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Poem- That fateful morn on Caldbec Hill 1066

Updated on December 11, 2015
Saxon shield wall
Saxon shield wall


Birds were silent the air was still

On that fateful morn on Caldbec Hill

The morning dew lay in its bed

A lake of tears that would be shed

For Saxon souls that would depart

England’s mortal heart ripped apart

By Normans, Flems and Bretons too

Come to taste the blood of whom

Stand in their way for England’s Crown

A man of wealth and world renown

King Harold’s army stands firm and tall

Impressive ranks form their shield wall

Duke William’s attack can start at will

On that fateful morn on Caldbec Hill


On this frosty morn in 1066

Sword and shield were firmly fixed

Leather jerkins strapped and secure

Shield wall ready, strong and sure

Flags of war ripple and flutter

Words of prayer were heard a mutter

Nervous breaths were clear to see

Hardened stares faced their enemy

Autumnal leaves leap and prance

In preparation of impending advance

A rain of arrows marked the start

From Norman ranks they did depart

The Battle commenced its cries were shrill

On that fateful morn on Caldbec Hill


The first advance was soon repelled

The shieldwall shaken but it had held

To jeers and shouts of Saxon delight

At Flemish soldiers who’d turned in flight

A cavalry charge was dealt the same

The Saxons winning the early game

Duke William is dead the Norman’s fear

But back on his horse the invaders cheer

As William leads the next assault

Stopping the Normans from early revolt

Hour after hour the shield wall was battered

But it held that was all that mattered

As King Harold’s crown was shining still

On that fateful day on Caldbec Hill


The Battle continued throughout the day

Reinforcements were coming the Saxons pray

Their shield wall was thinning it could not last

England’s Crown nearly in Norman grasp

As dusk approached the shield wall scatters

Saxon defence is now in tatters

A final stand to save their King

Ends in despair, the Normans win

There were thousands that died on that autumn day

Young men, boys and farmers not there to play

Battlefield new in colour, blood red now its hue

Senlac is it’s new name, forgotten by few

Every October they pay homage, remember them still

Of that fateful day up on Caldbec Hill

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    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      6 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      It certainlky flows, storybailey. Nice and smoothly, almost Tennysonian. Don't mind me, I'm just a stickler for detail - no appreciation of the finer arts, that's my trouble!

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 

      6 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Still a great poem, won't you agree, Alancaster? I loved reading it, the rhyming flows very well.

      Beautiful, and awesome!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      6 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Well written, storybailey. Just one little niggle, it was the Bretons who were charged with attacking first - towards Earl Leofwin's part of the shield-wall. When they were repulsed Alan Fergant sent in Norman cavalry to bolster them. Part of the Saxon 'fyrd' shieldwall charged down the hill after the Bretons and were isolated at the bottom of the narrow valley by William's cavalry, slain to a man despite a heroic stand. Leofwin himself was killed shortly afterward. The Flemings were right of centre towards William's Frankish allies.[Ref Peter Marren's book '1066 The Battles of York, Stamford Bridge and Hastings', publ. by Battleground Britain 1066]

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