The Visions of England eBook

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

      Not thus!—­For even now,
      The blaze is on thy brow
Scored by the shadowy hand of him whose wing
      Knows neither haste nor rest;
      Who from the board each guest
In season calling,—­knight and kerne and king,—­
Where Arthur lies, and Alfred, signs the way;—­
      —­We know him, and obey.

Lord Macaulay’s lively description of this scene (Hist.  Ch iv) should be referred to.  ‘Even then,’ he says, ’the King had complained that he did not feel well.’

Tudor-Stuart; This famous Gallery was of sixteenth-century date.

When the heart; The weariness of England under the triple yoke of Puritanism, the Independents, and the Protector, has been already noticed:  (Note on p. 125).

‘The Restoration,’ says Professor Seeley, in an able essay on current perversions of seventeenth-century-history, ’was not a return to servitude, but the precise contrary.  It was a great emancipation, an exodus out of servitude into liberty . . .  As to the later Stuarts, I regard them as pupils of Cromwell:  . . . it was their great ambition to appropriate his methods,’ (and, we may add, to follow his foreign policy in regard to France and Holland), for the benefit of the old monarchy.  They failed where their model had succeeded, and the distinction of having enslaved England remained peculiar to Cromwell.’

THE BALLAD OF KING MONMOUTH

1685

Fear not, my child, though the days be dark,
   Never fear, he will come again,
With the long brown hair, and the banner blue,
   King Monmouth and all his men!

      The summer-smiling bay
      Has doff’d its vernal gray;
   A peacock breast of emerald shot with blue: 
      Is it peace or war that lands
      On these pale quiet sands,
As round the pier the boats run-in their silent crew?

      Bent knee, and forehead bare;
      That moment was for prayer! 
   Then swords flash out, and—­Monmouth!—­is the cry: 
      The crumbling cliff o’erpast,
      The hazard-die is cast,
’Tis James ’gainst James in arms!  Soho! and Liberty!

—­Fear not, my child, though he come with few;
   Alone will he come again;
God with him, and his right hand more strong
   Than a thousand thousand men!

      They file by Colway now;
      They rise o’er Uplyme brow;
   And faithful Taunton hails her hero-knight: 
      And girlhood’s agile hand
      Weaves for the patriot band
The crown-emblazon’d flag, their gathering star of fight.

      —­Ah flag of shame and woe! 
      For not by these who go,
   Scythe-men and club-men, foot and hunger-worn,
      These levies raw and rude,
      Can England be subdued,
Or that ancestral throne from its foundations torn!

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The Visions of England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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