Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Dark Age

Frontiers break to barbary.

Hunger burns the palace-wall,

robs the revered graves.  We see

the singer silent at the fall

of the King, the old life.

Peace and order flake away.

Every mountain, plain and bay

breeds its princeling of the knife.

Beast and bandit walk the earth

while the hero, careless, bored,

hunts the gamy hills alone,

and the tokens of his birth

(the cap, the sandals, and the sword)

rot unclaimed under the stone.