Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Young Windebank
 
Margaret L. Woods
 
 
THEY shot young Windebank just here,
  By Merton, where the sun
Strikes on the wall. ’T was in a year
  Of blood the deed was done.
 
At morning from the meadows dim        5
  He watched them dig his grave.
Was this in truth the end for him,
  The well-beloved and brave?
 
He marched with soldier scarf and sword,
  Set free to die that day,        10
And free to speak once more the word
  That marshalled men obey.
 
But silent on the silent band,
  That faced him stern as death,
He looked, and on the summer land,        15
  And on the grave beneath.
 
Then with a sudden smile and proud
  He waved his plume, and cried,
“The king! the king!” and laughed aloud,
  “The king! the king!” and died.        20
 
Let none affirm he vainly fell,
  And paid the barren cost
Of having loved and served too well
  A poor cause and a lost.
 
He in the soul’s eternal cause        25
  Went forth as martyrs must—
The kings who make the spirit laws
  And rule us from the dust;
 
Whose wills unshaken by the breath
  Of adverse Fate endure,        30
To give us honor strong as death
  And loyal love as sure.
 

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