This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Saturday Rave: The Siege of Belgrade by Alaric Alexander Watts.

The Siege of Belgrade is...well, quite honestly it's a truly terrible poem, but it's terrible in such a flamboyantly bonkers way that somehow I can't help being quite fond of the poor thing.

Anyway, as you can see, it must have been ever so hard to write.

Poor Alaric Alexander Watts!


An Austrian army, awfully arrayed,
Boldly by battery besieged Belgrade.
Cossack commanders cannonading come,
Dealing destruction's devastating doom.
Every endeavor engineers essay,
For fame, for fortune fighting - furious fray!
Generals 'gainst generals grapple - gracious God!
How honors Heaven heroic hardihood!
Infuriate, indiscriminate in ill,
Kindred kill kinsmen, kinsmen kindred kill.
Labour low levels longest, lofiest lines;
Men march 'mid mounds, 'mid moles, ' mid murderous mines;
Now noxious, noisy numbers nothing, naught
Of outward obstacles, opposing ought;
Poor patriots, partly purchased, partly pressed,
Quite quaking, quickly "Quarter! Quarter!" quest.
Reason returns, religious right redounds,
Saves sinking soldiers, softens signiors sage.
Truce to thee, Turkey! Triumph to thy train,
Unwise, unjust, unmerciful Ukraine!
Vanish vain victory! vanish, victory vain!
Why wish we warfare? Wherefore welcome were
Xerxes, Ximenes, Xanthus, Xavier?
Yield, yield, ye youths! ye yeomen, yield your yell!
Zeus', Zarpater's, Zoroaster's zeal,
Attracting all, arms against acts appeal!

There are several versions of this poem, one with a J line in it (the letters I and J counted as one letter until relatively recently) which means the poem ends with a Z line (Zealously zanie's zealously zeal's zest). Some of the lines in various versions are very different: I've come across one Y line that goes Yet yassy's youth, ye yield your youthful yest.

Whatever yest is.

Personally, though, I feel that if I ever find an opportunity to bellow Yield, yield, ye youths! ye yeomen, yield your yell! then my life will not have been entirely in vain.

*IMPORTANT: note to all The Word Den's non-English speakers. Very little of it makes any sense!

Word To Use Today: alliteration. This word comes from the Latin alliterātiō, from litera, letter.

It's unfair on Ukraine, though, sadly.

No comments:

Post a comment