The Visions of England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 127 pages of information about The Visions of England.

With glory he gilt; See Appendix C.

Success, the vulgar test; See Matthew Arnold’s finely discriminative Essay on Falkland.

MARSTON MOOR

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.

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The Visions of England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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