Sidney Godolphin

Clinton Scollard

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THEY rode from the camp at morn
With clash of sword and spur.
The birds were loud in the thorn,
The sky was an azure blur.
A gallant show they made
That warm noontide of the year,
Led on by a dashing blade,
By the poet-cavalier.

They laughed through the leafy lanes,
The long lanes of Dartmoor;
And they sang their soldier strains,
Pledged “death” to the Roundhead boor;
Then they came at the middle day
To a hamlet quaint and brown
Where the hated troopers lay,
And they cheered for the King and crown.

They fought in the fervid heat,
Fought fearlessly and well,
But low at the foeman’s feet
Their valorous leader fell.
Full on his fair young face
The blinding sun beat down;
In the morn of his manly grace
He died for the King and crown.

Oh the pitiless blow,
The vengeance-thrust of strife,
That blotted the golden glow
From the sky of his glad, brave life!
The glorious promise gone;—
Night with its grim black frown!
Never again the dawn,
And all for the King and crown.

Hidden his sad fate now
In the sealëd book of the years;
Few are the heads that bow,
Or the eyes that brim with tears,
Reading ’twixt blots and stains
From a musty tome that saith
How he rode through the Dartmoor lanes
To his woful, dauntless death.

But I, in the summer’s prime,
From that lovely leafy land
Look back to the olden time
And the leal and loyal band.
I see them dash along,—
I hear them charge and cheer,
And my heart goes out in a song
To the poet-cavalier.

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