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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Sidney Godolphin

By Clinton Scollard (1860–1932)

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 noon-tide 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.

O 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 sealèd 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.