Lost and Found

A helmet of the legion this
That long and deep hath lain
Come back to taste the living kiss
Of sun and wind again

Ah! touch it with a reverent hand
For in its burnished dome
Lies here within this distant land
The glory that was Rome

The tides of sixteen hundred years
Have flowed, and ebbed, and flowed
And yet - I see the tossing spears
Come up the Roman Road

While, high above the trumpets pealed
The eagles lift and fall
And, all unseen, the war-god's shield
Floats, guardian, over all

Who marched beneath this gilded helm
Who wore this casque a-shine
A leader mighty in the realm
A soldier of the line

The proud patrician takes his rest
The spearman's bones beside
And earth who knows their secret best
Gives this of all their pride

With sunlight on this golden crest
Maybe some Roman guard
Set free from duty, wandered west
Through Memory's gates unbarred

Or climbing Eildon cleft in three
Grown sick at heart for home
Looked eastward to the grey North Sea
That paved the way to Rome

Or by the queen of Border streams
That flowed his camp beneath
Long dallied with the dearer dreams
Of love, as old as death

And doffed his helm to dry lips' need
And dipped it in the tide
And pledged in brimming wine of Tweed
Some maid on Tiber-side

Years pass; and Time keeps tally
And pride takes earth for tomb
And down the Melrose valley
Corn grows and roses bloom

The red suns set, the red suns rise
The ploughs lift through the loam
And in one earth-worn helmet lies
The majesty of Rome

Lost, and found
We were lost, and found
Oh so lost, and found
But now we're lost, and found

Lost ...and found