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SONGS.

Vol. vi. 15

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THE NORMAN HORSESHOE.

Air— The War-Song of the Men of Glamorgan.

The Welsh, inhabiting a mountainous country, and possessing only an inferior breed of horses, were usually unable to encounter the shock of the Anglo-Norman cavalry. Occasionally, however, they were successful in repelling the invaders; and the following verses are supposed to celebrate a defeat of Clare, Earl of Striguil and Pembroke, and of Neville, Baron of Chepstow, Lords-Marchers of Monmouthshire. Rymny is a stream which divides the counties of Monmouth and Glamorgan: Caerphili, the scene of the supposed battle, is a vale upon its banks, dignified by the ruins of a very ancient castle.

I.

Red glows the forge in Striguil's bounds,
And hammers din, and anvil sounds,
And armourers, with iron toil,
Barb many a steed for battle's broil.

Foul fall the hand which bends the steel
Around the courser's thundering heel,
That e'er shall dint a sable wound
On fair Glamorgan's velvet ground!

Ii.
From Chepstow's towers, ere dawn of morn,
Was heard afar the bugle horn;
And forth, in banded pomp and pride,
Stout Clare and fiery Neville ride.
They swore, their banners broad should gleam,
In crimson light, on Rymny's stream;
They vow'd, Caerphili's sod should feel
The Norman charger's spurning heel.

in. And sooth they swore—the sun arose, And Rymny's wave with crimson glows; For Clare's red banner, floating wide, Roll'd down the stream to Severn's tide! And sooth they vow'd—the trampled green Show'd where hot Neville's charge had been: In every sable hoof-tramp stood A Norman horseman's curdling blood!

IV.

Old Chepstow's brides may curse the toil,
That arm'd stout Clare for Cambrian broil;
Their orphans long the art may rue,
For Neville's war-horse forged the shoe.

No more the stamp of armed steed Shall dint Glamorgan's velvet mead; Nor trace be there, in early spring, Save of the Fairies' emerald ring.

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