Colin F. Jones

THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS: 1066

~ 1 ~

Edward the Confessor the reigning King,
Had died so had left his throne,
Contested by two powerful men,
Who would fight to make it their own.
‘Twas on the long slope of Semlac Hill,
Where the Saxon men drew rein.
Harold Godwinson was fit to kill,
And he had “William the Bastard” to contain.
‘Twas the slope that favoured infantry,
Over the Norman cavalry force,
Devoid of obstacle and forest tree,
Thus hard going for a charging horse
But allowing the foot knight to be free,
And to save his energy source.

~ 2 ~

Two groups of archers with low morale
Complemented Harold’s infantry troops
Of Feudal Knights with battle swords
In armoured disciplined groups.
Good in attack the proven knights,
Were skilful in battle and brave,
And there upon the Semlac heights,
They were eager to kill and deprave.
There were Peasants as well eager to meet,
The Norman with Spear and sword,
Who would be opposed by the cavalry fleet,
As history would surely record.
So in ten sixty six the Saxons did meet,
With Duke William’s Normandy hoard.

~ 3 ~

Gustace of Boulogne and Alan Fergant,
Were in command of the allied troops,
Who attacked the flanks on Semlac Hill,
With Archers and spearman groups.
The peasant forces were swept well away,
Then the horse born Knights attacked,
Until there were no more peasants to slay,
Or the foot knights had forced them back.
Time and again the Norman cavalry charged,
But the Saxon Knights kept driving them back,
So brave and so fearless ‘twas hard to decide,
What the bold Saxon in battle did lack.
For no matter how hard the Norman knights tried,
They could not find in his armour a crack.

~ 4 ~

But by feigning retreat; twice running away,
Deceiving the Saxons into breaking their ranks,
Allowed the cavalry knights to charge in and slay,
And the footmen to break through their flanks.
And the arrows poured in, sheet after sheet,
And the Saxons were slowly worn down
The endless attacks they no longer could meet,
This great army of Saxon renown.
Harold was slain as the end of the battle drew near,
And the ranks of the Saxons grew thin,
It was no longer a doubt as the Normans did cheer,
Who the Battle of Hastings would win.
For ‘twas Duke William the Conqueror divisive and clear,
Who emerged from the smoke and the din.