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The Western Towers
Blackbird
Gone to Earth
The Roman Well
At Ravenscar
After Sunset
An Altar at Cilurnum
Bewcastle
Blossom
A Chorister
Frontier
The Great East Window
The Hunters of Banna
Kawabis
The Legion goes North
Lines in October
The Maiden Way
Pantheist
Pre-Existence
A Song of Forgetting
St Cuthbert's Quest
St Cuthbert's Windows
The Ringers
The Snail
The Street
Traveller's Joy
Wind at Night

 

 

 

   

 

THE HUNTERS OF BANNA

 

 

Through all the leagues of rainy moors,

Ever so far this way, that way,

Bremenium unto Thorny Doors,

By misty day and windy day,

By foaming Tyne, on Solway shores,

Who knows, who knows of Banna?

 

Yet here, not far from Allolee

That hears the wind upon the Wall

They keep an altar clear to see,

Deep writ in line and capital—

“Holly Sylvanus, thus to thee

“Praise from the hunters of Banna.”

 

On Aesica the splendours burn

Diurnal of the Unconquered Sun;

On Magna, though the moons return,

The hundred eyes of heaven run;

Nor sun, nor moon, nor stars discern

One standing stone of Banna.


 Yet many a night by Allolee

If you know the wild, if you hear at all,

This side of dreaming there will be

A crying far out on the Wall

Of hunting bugles passionately

Blown in forgotten Banna.

 

When last daylight is all but lost

In smouldering gold athwart the still

Green glorious woods of Lanercost

The heart may listen, if it will

The song of the morning stars almost

Still ringing on from Banna.

 

Have you heard their trumpets hailing him,

Sylvanus of the bloody fire?

Beyond the great fell’s windy rim

Tumult of nations rises higher

And day on the Maiden Way is dim

As they ride, the hunters of Banna.

 

Have you seen him that for hunger kills

The wide-eyed slayer without ruth?

Have you drunk of tempest in the hills

Shouting for joy? You know the truth

How deathlessly Sylvanus thrills

His wildwood souls of Banna.

 

What if the shining years have died

And Caesar come to Caesar’s dust,

And twenty kingdoms gone beside?

And the great armaments to rust?

Over the Valium still they ride,

They ride the Hunters of Banna.

 

Over the ling by Hope-Alone,

By Bloody Gap and Thirwall Nick,

After the fosse and after the stone

Their eyes arc bright, their hearts are quick,

In the heart of the world their horns are blown

Riding, riding for ever.

 

 
 
   

Copyright © 2008 [Fen Tyler]