Eucia The Briton Greets The Dawn

Was the cave sweet at the end, Eucia?
Come, naked-on-moss, little one,
white and marine, to the cirque of your father.

Rise from your cloak leaves and come, Eucia,
pilgrim-in-feet, tender and pinniform,
royal as ermine-with-light.

Caesar and Arthur, Guthrum and Ota
will follow Hu of the plains
and here some will build in great grey stone.

But this is the day you shall bathe by the rush-spikes
- those Vikings-on-marsh, with black fowl watching,
by neckton and plankton and idle green.

Beware of the Pit Man, sheltering low
by ox blood and wood ash and the teeth of foxes,
a skin on his evil rocks;

where the bark has gone from the long tree
and the blue wind wings through a heap of bones,
beware of he who pushes mud in the throats of children.

But kneel to drink with joy at a distance,
then stand and cry like a god to the scarp-mist,
in high might, as your mother before,

with her grave salt under your wet feet,
your small hands loving the clouds,
and that redflame disc rising... rising...

by Eric Ratcliffe

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