Boadicea: An Ode

WHEN the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country’s gods,

Sage beneath a spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Every burning word he spoke
Full of rage, and full of grief.

‘Princess! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs,
’Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.

‘Rome shall perish—write that word
In the blood that she has spilt;
Perish, hopeless and abhorred,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.

‘Rome, for empire far renowned,
Tramples on a thousand states;
Soon her pride shall kiss the ground—
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates!

‘Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier’s name;
Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize—
Harmony the path to fame.

‘Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land,
Armed with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.

‘Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway,
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.’

Such the bard’s prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending, as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.

She, with all a monarch’s pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow;
Rushed to battle, fought, and died;
Dying, hurled them at the foe.

‘Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heaven awards the vengeance due:
Empire is on us bestowed,
Shame and ruin wait for you.’

— William Cowper.

Snettisham Hoard

The Snettisham Hoard in the British Museum.

The Snettisham Hoard is a series of discoveries of Iron Age precious metal, found in the Snettisham area of the English county of Norfolk between 1948 and 1973.

The hoard consists of metal, jet and over 150 gold torc fragments, more than 70 of which form complete torcs, dating from 70 BC. Though the origins are unknown it is of a high enough quality to have been royal treasure of the Iceni.

In 1985 there was also a find of Romano-British jewellery and raw materials buried in a clay pot in AD 155, the Snettisham Jeweller’s Hoard. Though it has no direct connection with the nearby Iron Age finds, it may be evidence of a long tradition of gold- and silver-working in the area. This apparent tradition extends further into the Roman period in Norfolk, as evidenced by a later hoard of metalwork known as the Thetford treasure.

The finds are deposited in Norwich Castle Museum and the British Museum.