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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

Hammer of Legions

Long ago there was once a realm
That brave men and women held,
Who fiercely fought to defend
Their honour and homes without relent
Against the invading empire
Whose callous presence caused great ire.
The Stirrer of Strife had decreed
That these two foes should fight and bleed.

In the battles, heroes were hailed
And they fell as their fates had willed.
There was not one warrior alive
Who would not meet his foes for strife,
To deal death and suffer to purge
His nation from the heartless surge
Of injurious invasions
Plaguing the great German nations.

Fire burned the forests and glades,
And gore stained the cold steel blades
Of bloody, bitten swords and spears.
Much was the woe which appeared
That was once pristine and green;
A superb and splendid scene.
So many courageous men died
With their strong-willed fellows in fight.

Conflict reddened the regal peaks,
That overlooked their peopleís meek
And humble homes within their sight.
One champion challenged for the right
To take command of his tribe and leave
And achingly lead them to achieve
Feats once thought not feasibly sound,
One who few know the world around.

Chieftain of the Cheruschi regions,
Hermann, the Hammer of Legions,
Would triumph or try unswerving
Over those he once was serving.
A battle-hardened, brawny man
Who learned in Rome, fought, loved and ran
Beside the self-righteous lords
Against whom his people would draw swords.

Rain fell as the forests spewed spears,
Unleashing all unease of Romeís fears.
Hermann had hatched a mighty trap
Of which Rome would forever fret.
Three legions whole would be scattered,
Fallen in fields, to pieces shattered.
A great victory for the German
Peoples who pledged support to Hermann.

One after another fell to
The furious day Rome would rue.
Confusion grew and became fear.
The great and greedy German spears
Aching to acquire their foemen
Screamed as they scorched the air for Romans.
A bloody mess and betrayal
Made widows that wept and wailed.

The rain relented its shower
As the dying men cried and cowered
Before their foes who finished them off.
Roman corpses were left to rot.
A day of feast for the ravens
Over careless foes so craven.
A horrible sight to behold
On that day, so wet and cold.

Three legionís standards stood high
Grasped in the arms of German pride.
Varusí head was sent back home
To his lofty over-lords in Rome.
More forces were sent to fight again
For their standards they sought to reclaim.
Rome recovered and fought more fights
Dealing defeat to German might.

Rome withdrew from the River Rhine
That became a borderline
Between Latin and German land.
Rome would now fear the roving bands.
Hermannís cause won at great cost
And he gave his life in the frost
While fighting against kith and kin
With sword in hand, hero Ďtill the end.

© Justin Blackford

Image: Copper statue of Hermann the Cheruskan, by Ernst von Bandel, 1875. Located in the Teutoburg Forest/Germany, where the battle supposedly took place (scholarly debate about alternative locations still going).

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