Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
January 24
Sidney Godolphin
By Clinton Scollard (1860–1932)
 
          A young man of fine family and great promise. He was intimate with Falkland and Clarendon and is mentioned by Hobbes in the dedication of his “Leviathan” to his brother, Francis Godolphin. He had great literary taste and left some poems which have never been collected. On the breaking out of the Civil War he joined the royalist troops and was killed Jan. 24, 1642, in a skirmish at Chagford in Devonshire.

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        5
  That warm noontide of the year,
Led on by a dashing blade,
  By the poet-cavalier.
 
They laughed through the leafy lanes,
  The long lanes of Dartmoor;        10
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,        15
  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.        20
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.
 
Oh the pitiless blow,        25
  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!        30
Never again the dawn,
  And all for the King and crown.
 
Hidden his sad fate now
  In the sealed book of the years;
Few are the heads that bow,        35
  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.        40
 
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,—        45
  I hear them charge and cheer,
And my heart goes out in a song
  To the poet-cavalier.
 
 
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