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At thy pale feet this ballad of the deeds Of England, and her banner in the East?



BANNER of England, not for a season, O banner of Britain, hast thou Floated in conquering battle or flapt to the battle-cry!

Never with mightier glory than when we had rear'd thee on high Flying at top of the roofs in the ghastly siege of LucknowShot thro' the staff or the halyard, but ever we raised thee anew, And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.

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Frail were the works that defended the hold that we held with our livesWomen and children among us, God help them, our children and wives! Hold it we might and for fifteen days or for twenty at most.

'Never surrender, I charge you, but every man die at his post!' Voice of the dead whom we loved, our Lawrence the best of the brave: Cold were his brows when we kiss'd him we laid him that night in his grave.

'Every man die at his post!' and there hail'd on our houses and halls Death from their rifle-bullets, and death from their cannon-balls,

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Flying and foil'd at the last by the handful they could not subdue; And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.


Handful of men as we were, we were English in heart and in limb, Strong with the strength of the race to command, to obey, to endure, Each of us fought as if hope for the garrison hung but on him;

Still could we watch at all points? we were every day fewer and fewer. There was a whisper among us, but only a whisper that past: 'Children and wives-if the tigers leap into the fold unawaresEvery man die at his post- and the foe may outlive us at last Better to fall by the hands that they love, than to fall into theirs!'

Roar upon roar in a moment two mines by the enemy sprung Clove into perilous chasms our walls and our poor palisades.

Rifleman, true is your heart, but be sure that your hand be as true! Sharp is the fire of assault, better aimed are your flank fusillades

Twice do we hurl them to earth from the ladders to which they had clung, Twice from the ditch where they shelter we drive them with hand-grenades; And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.


Then on another wild morning another wild earthquake out-tore

Clean from our lines of defence ten or twelve good paces or more. Rifleman, high on the roof, hidden there from the light of the sun

One has leapt up on the breach, crying out: Follow me, follow me!'Mark him he falls! then another, and him too, and down goes he. Had they been bold enough then, who can tell but the traitors had won? Boardings and rafters and doors — an embrasure! make way for the gun!

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I would I knew their speech; not now to glean,

Not now I hope to do it—some scatter'd ears,

Some ears for Christ in this wild field of Wales

But, bread, merely for bread. This tongue that wagg'd They said with such heretical arrogance Against the proud archbishop Arundel So much God's cause was fluent in itis here


But as a Latin Bible to the crowd; 'Bara!'- what use? The Shepherd, when I speak,

Veiling a sudden eyelid with his hard 'Dim Saesneg' passes, wroth at things of old

No fault of mine. Had he God's word in Welsh

He might be kindlier: happily come the day!

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Urge him to foreign war. O had be will'd

I might have stricken a lusty stroke for him,

But he would not; far liever led my friend

Back to the pure and universal church, But he would not: whether that heirless flaw

In his throne's title make him feel so frail,

He leans on Antichrist; or that his mind,
So quick, so capable in soldiership,
In matters of the faith, alas the while!
More worth than all the kingdoms of
this world,

Runs in the rut, a coward to the Priest.

Burnt-good Sir Roger Acton, my dear friend!

Burnt too, my faithful preacher, Beverley! Lord give thou power to thy two wit


Lest the false faith make merry over them! Two-nay, but thirty-nine have risen and stand,

Dark with the smoke of human sacrifice, Before thy light, and cry continually— Cry against whom?

Him, who should bear the sword Of Justice what! the kingly, kindly boy; Who took the world so easily heretofore, My boon companion, tavern-fellow-him Who gibed and japed — in many a merry tale

That shook our sides-at Pardoners, Summoners,

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Friars, absolution-sellers, monkeries And nunneries, when the wild hour and the wine

Had set the wits aflame.

Harry of Monmouth, Or Amurath of the East?

Better to sink Thy fleurs-de-lys in slime again, and fling Thy royalty back into the riotous fits Of wine and harlotry- thy shame, and mine, Thy comrade

than to persecute the

Lord, And play the Saul that never will be Paul.

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Eh! how I anger'd Arundel asking me To worship Holy Cross! I spread mine


God's work, I said, a cross of flesh and blood

And holier. That was heresy. good friend


By this time should be with me.) 'Images?'

'Bury them as God's truer images Are daily buried.' 'Heresy.- Penance?' Fast,

Hairshirt and scourge - nay, let a man repent,

Do penance in his heart, God hears him.' 'Heresy 'What profits

Not shriven, not saved?' an ill Priest

Between me and my God? I would not spurn

Good counsel of good friends, but shrive myself

No, not to an Apostle.' Heresy.' (My friend is long in coming.) 'Pilgrimages?'

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'Drink, bagpipes, revelling, devil'sdances, vice.

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