The Path to Rome By Hilaire Belloc


































































 -  On the first I would have - 

  King Alfred was in Wantage born 
  He drank out of a ram's horn.  
  Here - Page 330
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On The First I Would Have -

King Alfred was in Wantage born He drank out of a ram's horn.

Here is a better man than he, Who drinks deeper, as you see.

Thus my friends drinking out of it should lift up their hearts and no longer be oppressed with humility. But on the second I determined for a rousing Latin thing, such as men shouted round camp fires in the year 888 or thereabouts; so, the imagination fairly set going and taking wood-cock's flight, snipe-fashion, zigzag and devil-may-care- for-the-rules, this seemed to suit me -

_Salve, cornu cornuum! Cornutorum vis Boum. Munus excellent Deum! Gregis o praesidium! Sitis desiderium! Dignum cornuum cornu Romae memor salve tu! Tibi cornuum cornuto - _

LECTOR. That means nothing.

AUCTOR. Shut up!

_Tibi cornuum cornuto Tibi clamo, te saluto Salve cornu cornuum! Fortunatam da Domunt!_

And after this cogitation and musing I got up quietly, so as not to offend the peasant: and I crept out, and so upwards on to the crest of the hill.

But when, after several miles of climbing, I neared the summit, it was already beginning to be light. The bareness and desert grey of the distance I had crossed stood revealed in a colourless dawn, only the Mont' Amiata, now somewhat to the northward, was more gentle, and softened the scene with distant woods. Between it and this height ran a vague river-bed as dry as the stones of a salt beach.

The sun rose as I passed under the ruined walls of the castle.

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