thus came the villains to palatial abode,
And took brave Boadicea and her daughters, two.
The palace was pillaged as Nero crowed,
And the women were subjected to improper imbrue.

The sweet apples both of Prasutagus’ eye,
Were cruelly stripped and brutally raped,
Whilst Boadicea was beaten `neath darkened sky,
At which her wounds wept, and openly gaped.

Her body thus battered, but not her womanly resolve,
She rallied the Iceni of the Anglian folk.
With a cry that none, could from their duty absolve,
“Follow me or submit to the Roman yoke!”

Twice hundred times a thousand men of steel,
Marched for vengeance and Iceni pride,
And justice and freedom from invaders heel,
And the memory of their brethren that had died.

The fist of Rome, Nero’s right hand,
The governor Suetonius Paulinius,
Was away on business across the land,
And of these events was somewhat oblivious.

And thus to Camulodunum, they came unchecked,
And mustered without of the decadent nest;
Then Boadicea, whom with Roman scars was bedecked,
Incited the Iceni with her bloody request.

“Tis I they beat and whipped and scarred!
“Tis from I they looted and stole!
“My family’s lands lay sacked and charred,
“And Iceni blood runs down gibbet pole!”

“My daughters innocence was bestially defiled,
“By the wicked contempt of Neronian lust!
“Prasutagus was by treachery beguiled,
“Forward Ecene! Grind the tyranny into dust!”

Warlike Brittannia, grasping trident aloft,
Charioted led the ranks to the affray.
At pleas for mercy, the warriors scoffed.
For no prisoners they took on this vengeful day.

Death gloated and reaped his ripened harvest,
As the Iceni tribes continued their work of slaughter.
And Boadicea’s fury was vented by her bloodquest,
Screaming, “Revenge! For me and my daughters!”

Camulodunum fell, and Rome winced in pain,
For no one was spared from Iceni hate;
By the torch or the cross, their presence would stain,
No longer, nor bridle, Britain’s fate.

Boadicea’s wrath was still not abated,
And she rallied once more the men,
“Camulodunum is taken, too long it waited,
“Onwards to Verulamium, to victory again!”

This, my friend, is the stuff of legend.
The spirit of rebellion for what is right.
The snarling underdog, turns to send,
The evil marauders back to the night.

Verulamium too, fell to the sword,
Its Roman denizens put to death,
And still the battle drunk Celtic horde,
Were urged to smother every last Roman breath.

South they turned to Londinium town,
Their fury and impetus still not spent.
And plundered the jewel of Rome’s English crown,
That the might of Empire was buckled and bent.

Paulinius, from Mona, at last sallied forth,
To quash the infractious uprising.
Reinforcing his troops with Legions from the north,
He deployed his strategy with a speed surprising.

At Fenny Stratford, on Watling Street,
The Empire’s finest, the Roman foe,
Invoked the Iceni legend with a crushing defeat,
Of the rebel band, inducing Boadicea’s woe.

The disciplined engine of military might,
Advanced in unison to the fore.
Iceni hearts trembled at the doom laden sight,
And the ground turned to quagmire from Ecene gore.

Once more victorious, the Roman eagle flew,
“Veni! Vidi! Vici!” still held sway.
But from that loss the legend grew,
And lives among us still today.

Boadicea, with her heart so full of pain,
Imbibed of poison to quell the ache.
Her spirit and soul still live again,
Seeking Shackles of Injustice which to break.

For this you must know is the lesson learnt,
To be shouted loud throughout the land;
Though Liberty, at the stake, may be burnt,
Against wrong-doings, Britain must stand.

Boadicea’s bones are long since dust,
But like a Phoenix, she arose anew,
Rule Brittannia! Yell with a patriots lust!
Boadicea and the Iceni, were Britain’s true!
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poeticpiers
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by poeticpiers » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:46 pm

A most instructive history lesson which sadly underlined the fact that military discipline stood superior to personal courage and battle skills. The romans left us lasting gains in many fields. Britain was largely romanised and went to greater things.
Our freedoms are now being eroded by elected governments WE need A new leader to rise up and lead the protest but apathy reigns unchecked For Now. WE live in interesting times. The voiceless majority are begiining to speak.
Poet of the Month
May, 2011

totsakanth
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by totsakanth » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:48 pm

Fascinating.
You write with the soul of a Historian.
You have not yielded to the temptation to allude to Tacitus' precis of Scapula's disarming of the eastern tribes. This shows an understanding of the questionable reliability of the sources.

Your profile shows little (as does mine) but I shall follow your work with considerable interest.

All hail to Boudica, the 'Bringer of Victory'.

Bruno
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by Bruno » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:51 pm

...all very well, but against a super power any victories are temporary and paid for dearly.

totsakanth
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by totsakanth » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:33 pm

Indeed so, but it becomes to poet to laud heroic failure as much as to scatter petals before the victor's feet.

Being something of a career failure I'm quite happy about this.

An attempt not made cannot be successful.

As we say here 'Gotta be in it ter win it mate!'

Bruno
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by Bruno » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:04 pm

...that's true and how legends are made the underdog fighting a trained pit bull. All I'm saying is before you begin expect to lose in the worst way...unless your are at least equally organized. The foes of Rome seldom were and the consequence was invariably a horror story of annihilation. The outcome far worse than the reason for the insurrection. Her legend is one which speaks of tragedy much more than victory.

totsakanth
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by totsakanth » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:18 pm

Truly, and as most such valiant efforts were, yet in the end Rome fell. A termite cannot fell a tree but a nest of the hungry little bu**ers can certainly do a good job.

The 'Bringer of Victory?' - from the old word Boudeg, with the same meaning, a title rather than a name. 'Breaca' probably didn't sound so good. Titles often slip into our language as names after a lapse of some time. Another example is Nefertiti the 'Beautiful One', which is far more memorable than Tadukhipa.

Sorry mate. Just had an attack of 'Mad Aussie-isnness'.

Bruno
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by Bruno » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:03 pm

Romes always fall. Disorders accrue the longer they last. It was the Roman termite that breached Roman power and even though the termites in desperation were holding hands to maintain that power it wasn't long before strong winds from Europe's hinterlands flattened it altogether except for the East. In short, it was Rome's time to die. Who killed it is immaterial. A nasty front and rear belch from a Roman General could have made him a former citizen of an empire which ceased to exist at precisely that moment. BTW, I AM IMPRESSED by your etymological prowess.

totsakanth
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by totsakanth » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:08 pm

Very true mate, they always do. Some last a longer time than others, but in the end.....

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pencil pusher
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Re: The Iceni Legend

Post by pencil pusher » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:03 am

Glad to have incited such interesting comments with my poem. I greatly enjoyed writing it. The research taught me alot and the actual writing was a challenge in itself to make the rhymes fit and flow.
I live in a small town, Thetford, which is reputedly the ancient seat of the warrior queen and indeed her tomb is alledged to be about 15 miles away on the road to Diss. The whole area around here is steeped in the lore with countless references to her and the Iceni (Ecene) so it's not too difficult to see where I got the inspiration from.
Glad you liked it.]
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Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves.
Rudyard Kipling

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