Lost Poetry Quotations
 In search of a long lost poem? Remember only a fragment? Post here! 

eMule -> The Poetry Archive -> Forums -> Lost Poetry Quotations


Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
The Roman Centurian's song'
Posted by: Clive Parsons (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: August 26, 2004 07:19AM

Dear all

My Mother in law has been searching for a poem she learnt as a child called 'The Roman Centurian's song'.

It was in a school text book from the 1940s and the first line went as follows - Legate, I heard the news last night my cohort ordered home by ship to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome.

Could anybody out there help an incurable romantic complete the poem. I have used google to trawl the internet but did not have any luck in finding it.

Thanks

Clive Parsons
Pars0ns@aol.com


Re: Lost Poem
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: August 26, 2004 08:45AM

The Roman Centurion's Song


Roman Occupation of Britain, A.D. 300


Legate, I had the news last night --my cohort ordered home
By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome.
I've marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below:
Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go!

I've served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall,
I have none other home than this, nor any life at all.
Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near
That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here.

Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done;
Here where my dearest dead are laid--my wife--my wife and son;
Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love,
Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove?

For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields surffice.
What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies,
Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze--
The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June's long-lighted days?

You'll follow widening Rhodanus till vine an olive lean
Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean
To Arelate's triple gate; but let me linger on,
Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon!

You'll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines
Where, blue as any peacock's neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines.
You'll go where laurel crowns are won, but--will you e'er forget
The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet?

Let me work here for Britain's sake--at any task you will--
A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill.
Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep,
Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep.

Legate, I come to you in tears--My cohort ordered home!
I've served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome?
Here is my heart, my soul, my mind--the only life I know.
I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!

Rudyard Kipling


Re: Lost Poem
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: August 26, 2004 01:13PM

And a related poem-

ďRiminiĒ
(Marching Song of a Roman Legion of the Later Empire)
Rudyard Kipling

WHEN I left Rome for Lalageís sake
By the Legionsí Road to Rimini,
She vowed her heart was mine to take
With me and my shield to Riminió
(Till the Eagles flew from Riminió)
And Iíve tramped Britain, and Iíve tramped Gaul,
And the Pontic shore where the snow-flakes fall
As white as the neck of Lalageó
(As cold as the heart of Lalage!)
And Iíve lost Britain, and Iíve lost Gaul,
And Iíve lost Rome and, worst of all,
Iíve lost Lalage!

When you go by the Via Aurelia,
As thousands have travelled before,
Remember the Luck of the Soldier
Who never saw Rome any more!
Oh dear was the sweetheart that kissed him
And dear was the mother that bore,
But his shield was picked up in the heather
And he never saw Rome any more!

And he left Rome for Lalageís sake,
By the Legionsí Road to Rimini,
She vowed her heart was mine to take
With me and my shield to Riminió
(Till the Eagles flew from Riminió)
And Iíve tramped Britain, and Iíve tramped Gaul,
And the Pontic shore where the snow-flakes fall
As white as the neck of Lalageó
(As cold as the heart of Lalage!)
And Iíve lost Britain, and Iíve lost Gaul,
And Iíve lost Rome and, worst of all,
Iíve lost Lalage!

When you go by the Via Aurelia
That runs from the City to Gaul,
Remember the Luck of the Soldier
Who rose to be master of all!
He carried the sword and the buckler,
He mounted his guard on the Wall,
Till the Legions elected him Cśsar,
And he rose to be master of all!

And he left Rome for Lalageís sake,
By the Legionsí Road to Rimini,
She vowed her heart was mine to take
With me and my shield to Riminió
(Till the Eagles flew from Riminió)
And Iíve tramped Britain, and Iíve tramped Gaul,
And the Pontic shore where the snow-flakes fall
As white as the neck of Lalageó
(As cold as the heart of Lalage!)
And Iíve lost Britain, and Iíve lost Gaul,
And Iíve lost Rome and, worst of all,
Iíve lost Lalage!

Itís twenty-five marches to Narbo,
Itís forty-five more up the Rhone,
And the end may be death in the heather
Or life on an Emperorís throne.
But whether the Eagles obey us,
Or we go to the Ravensóalone,
Iíd sooner be Lalageís lover
Than sit on an Emperorís throne!

Weíve all left Rome for Lalageís sake,
By the Legionsí Road to Rimini,
She vowed her heart was mine to take
With me and my shield to Riminió
(Till the Eagles flew from Riminió)
And Iíve tramped Britain, and Iíve tramped Gaul,
And the Pontic shore where the snow-flakes fall
As white as the neck of Lalageó
(As cold as the heart of Lalage!)
And Iíve lost Britain, and Iíve lost Gaul,
And Iíve lost Rome and, worst of all,
Iíve lost Lalage!


pam


Re: Lost Poem
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: August 26, 2004 01:21PM

Since Pam is a Kipling connoisseur, lemme ask about a purported work titled The Deliverance of Fort Bucklow, supposedly by Kipling, mentioned in Lawrence Block's, The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling. Yes, it was your thread about mystery books that sent me off to read it, I admit. Truth or fancy? If you know, that is.


Re: Lost Poem
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: August 26, 2004 06:28PM

I believe that it was Block's invention. In later books, he invents several books by Sue Grafton.

pam


Re: The Roman Centurian's song - Thanks
Posted by: Clive Parsons (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: August 27, 2004 07:06AM

Marian2 , Pam and Hugh - Thank you for your interest and knowledge. Audrey will be made up. This www is a powerful tool for joining the world together, imagine what we could do if we pulled in the same direction - here endeth the sermon.

Thanks

Clive




Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This poetry forum at emule.com powered by Phorum.