The Norman Horse-Shoe

A poem by Walter Scott

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 vowed, Caerphili's sod should feel
The Norman charger's spurning heel.

III.
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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