Published with “Young Men at the Manor” in Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906). Collected in Songs from Books and subsequent collections with a head date of 1066.
The poem expresses Kipling’s central theme in the stories of Sir Richard, that Normans and Saxons came together in a new identity, as the English.
Notes on the text
fief and fee: an estate held on condition of homage and service to a superior lord, by whom it is granted and in whom the ownership remains. Sir Richard and his Saxon friend Hugh, held neighbouring manors from their lord, de Aquila.
But now England hath taken me: See Horace, Epistles 2.1.156-7: [D.H.]
Graecia capta ferum uictorem cepit et artes intulit agresti Latio
(“Captured Greece captured her savage conqueror and introduced the arts to rustic Latium”).
©Donald Mackenzie 2020 All rights reserved