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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Song to Ælla Lord of the Castle of Bristol in the Days of Yore

Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770)

OH thou, or what remains of thee,

Ælla, the darling of futurity,

Let this my song bold as thy courage be,

As everlasting to posterity.

When Dacia’s sons, whose hairs of blood-red hue,

Like king-cups bursting with the morning dew,

Arranged in drear array,

Upon the deadly day,

Spread far and wide on Watchet’s shore;

Then didst thou furious stand,

And by thy valiant hand

Besprenged all the mees with gore.

Drawn by thine anlace fell,

Down to the depth of hell

Thousands of Dacians went;

Brystowans, men of might,

Y-dared the bloody fight,

And acted deeds full quent.

Oh thou, where’er (thy bones at rest)

Thy sprite to haunt delighteth best,

Whether upon the blood-embruèd plain,

Or where thou know’st from far

The dismal cry of war,

Or seest some mountain made of corse of slain;

Or seest the hatchèd steed

Y-prancing o’er the mead,

And neigh to be among the pointed spears;

Or, in black armour stalk’st around

Embattled Bristol, once thy ground,

And glow, ardurous, on the castle-stairs;

Or fiery round the minster glare,

Let Bristol still be made thy care;

Guard it from foemen and consuming fire.

Like Avon’s stream, ensyrke it round,

Nor let a flame enharm the ground,

Till in one flame all the whole world expire.