With glory he gilt; See Appendix C.
Success, the vulgar test; See Matthew Arnold’s finely discriminative Essay on Falkland.
July 2: 1644
O, summer-high that day the sun
His chariot drove o’er Marston wold:
A rippling sea of amber wheat
That floods the moorland vale with gold.
With harvest light the valley laughs,
The sheaves in mellow sunshine sleep;
—Too rathe the crop, too red the swathes
Ere night the scythe of Death shall reap!
Then thick and fast o’er all the moor
The crimson’d sabre-lightnings fly;
And thick and fast the death-bolts dash,
And thunder-peals to peals reply.
Where Evening arched her fiery dome
Went up the roar of mortal foes:—
Then o’er a deathly peace the moon
In silver silence sailing rose.
Sweet hour, when heaven is nearest home,
And children’s kisses close the day!
O disaccord with nature’s calm,
Unholy requiem of the fray!
White maiden Queen that sail’st above,
Thy dew-tears on the fallen fling,—
The blighted wreaths of civil strife,
The war that can no triumph bring!
—O pale with that deep pain of those
Who cannot save, yet must foresee,—
Surveying all the ills to flow
From that too-victor victory;
When ’gainst the unwisely guided King
The dark self-centred Captain stood,
And law and right and peace went down
In that red sea of brothers’ blood;—
O long, long, long the years, fair Maid,
Before thy patient eye shall view
The shrine of England’s law restored,
Her homes their native peace renew!
That day; The actual fight lay between 7 and 9 p.m.
Too-victor victory; At Naseby, says Hallam,—and the remark, (though Charles was not personally present), is equally true of Marston Moor—’Fairfax and Cromwell triumphed, not only over the king and the monarchy, but over the parliament and the nation.’
Unwisely guided; ‘Never would it have been wiser, in Rupert,’ remarks Ranke, ’to avoid a decisive battle than at that moment. But he held that the king’s letter not only empowered, but instructed him to fight.’
Red sea; ’The slaughter was deadly, for Cromwell had forbidden quarter being given’: (Ranke, ix: 3).
THE FUGITIVE KING
August 7: 1645
Cold blue cloud on the hill-tops,
Cold buffets of hill-side rain:—
As a bird that they hunt on the mountains,
The king, he turns from Rhos lane:
A writing of doom on his forehead,
His eyes wan-wistful and dim;
For his comrades seeking a shelter:
But earth has no shelter for him!
Gray silvery gleam of armour,
White ghost of a wandering king!
No sound but the iron-shod footfall
And the bridle-chains as they ring:
Save where the tears of heaven,
Shed thick o’er the loyal hills,
Rush down in the hoarse-tongued torrent,
A roar of approaching ills.