Saturday, June 02, 2012

"Confound their Politics,
Frustrate their Knavish Tricks"

Happy 60th, Elizabeth.  A.E. Houseman (in A Shropshire Lad, 1896) celebrates an earlier monarchic anniversary.

I. From Clee to heaven the beacon burns


FROM Clee to heaven the beacon burns,
  The shires have seen it plain,
From north and south the sign returns
  And beacons burn again.

Look left, look right, the hills are bright,        5
  The dales are light between,
Because ’tis fifty years to-night
  That God has saved the Queen.

Now, when the flame they watch not towers
  About the soil they trod,        10
Lads, we ’ll remember friends of ours
  Who shared the work with God.

To skies that knit their heartstrings right,
  To fields that bred them brave,
The saviours come not home to-night        15
  Themselves they could not save.

It dawns in Asia, tombstones show
  And Shropshire names are read;
And the Nile spills his overflow
  Beside the Severn’s dead.        20

We pledge in peace by farm and town
  The Queen they served in war,
And fire the beacons up and down
  The land they perished for.

‘God save the Queen’ we living sing,        25
  From height to height ’tis heard;
And with the rest your voices ring,
  Lads of the Fifty-third.

Oh, God will save her, fear you not:
  Be you the men you ’ve been,        30
Get you the sons your fathers got,
  And God will save the Queen.

 Pinched from Bartleby.

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