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Poetry from within
   

The Sentinel


High upon the hillside the Roman sentry stands,

Guarding Caesar's campsite from roaming Celtic bands,

He pulls his cloak around him to block the driving rain,

And stares toward the monoliths scattered on the plain.



He ponders who would put them there, such great stones piled with care,

A brooding place of mystery, where only fools would dare.

Then shivering at the prospect of what the coming day might bring,

Allows his gaze to fall again on the silent, stony ring.



A foot fall sounds and in the gloom his Centurion appears,

Checking on his welfare, and sharing in his fears,

For he knows that on the morrow many men will have to die,

Never again to feel the sun, or see a cloudless sky.



Far off in the distance lies the Celtic camp asleep,

As warriors rest before their date with destiny they keep.

The first light of morning breaks in the eastern sky,

And the sentry sighs; he is resigned, to see the arrows fly.



The Legion breaks camp, and fast marching to the drum,

Strikes across the rolling plain to a place that is now Sarum.

The Celtic warriors though fearsome, fight with little chance,

As with ironclad discipline the Romans' continue to advance.



The Stones of the Henge now become Celtic markers,

As warrior upon warrior falls, becoming each a folklore martyr.

The Romans finally win the day and swiftly leave the field,

But with sightless eyes, the sentry lies, covered by his shield.



Two thousand years of daybreak's have passed since that fateful day,

As two thousand years before it, the Ancients, the Stones began to lay,

Four thousand years they've stood there, as silent as the tomb,

If London be the heart of England, then Stonehenge is the womb.


Len Payne