Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Lepanto

Of all poems I have read recently (granted most were by Byron) the most beautiful has been a poem about the battle of Lepanto written by G. K. Chesterton.  It begins so:

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.

You can read the whole thing online, but in whatever medium, read it out loud.  It sings. It vividly paints the importance of the battle and the weakness of Europe at the time.  It also has a glorious portrayal of the importance of prayers and the place of the knight.  ("Don John of Austria is going to the war!" will continue to ring with excitement.)  I think I want to memorize the poem.

The anniversary of the battle was just this past Sunday.

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