The emperor Trajan in one seventeen
as the bloke to succeed nominates
Publius Aelius Hadrianus,
or ‘Adie as known to ‘is mates.
Well Hadrian as ‘is mam knew ‘im
‘ad aversion to t’flies an’ to th’heat,
so he give up wi’ Mesopotamia
an’ come north, it were more up ‘is street.
He didn’t think much o’ t’Germaniums
or t’Gauls in what’s now known as France,
but once he set foot in Britannica
I s’pect it were love at fost glance.
He stayed for a bit in Londinium,
but ‘e soon got to feelin’ downcast,
he remembered that rough lot th’iceni
an’ t’bother they’d give ‘im in t’past.
He set off up north wi’ ‘is army
an’ they soon felt a lot more at ease
wi’ t’greenness o’ lancashires ‘illsides
an’ th’aroma o’ fresh mushy peas.
He thowt it were t’garden of Eden.
an’ Adie began to explore.
The dampness were good for ‘is asthma,
but ‘is armour were soon rusted o’er.
To t’coast he now med ‘is way westward
an’ ‘is fost glance o’ t’wild Irish sea,
after ‘alf an ‘our paddlin’ an’ playin’ on t’sands
He popped into Blackpoo’ for tea.
When they’d ‘ad pomme de terre fried i’ drippin’
an’ a cod that were t’size of a whale
Adie sez to some cohorts in th’army,
“‘owz abaht tryin’ out t’local ale?”
Adies men thowt ‘is idea splendid
an’ so piled in a pub where therein,
loads o’ folk were all singin’ an’ swearin’
In an accent that didn’t fit in.
When Adie fanged ‘old of t’landlady
an’ asked who this rowdy lot were?
He were towd they were Scots from the northland
“You can tell wi’ their kilts an’ red ‘air.”
Adie asked if the north men were fierce
an’ what they were like in a feight?
The landlady laffed “If you want to find out
come back ‘ere durin’ Glasgow fortneight!”
As t’Romans trooped back to their lodgin’s
a plan grew in ‘adrians mind
He’d build a great wall from t’west o’er to th’east
That’d keep all that rough lot behind.
When he got up next mornin’ he started
to recruit all the folk he would need,
for t’designin an’ planning an’ buildin’,
so ‘is dream of a wall could succeed
Aulos Platorious Nepos,
were t’chap put in charge o’ the men,
who’d chase out the Scots an’ put up ‘is wall
so they couldn’t get back in again.
Owd Nepos jumped into ‘is chariot
an’ straightway shot off up th’M6,
takin’ George a surveyor fray Bispham,
some string an’ a bundle o’ sticks.
Nepos soon got to Bowness on Solway,
he’d reckoned t’best place t’begin
“I’ll be usin’ this twine to mark a straight line
An’ you George ,can ‘ommer t’sticks in!”
It took ‘em a bit but they med it
pitchin’up outside Wallsend on Tyne.
Which were lucky cos George only ‘ad two sticks left
an’ Nepos just six foot o’ twine.
Soon as t’location were sorted,
an’ construction abaht to begin.
Emperor ‘adie popped up to t’site
insertin’ ‘is two penn’orth in.
In addition to t’wall Adie wanted
some forts and milecastles as well.
Wi’ a double earth mound called a Vellum
as insurance, case parts o’ t’wall fell.
Nepos said “I will get thi wall finished,
on t’date that the emperor craves,
an’ he sent out a legion o’ sowjers
to round up some Geordies for slaves.
When complete the magnificent ‘adrians wall
stood 20 foot heigh end to end.
On t’whitewashed side stood dear old England,
on t’other side t’Scots were all penned.
Adies wall were a sign of oppression
an’ attacks on its fabric soon made,
not by Picts, but by Blackpoo’ landladies,
cos o’ t’damage it did to their trade!