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[personal profile] smokingboot
I met a woman down on Thorney Isle
And she was cold of skin, of eye, and hair
Ice-like her frown, upon her head a crown
For all her feet were mud-splattered and bare.

So elegant her bearing, my surprise
questioned the strangeness that she seemed to choose.
Why be so grand, with coinage close to hand
Then wander down the Thames bereft of shoes?

She said, 'I who gained mastery of the world
Was once a child scanning the reed-edged foam
for flotsam, meat, or anything to eat,
A beggar without provenance or home

I who was here er Saxon found his way,
Or Caesar sent strong armies passing by,
I who first ran before the dreams of Bran
and heard the river raven's piercing cry,

Then I had nothing, rats and whelks beside,
Til blood and bones were ground to make my bread
And I grew bold, lustrous with kingdom's gold,
Adored by all and all my hunger fed

But I have not forgot what it was like
And this is why I stride the dirty flood
For I who shine and made the whole world mine,
Was once a starving child covered in mud.'

With that she turned and wandered far from me,
May all the folk of London feel her smile
though thieves and whores go scurrying through the doors
Of her old palace, built on Thorney Isle.
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