Begin Again

This is from the Ballad of the White Horse:

And this was the might of Alfred, At the ending of the way;

That of such smiters, wise or wild, He was least distant from the child, Piling the stones all day.

For Eldred fought like a frank hunter That killeth and goeth home;

And Mark had fought because all arms Rang like the name of Rome. 

And Colan fought with a double mind, Moody and madly gay;

But Alfred fought as gravely As a good child at play.

He saw wheels break and work run back And all things as they were;

And his heart was orbed like victory And simple like despair.

Therefore is Mark forgotten, That was wise with his tongue and brave;

And the cairn over Colan crumbled, And the cross on Eldred’s grave.

Their great souls went on a wind away, And they have not tale or tomb;

And Alfred born in Wantage Rules England till the doom.

And as a child whose bricks fall down Re-piles them o’er and o’er, Came ruin and the rain that burns, Returning as a wheel returns,

And crouching in the furze and ferns He began his life once more.

That made sense, right?  Or, maybe a little more explanation is needed?


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