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!
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