Thomas Babington Macaulay

The Cavalier's March to London

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To horse! to horse! brave Cavaliers!
To horse for Church and Crown!
Strike, strike your tents! snatch up your spears!
And ho for London town!
The imperial harlot, doom'd a prey
To our avenging fires,
Sends up the voice of her dismay
From all her hundred spires.

The Strand resounds with maidens' shrieks,
The 'Change with merchants' sighs,
And blushes stand on brazen cheeks,
And tears in iron eyes;
And, pale with fasting and with fright,
Each Puritan Committee
Hath summon'd forth to prayer and fight
The Roundheads of the City.

And soon shall London's sentries hear
The thunder of our drum,
And London's dames, in wilder fear,
Shall cry, Alack! They come!
Fling the fascines;--tear up the spikes;
And forward one and all.
Down, down with all their train-band pikes,
Down with their mud-built wall.

Quarter?--Foul fall your whining noise,
Ye recreant spawn of fraud!
No quarter! Think on Strafford, boys.
No quarter! Think on Laud.
What ho! The craven slaves retire.
On! Trample them to mud,
No quarter!--Charge--No quarter!--Fire.
No quarter!--Blood!--Blood!--Blood!--

Where next? In sooth there lacks no witch,
Brave lads, to tell us where,
Sure London's sons be passing rich,
Her daughters wondrous fair:
And let that dastard be the theme
Of many a board's derision,
Who quails for sermon, cuff, or scream
Of any sweet Precisian.

Their lean divines, of solemn brow,
Sworn foes to throne and steeple,
From an unwonted pulpit now
Shall edify the people:
Till the tir'd hangman, in despair,
Shall curse his blunted shears,
And vainly pinch, and scrape, and tear,
Around their leathern ears.

We'll hang, above his own Guildhall,
The city's grave Recorder,
And on the den of thieves we'll fall,
Though Pym should speak to order.
In vain the lank-haired gang shall try
To cheat our martial law;
In vain shall Lenthall trembling cry
That strangers must withdraw.

Of bench and woolsack, tub and chair,
We'll build a glorious pyre,
And tons of rebel parchment there
Shall crackle in the fire.
With them shall perish, cheek by jowl,
Petition, psalm and libel,
The Colonel's canting muster-roll,
The Chaplain's dog-ear'd Bible.

We'll tread a measure round the blaze
Where England's past expires,
And lead along the dance's maze
The beauties of the friars:
Then smiles in every face shall shine,
And joy in every soul.
Bring forth, bring forth the oldest wine,
And crown the largest bowl.

And as with nod and laugh ye sip
The goblet's rich carnation,
Whose bursting bubbles seem to tip
The wink of invitation;
Drink to those names,--those glorious names,--
Those names no time shall sever,--
Drink, in draught as deep as Thames,
Our Church and King forever!

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