Friday, May 23, 2014

Two languages mixed after 1066

"Old English," we call it, a West-Germanic speech,
Spoken in the lands of the Anglo-Saxon reach.
Today, that tongue sounds foreign to our modern ear,
Yet that was what they spoke, before a fateful year.

When Normans swooped to conquer, in ten-sixty-six,
They thought the English language only good for hicks;
The victors wouldn't speak it, using only French,
But people's thirst for English, wasn't to be quenched.

With French officially what everyone should speak,
The Normans thought English, quite soon would be antique,
A fossil, in a land where Norman lords would dwell,
But English was a tongue no conqueror could quell.

It pilfered words from French, a most ingenious act;
The language changed, by adding terms Old English lacked,
And from that blend there grew the current verbal mix,
By spackling French cement, on top of English bricks.

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