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Thomas Babington Macaulay, historian, essayist, and poet, was born in 1800. His essays are of the highest order, and his “ History of England,” though never finished, is deservedly famous. He died in 1859, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Before his death he was raised to the peerage as Lord Macaulay.

This ballad, written in 1824, while he was at Cambridge, is supposed to be the triumph of a Puritan over the rout of the King's army, at Naseby, by Cromwell, 14th June, 1645.




1 Oh! wherefore come ye forth, in triumph from the North,

With your hands, and your feet, and your raiment all red ? And wherefore doth your rout send forth a joyous shout ? And whence be the grapes of the winepress which ye tread ?

2 Oh, evil was the root, and bitter was the fruit,

And crimson was the juice of the vintage that we trod;

| Ireton, Cromwell's Commissary-General. He married Cromwell's daughter, Bridget, in January, 1646-six months after the battle.

Verse 1 is addressed to the Puritan

army by Puritans of the South, on its return from Naseby. The long Scripturo name assumed by the Puritan writer, as the custom of his party was, is taken from Psalm

cxlix, 8. The North. Leicester had recently

been taken by storm by the king, and Fairfax, the Parliamentary general, had raised the siege of Oxford, to march north against him.

On the Puritan army showing itself, Charles came south, five or six miles, to Naseby, an upland village among the moors, on the west edge of Northampton, and there

was utterly defeated. Verse 2 is the answer of the sol

diery. The blood of the Royalists is spoken of as the red of grapes trodden in the wine-press. See Isaiah lxiii, 1-3.

For we trampled on the throng of the haughty and the

strong, Who sate in the high places, and slew the saints of God.

3 It was about the noon of a glorious day of June,

That we saw their banners dance, and their cuirasses shine, And the Man of Blood was there, with his long essenced hair, And Astley, and Sir Marmaduke, and Rupert of the Rhine.

4 Like a servant of the Lord, with his Bible and his sword,

The General rode along us, to form us to the fight,
When a murmuring sound broke out, and swell'd into a

Among the godless horsemen upon the tyrant's right.

5 And hark ! like the roar of the billow on the shore,

The cry of battle rises along their charging line!
For God! For the Cause! for the Church! for the Laws!
For Charles, King of England, and Rupert of the Rhine!

The Royalists scorned the Puritans

as mechanics, and the like. They themselves comprised nearly all the

nobility and gentry. They sate in the high places

-were the court party, and held all

the high offices.
The saints of God, the Puritans.
Verse 3. June, See prefatory note.
Man of Blood. The King was called

so as the assumed cause of the war. Long essenced hair, the

flowing locks of the Cavaliers or Royalists. The Puritans cut their own hair short, whence their name

of Roundheads. Astley, Sir Jacob Astley, the last

of the King's generals. Sir Marmaduke, Sir M. Langdale,

a Royalist general, who was taken prisoner afterwards, but escaped.

Rupert of the Rhine, son of

King Charles's sister and of Frederic, Elector of the Palatinate, a district on both sides of the Rhine, from Mainz to Mannheim, and from Frankfort to Spires. Palatine means “possessing royal privileges." He fought for the King, at the head of the royal cavalry. Born, 1619; died, 1682. He was twenty

six at the battle of Naseby. Verse 4. The General, Sir Thomas

Fairfax. Born, 1611; died, 1671. Thirty-four years old at Naseby. Verse 5. The battle began by a charge

of Rupert's cavalry, tho right of the King's army, on the left of the Puritan army, which was ridden down and scattered. But Rupert lost the advantage by stopping to plunder the baggage.

6 The furious German comes, with his clarions and his drums,

His bravoes of Alsatia, and pages of Whitehall;
They are bursting on our flanks !-Grasp your pikes, close

your ranks;
For Rupert never comes but to conquer or to fall.

7 They are here! They rush on! We are broken! We are

gone! Our left is borne before them like stubble on the blast. O Lord, put forth thy might! O Lord, defend the right! Stand back to back, in God's name, and fight it to the last !

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8 Stout Skippon hath a wound; the centre hath given ground; Hark! hark! what means the trampling of horsemen on our

rear ? Whose banner do I see, boys? 'Tis he, thank God, 'tis he,

boysBear up another minute! brave Oliver is here.


9 Their heads all stooping low, their points all in a row,

Like a whirlwind on the trees, like a deluge on the dykes, Our cuirassiers have burst on the ranks of the Accurst, And at a shock have scattered the forest of his pikes.

Verse 6. Alsatia, the part of Lon

don between Fleet Street and the Thames, then the haunt of bravoes

and desperadoes. Whitehall, the palace, before

which Charles was afterwards beheaded. Burned in 1699. The Banqueting-house, by Inigo Jones (born,

1573 ; died, 1653) alone remains. Verse 7. See notes on verse 5. Verse 8, Skippon, a major-general

of the Puritans. The left being defeated, the centre wavered for the moment, when Cromwell, with his Ironsides (cavalry), charged the Royalist left, scattered it, put Ru

pert's horse to flight, and routed the King's army. Cromwell was born 1599; died, 1658: forty-six years of age at this time. Verse 9. The dykes, sea-walls of

earth, to keep out the sea: universal in Holland, and common on our east

coast. Accurst, an expression of Puritan

bitterness towards their opponents. Cuirassiers. The Ironsides woro

coats made of buffalo leather, whence the word cuirassier, a leather-coated soldier. It is now, however, used of troops with steel breast and backplates.

10 Fast, fast, the gallants ride, in some safe nook to hide

Their coward heads, predestined to rot on Temple Bar;
And he-he turns, he flies !-shame on those cruel eyes
That bore to look on torture, and dare not look on war.

11 Ho! comrades, scour the plain; and, ere ye strip the slain,

First give another stab to make your search secure,
Then shake from sleeves and pockets their broad pieces and

The tokens of the wanton, the plunder of the poor.

12 Fools! your doublets shone with gold, and your hearts were

gay and bold, When you kissed your lily hands to your lēmans to-day, And to-morrow shall the fox, from her chambers in the rocks, Lead forth her tawny cubs to howl above the prey.

13 Where be your tongues that, late, mocked at heaven and hell

and fate, And the fingers that once were so busy with your blades, Your perfum’d satin clothes, your catches and your oaths, Your stage plays, and your sonnets, your diamonds and your

spades ?

14 Down, down, for ever down, with the mitre and the crown,

With the Belial of the Court and the Mammon of the Pope ; There is woe in Oxford's halls; there is wail in Durham's

Verse 10. Rot on Temple Bar,

the gate of London at the west end of Fleet Street. The heads of political prisoners were fixed on it as

late as 1745. He, King Charles. To look on torture. The King

was charged with torturing Puritan
prisoners. An allusion also to the
bloody sentences of the Court of the
Star Chamber, and of the Council
Table, both of doubtful legality.

Verse 12, lemans, sweethearts.
Verse 14. Belial, the devil-as foul,

licentious, abandoned. Here used,
most unjustly, of the King, who

was a man of pure life. Mammon of the Pope, Mam

mon, the Syrian God of Riches; the symbol of sordid, grovelling love of money; used of the Pope, from his endless demands for money from England, before the Reformation.

Stalls !
The Jesuit smites his bosom; the Bishop rends his cope.

15 And She of the Seven Hills shall mourn her children's ills,

And tremble when she thinks on the edge of England's sword; And the Kings of earth in fear shall shudder when they hear What the hand of God has wrought for the Houses and the


38 IVRY.1

1 Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are !

And glory to our Sovereign Liege, King Henry of Navarre ! Now let there be the merry sound of music and of dance, Through thy corn-fields green, and sunny vines, oh, pleasant

land of France ! And thou, Rochelle, our own Rochelle, proud city of the waters, Again let rapture light the eyes of all thy mourning daughters. As thou wert constant in our ills, be joyous in our joy, For cold and stiff, and still are they, who wrought thy walls

annoy Oxford, the King's head-quarters 1 Ivry was the name given to a battle

during the war. The University between the Reformers of France, sent him its plate to be coined into known as the Huguenots, and the money for his use.

Roman Catholic party.

It was Durham, then the richest see in called the battle of Ivry from the

England. Very friendly to Charles, place where it was fought, in the He slept there on his journey to department of the Eure, in Norand from Scotland, in 1641.

mandy. Jesuit, member of the Society of Verse 1. Liege, lord.

Jesus. Founded by Ignatius Loyola Rochelle is a seaport on the west (born, 1491 ; died, 1556,) in 1534.

coast of France. It was one of the Verse 15. She of the Seven great strongholds of Protestantism. Hills, Rome.

Constant in our ills. Rochelle Houses, the Houses of Parliament, had been faithful to the Protestants,

whose army had conquered at and had stood a siege by the RoNaseby.

manists after the massacre of St. The Word, the Bible.


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