Juvenilia: Part of the ‘Song of Sorrow’ (a homage to R. E. Howard’s Hyborean epic tales)

Lamenting the fall of Ilyrion to the barbarian Picts…

Through night they journeyed by the fiery brand,
Where adder-haunted swamp and marshes foul

Swallow the fruitful plenty of the land,
The only voice the restless forest’s growl.

The warrior’s eye like silver pierced the gloom,
As stealthily the silent host crept on –

Pale shadows long beneath the waxen moon;
Cuirass and buckler in the twilight shone.

And then like lightening in the sleepless night,
The host of Cuned, warlord of the north

Broke through their ranks, the frenzied Pictish might
Smote like an anvil on the brazen hearth…