Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHAINED CRUSADER, by WILFRED ROWLAND CHILDE



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THE CHAINED CRUSADER, by            
First Line: Between the joustings and the wine
Last Line: Dear seed-plots of the rose of heaven.
Subject(s): Crusades; Oxford University


BETWEEN the joustings and the wine
I heard a voice descend:
"Ye kneel and hail Me as divine;
Therefore My land defend.
The infidel has hold upon
The cedarn slopes of Lebanon:
The faithless rule and keep their stand
In the gates of holy land.
None of your paladins makes stir
To stand and keep My sepulchre,
Or bring My cities back to Me.
Once wept I for Jerusalem:
Now is she tenanted by them,
That speak against My mystery."

Between the viols and the wine
A voice came to my ears:
"Ye shall take back My Palestine
Through many barriers:
Ye shall attain, though many a thorn
Be in your bodies driven,
Through battle and strong suns and scorn,
Unto the Rose of Heaven:
Yea, that small seed-plot of My birth
Ye shall possess once more,
That strange most holy space of earth --
Put by your music and your mirth,
And with your swords adore.
The infidel has hold upon
The cedarn slopes of Lebanon:
The faithless rule and keep their stand
In all the ports of holy land,
And fierce unchristened kings are set
Upon the sides of Olivet.
Take back, O continent of Mine,
Take back for Me My Palestine."

Therefore, I saw the spears upon
Acre and walled Ajalon:
Therefore, I serve the Saracens,
Whose hearts are not as Frankish men's,
And captive am and slave therefore
Unto this heathen emperor.

Yet have I toiled to take again
The little cities of His pain,
To take the little cities striven,
Dear seed-plots of the Rose of Heaven.





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