Alans, Atilla the Hun, australian formal poetry, Battle of Châlons, Emperor Valentinian, Formal poetry, Honoria, poem, poetry, Visigoths
Each armed to the teeth and a merciless killer;
All led by a right piece of work called Attila,
The nomadic Huns were the toughs of their day,
And heaven help any who got in their way.
From east of the Volga they came down in waves.
They raped and they plundered and took many slaves,
And there at their head was the rampaging son
Of Mundzuk of Nimrod – Attila the Hun.
He struck at the Romans – at first in the East.
At Utus he triumphed; his power increased,
But Constantinople, the Byzantine jewel,
Would never submit to barbarian rule.
Attila held counsel and made other plans;
He’d strike to the West, at the Visigoth’s lands.
The Huns left the Balkans and marched on to Gaul,
And all in their path, to Attila would fall.
But one, by betroval, she sought peace to bring;
The Roman, Honoria sent him her ring.
Atilla was firing – no time for a date;
Valentinian’s sister would just have to wait.
The Huns, like a wave in a murderous flood,
Washed over the land with dead bodies and blood,
And spread devastation with pillage and fire;
But one power could stop them: The Roman Empire.
Their general, Aetius, pride of the West,
at Châlons, the Huns, did his great army test:
The Visigoths, Romans, and Alan allies,
With broad sword and axe, cut the Huns down to size.
Atilla, his luck it was fast running out.
Depleted and weary, he started to doubt,
But then came to Rome – the Hun’s final demand:
“One half of your Empire – Honoria’s hand!”
The Romans said “No!”, and to him: “Do your worst!”
His dream now was fading, his vision was cursed,
While close by their eagles, the legions, they stood.
They’d banish this northern invader for good.
The Huns and their allies stopped north of the Po.
Attila retreated, defeated – laid low.
It’s rumoured he finally died of the drink,
Though murder, perhaps, is more likely I think.
And so did the Huns, for their great leader mourn.
(While everyone else wished he’d never been born)
They buried him under a river we’re told,
In a coffin of iron and silver and gold.
So whether expired from the wine or the knife,
(Supposedly wielded by Gudrun his wife)
His name’s now a symbol of horror and dread,
His kingdom, a box, neath a cold river bed.