Monday, May 21, 2007

A Pagan Queen

A reader asked that I do a post about the Celtic Queen Boudica (Boadicea), who led her army in a bloody and unspeakably cruel vengeance upon the Romans in Britain after she and her young daughters were brutalized. I recoil from the details of such horrific events of antiquity, so instead of an article, I thought I would just quote part of Tennyson's poem.

So the Queen Boädicéa, standing loftily charioted,
Brandishing in her hand a dart and rolling glances lioness-like,

Yell’d and shriek’d between her daughters in her fierce volubility.
Till her people all around the royal chariot agitated,

Madly dash’d the darts together, writhing barbarous lineaments,
Made the noise of frosty woodlands, when they shiver in January,

Roar’d as when the rolling breakers boom and blanch on the precipices,
Yell’d as when the winds of winter tear an oak on a promontory.

So the silent colony hearing her tumultuous adversaries

Clash the darts and on the buckler beat with rapid unanimous hand,

Thought on all her evil tyrannies, all her pitiless avarice,

Till she felt the heart within her fall and flutter tremulously,

Then her pulses at the clamoring of her enemy fainted away.

Out of evil evil flourishes, out of tyranny tyranny buds.

Ran the land with Roman slaughter, multitudinous agonies. Share

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