At long last, my magnum opus, dedicated to that sweet damsel whom I shall take to the prom-
The Maiden of Marston Moor
Thence stepped an English cavalier
In full plate-iron dressed
As was his friend, the good Dauphin
With whom was France most blest.
And the fighting man, renowned by
The Netherlands campaign
Inquired of his traveled friend
To our vict'ry, champagne?
A vict'ry of the field? Asked our knight.
No, poor guess. The Edict is revoked!
By Louis at Versailles
As God's servent to refuse
The Hugenots' cold lies!
Such tidings cannot animate
These weathered Christian eyes
A love wrought not in charity
Tis a heretic's disguise.
One and forty years past-
We'd lost the field before-
My heart was weak, the sky was bleak
For we'd lost Marston moor.
Sly Cromwell, that infamous man
Laid many in their bed
At length, in shame we fell away
Disgracing good Saint George that day
His martyr-cross yet red.
Too soon I flew upon my mount
The worrisome old horse-
He'd dashed at the soonest offer
Bred for the polo course.
A league was past, I'd rest at last
He thought. He was a goat.
A pond, choked in by tall tistles
Soothed the steed's fiery throat.
And for a time, I quit my mount
I strolled without a task.
I'd brought my trusted friend, of course
My sarzaparilla flask.
I regained the road, rambled on
All Heaven overcast
Weakened, I cut my ego, hung him
So he might not die last.
I sat upon a wayside millstone
And emptied out the flask
Upon whose end, the witness was
Discovered, set upon her task
Transfixed in prayers because
she loves us so.
And, as Virtue on display
Recalled crusader lore
Antioch's lance held up again, the
Maiden of Marston Moor.
In subjection she pled before
Her Virgin Mother's face:
A happy image of Our Lady
Which Cromwell would quick disgrace!
Yes! Fine epic, o' cavalier
But what of the Edict?
Hear well, Dauphin! For that act was
A work so derelict.
An olive Rosary she held tight
Her words rolled so slowly
As she exhaled, breath so contrite
For her faults, so lowly!
Her eyes were close, and dark as ash,
Dilate and marblized
Yet twitched as they were washed in passion
Made bright and crystallized.
As I stared at yonder maiden
Her peach lips glistened
Chiming praise in the hushed abyss
And Creation listened.
My heart hard-pressed, her work near done
With her light dress adrift
Held out like an angel's ensign
I rose upon short shift.
Good maiden, how fairest thou/
Oh, me! She turned in sum.
Ivory-necked dame: my men proved lame.
Our kin are lost, safeguard thy cross
For Calvin's page is come!
Clad in gaudy chain mail we charged:
A lustful lance I bore
Saint George hearkened not when we bade
Swift to the lead cavalcade
And bled at Marston Moor.
Narrow-eyed, rude cavalier
Before His face I fall
Through many an uncivil year
He answereth my call.
Said I, in Mary's perfect way
Loose all this Isle's chains
From haughty Charles, son of James
Transfer thy golden reins.
At her rejoice, I drew a sigh
And asked my good Lord, Why?
Why do thou, lady, this treason
Among these blades of rye?
Has it been known that our King
Should set aside much gold?
The Commons let him no supply
His bounty has been sold
Charles our King, whose name doth ring
From famed West Saxon kin-
I'd dare fly Sir Gawain's standard
Was there a field to win.
And, wanton wench, betrothed to Core
I see thou art a fraud!
Since Henry's days, darkness held fast
And now I see first light at last
In good Archbishop Laud.
The heretics will meet their stroke,
All by our sov'reign's hands;
Mary only will destroy them
If but the Stuarts stand.
Oh Catholic Prince, I rued those words...
You try me, dark knight, on your silver scale?
Be it known: I cannot yet cast a stone.
Thus I collect these beads, their graces shown
To God, for my exiled love's fraught travail;
He fights on, somewhere, I reject the thought
Showering beads of hot blood at His feet
(Much as you do), for such sins has he wrought
And confessed, since departing mother's teat...
Yet I digress! So go on, if you will
Take to the blind men bound- to them the sword
And when sweet Mary births them to the Lord
Turn their hearts, say their parts, and make them still.
Let this befall you not- I love your soul.
-What hangman holds the Gospel whole?
I'd fallen thus, a diabolic slight-
A self- righteous sup, sendeth errors far
Salvation assured, tis Hell's morningstar;
Golden against my eyes, she drowned Christ's light.
That light was hers, begetting some allure
Held close beneath her chapel veil of black,
Coursed her blue blood (which i believed Polack)
And her lips, that Maiden of Marston Moor.
So I implored the wide-eyed soldier's saint:
Oh then, child of Lord Christ, please hold me dear!
You knew, a black-caped virtue was my taint
And I deserve the heel I followed here.
Cyan-sashed damsel, beseech thy Holy Queen
I betrayed her, and Death stroked me in turn
Yet you, chained and at ease, seem yet pristine
O' you! Please pray, so as I shall not burn.
And I wast wrested up, my Prince
Into a sweet embrace
Whence her warm tear had exiled clear
The paleness of her face.
Chaste as it was, and holy too
It nonetheless revealed
Her bosom's softness (through the mail)
Which she could scarce conceal.
Further thence, her white soul chased on
At stop and soon at start
A piercing light in moral night
Abiding in her heart.
Alas, Prince Louis, in our exile
We would need not repent
Had Eve not failed, the world prevailed
And so she did relent.
She stood against the westbound wind
Foreboding and austere
Our peaceful resolve was her strength
The Civil War her fear.
I spoke thus last: I will miss you!
And Virgin Mary bless!
I left in clear, nay mortal fear
Of Cromwell, I confess.
As I fast quit yonder maiden
My bitter chest thus bled
Errors forth again- all was the same
And the whole world was dead.
In time I joined the fray again
Berserk and unafraid.
A jolly sport, I slew all sorts
Of Roundhead renegade.
A screaming shot or shining lance
Whichever was their end
Their whorish knell made holy Hell,
And England might amend.
But nonetheless, it was a mess!
For which there was no cure
The rebels proved a mighty band
Once they took Marston Moor.
Then to the south Lord Ollie turned
To undo Essex's play.
Soon Naseby went, our power rent
T'was such a sorry day!
Please sum up, once-strong cavalier
A legal lesson learned here.
The damsel's way was so polite
And her deep wisdom scarce finite
That she could make this man contrite
Whose hateful tongue had been a blight
And loose him from the devil's might
Convert the heart to win the fight
On what is wrong with what is right
Though in Cromwell's immoral sight
Her lips alone could bring in sight
The fullest truth, all Jesus' light.
If nought is thus learned, be it so
But art thy ways so sure?
She was God's work, his vessel, that
Maiden of Marston Moor.
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