Crecy

August 26: 1346

At Crecy by Somme in Ponthieu
High up on a windy hill
A mill stands out like a tower;
King Edward stands on the mill.
The plain is seething below
As Vesuvius seethes with flame,
But O! not with fire, but gore,
Earth incarnadined o'er,
Crimson with shame and with fame!--
To the King run the messengers, crying
'Thy Son is hard-press'd to the dying!'
--'Let alone: for to-day will be written in story
To the great world's end, and for ever:
So let the boy have the glory.'

Erin and Gwalia there
With England are one against France;
Outfacing the oriflamme red
The red dragons of Merlin advance:--
As harvest in autumn renew'd
The lances bend o'er the fields;
Snow-thick our arrow-heads white
Level the foe as they light;
Knighthood to yeomanry yields:--
Proud heart, the King watches, as higher
Goes the blaze of the battle, and nigher:--
'To-day is a day will be written in story
To the great world's end, and for ever!
Let the boy alone have the glory.'

Harold at Senlac-on-Sea
By Norman arrow laid low,--
When the shield-wall was breach'd by the shaft,
--Thou art avenged by the bow!
Chivalry! name of romance!
Thou art henceforth but a name!
Weapon that none can withstand,
Yew in the Englishman's hand,
Flight-shaft unerring in aim!
As a lightning-struck forest the foemen
Shiver down to the stroke of the bowmen:--
--'O to-day is a day will be written in story
To the great world's end, and for ever!
So, let the boy have the glory.'

Pride of Liguria's shore
Genoa wrestles in vain;
Vainly Bohemia's King
Kinglike is laid with the slain.
The Blood-lake is wiped-out in blood,
The shame of the centuries o'er;
Where the pride of the Norman had sway
The lions lord over the fray,
The legions of France are no more:--
--The Prince to his father kneels lowly;
--'His is the battle! his wholly!
For to-day is a day will be written in story
To the great world's end, and for ever:--
So, let him have the spurs, and the glory!'

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"Crecy" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 4 Jun 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/42929/crecy>.

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