Monday, January 24, 2011

Hadrian

The Roman Emporer Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born this day, January 24, in the year 76 AD.  In addition to the famous wall crossing Great Britain, Hadrian is responsible for the Pantheon in Rome.  Hadrian's Wall was built over approximately a six year period, beginning around 122 AD.

The wall has held up well over nearly two millennia.  Better than Triermain Castle, which was built of stones from Hadrian's Wall in the 14th century.  There is a legend associated with Triermain of a weeping ghost lad, which Walter Scott placed into a poem; "The Bridal of Triermain".  The beginning of this poem, which is available at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/trierma.htm, is as follows:

The Bridal of Triermain

Introduction.


I.

Come Lucy! while 'tis morning hour
The woodland brook we needs must pass;
So, ere the sun assume his power,
We shelter in our poplar bower,
Where dew lies long upon the flower,
Though vanish'd from the velvet grass.
Curbing the stream, this stony ridge
May serve us for a silvan bridge;
For here, compell'd to disunite,
Round petty isles the runnels glide,
And chafing off their puny spite,
The shallows murmurers waste their might,
Yielding to footstep free and light
A dry-shod pass from side to side.

II.

Nay, why this hesitating pause?
And, Lucy, as thy step withdraws,
Why sidelong eye the streamlet's brim?
Titania's foot without a slip,
Like, thine, though timid, light, and slim,
From stone to stone might safely trip,
Nor risk the glow-worm clasp to dip
That binds her slipper's silken rim.
Or trust thy lover's strength; nor fear
That this same stalwart arm of mine,
Which could yon oak's prone trunk uprear,
Shall shrink beneath, the burden dear
Of form so slender, light, and fine;
So! now, the danger dared at last,
Look back, and smile at perils past!

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