Poem: ‘On the Late Massacre in Milton’

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On the Late Massacre in Milton

 

Who now recalls the ancient bygone days

When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones?

Who lives who saw the sacred shrines and groves

Where painted men would honor demon-gods?

Who saw them dancing ‘neath the standing stones

When sacred fires burned on solstice-days?

 

All this has passed beneath the veil of night.

The flames of Beltaigne long have burned away.

The oak and ash and rowan grow no more

Along the hillside near the standing stones.

The shrines were sundered; crosses stand there now.

All things are gone save rust and stone and bone.

None live now remember those old days.

 

I remember.

Though I was born unto an age of steel,

I still recall within my blood and bones

The dances and the fires between the trees,

Those ancient forests, everlasting hills,

And other places where my gods still live.

My gods may sleep, but never shall they die;

They live on in our bones and in our blood;

And we who still remember, we shall see

Our sons and daughters worship stocks and stones.

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