Soldiers and ships from various lands in Europe came to be a part of this special Christian alliance. It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate; All Rights Reserved. When Solomon was king. The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery; Sudden and still--hurrah! Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea . The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung, Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid, Domino Gloria! Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon. Death-light of Africa! Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop, From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn; And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees, Don John of Austria Is gone by Alcalar. ​King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck The cold queen of England is looking in the glass; They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,-- And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest, King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck Lepanto is a poem by G.K. Chesterton celebrating the victory of the Holy League in the Battle of Lepanto written in irregular stanzas of rhyming, roughly paeonic tetrameter couplets, often ending in a quatrain of four dimeter lines. Has loosed the cannonade. Don John of Austria And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise, For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west. While Holy Mother Church in the liturgy emphasizes the intervention of Heaven in the events that unfolded 448 years ago, Chesterton's poem speaks of the human agency of Don John of Austria, his response to the call to arms. The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall, St. Michael's on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north Bolt from Iberia! He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon, (Don John of Austria is going to the war.) Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea, Many people in Rome took part in public recitation of the Rosary the same day as the battle. Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day, Sudden and still--hurrah! And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain, Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain, And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade…. Don John of Austria is going to the war, ), https://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=Poems_(Chesterton,_1915)/Lepanto&oldid=9130506, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. ha! He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone; Bolt from Iberia! They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;   Yearly: $120 a year, To pay in advance without a subscription, click here Bolt from Iberia! There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared, On a natural level, the victory was attributed to the Europeans' better use of cannons. Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp … Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in. You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred, (Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.) Is gone by Alcalar. Don John of Austria Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold Don John of Austria Is gone by Alcalar. Pope St. Pius V tried to rally together the Catholic monarchs of Europe to beat back the Ottoman threat, giving his blessing and financial backing to an alliance called the Holy League. And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell ​Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard, Bolt from Iberia! St. Michael's on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north (Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.) Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far, The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear. Multiplex of wing and eye, They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn, As the sea battle unfolded along the Greek coast near Lepanto, the Holy League's fleet managed to beat the Ottoman fleet. The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke, (Don John of Austria is going to the war.) And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room, Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds, Don John of Austria The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young. And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey (Don John of Austria is going to the war.) But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know Thousands of Christian slaves, forced to row on the Ottomans' ships, found freedom on that day. Of particular significance was the seizure of Famagusta, a port on the island of Cyprus, in August 1571. We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun, And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift. And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross. And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun. Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star, Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips, . Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall, And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run; Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift. agree that your subscription will automatically renew monthly, quarterly or annually based upon your subscription And death is in the phial and the end of noble work, For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships. The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke, Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums, And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide, And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign-- For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west. White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty. It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard, The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall, Black AzraeI and Ariel and Ammon on the wing. White founts falling in the Courts of the sun, Trumpet that sayeth ha! We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun, Has set his people free! Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall, Is riding to the sea. The poem tells of the defeat of the Ottoman fleet of Ali Pasha by the Christian crusader, Don John of Austria. Don John of Austria (But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.) Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea. When you place your order, your Church Militant Premium membership will be activated. Do we pray and fast, petitioning God through the intercession of Our Lady? . They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy, In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid, He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, When Solomon was king. That once went singing southward when all the world was young, The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago: Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed— Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid. Domino gloria! (Don John of Austria is going to the war.) You also And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest, Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift The night before the battle, the men on the Holy League's ships recited the Rosary. (Don John of Austria is going to the war.) Much can be said in praise of "Lepanto" in terms of its beauty and poetic technique. Register now and publish your best poems or read and bookmark your favorite popular famous poems. On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl, That once went singing southward when all the world was young. But another thing to be pondered is the need for both prayer and action on the part of sinners here on earth. . He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone; Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes. Love-light of Spain--hurrah! With the crisis that the Church faces today, do we answer the call for action and prayer? Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop, The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone; Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop, ', The Rosary Will Convert — or Crush — Islamic Terrorists, Muslims Testify to the Power of the Rosary, Italy Follows Poland’s Lead, Prays ‘Rosary on the Border’, Nice Jihad: Bishop Blames Europe, Cardinal Names Islam, Pence to Flint: Clear Choice With High Stakes. Heading the Christian fleet was Don Juan of Austria (alternately rendered Don John of Austria), the half-brother of King Philip II of Spain. Vivat Hispania! Read this entire work here at the American Chesterton Society website. The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin, He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees, The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall, Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound. And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in. Whose strong obedience broke the sky And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom, Domino Gloria! Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop, Don John of Austria They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea, From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun, About 140 lines in length, the poem heralds Don John of Austria as an embodiment of Christian chivalry, even calling him "the last knight of Europe.". This page was last edited on 2 March 2019, at 17:38. Sudden and still--hurrah! option selection above at the current full price on the date of each renewal, until you cancel. And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide, And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun. They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day, Holding his head up for a flag of all the free. When the Pope called for prayer, many of the faithful answered the call. Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid. They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on (Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.) (Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.) Sudden and still - hurrah! That once went singing southward when all the world was young. The saintly pope exhorted the Christian faithful to pray the Rosary. Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,

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