S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen


"There is no Ebbsfleet."1
Not now, perhaps, but long
ago two Teuton brothers
sailed the Kentish coast along

and landed there. Horsa2
and Hengest3, legends marked
by Middleton4 and Beowulf5,
first there in England6 disembarked.

Whether they were Kentish kings
or, as claimed, were Jutes or Danes,
their wayward channel silted in,
and now their ways are those of trains.7

London's orbit8 takes it in,
a link of continent to car,
a parking lot, a place to land,
as brothers did once, long before.9

1 A headline from today's BBC Online.
2 Fought against Vortigern; killed in the Battle of Aylesford. (More here.)
3 One of several possible people, thus his semi-legendary status. (More here.)
4 Thomas Middleton's play is entitlted Hengist, King of Kent, or The Mayor of Quinborough.
5 Actually, only Hengest shows up, as follower of Finn. Both show up in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and in Bede's writings.
6 More precisely, on the isle of Thanet.
7 Ebbsfleet International Station officially opened yesterday, January 29th, part of Eurostar links to mainland Europe.
8 i.e. the M25, the London Orbital, in addition to it being near Greater London.
9 At least one site say they actually landed at Aylesford. That seems improbable to me, looking at a map, given how much further inland Aylesford is.
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