878-1935

Here, on his march to Eathundun, King Alfred passed:
No wood was planted then; the terraced hill was grassed.
Now, in the summer, tanks come lumbering down the lane.
I'd like to watch King Alfred walk this way again.

Then, it was quite correct to hack and hew the Dane,
And to be levied for a war was life's event.
Now in a world of books I try to live content,
And hear uneasily the droning aeroplane.

I'd rather die than be some dim ninth-century thane;
Nor do I envy those who fought at Eathundun.
Yet I have wondered, when was Wiltshire more insane
Than now — when world ideas like wolves are on the run?
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