7 October 2014

Chesterton, for October 7

Once upon a time, G K Chesterton wrote a poem about a Spanish sea victory. Not really the sort of thing that proper Englishmen do; we were brought up on stories about the defeat of the Armada. And that 'English Victory' was woven seamlessly into a consistent narrative of our Island Race protected by our Silver Sea against Philip of Spain and Buonaparte and Hitler, who were all foreigners. But we Catholics are counter-cultural; in other words, when David Cameron preaches yet another of his fatuous sermons about British Values, it serves simply to remind us that the British Values he proses on about are imposters dancing on the graves of the English Catholic martyrs; cavorting Whig clowns hypocritical in their Phrygian caps.

Chesterton reminds his readers that Turkish galleys had Christian slaves labouring deep within them, each witless in his quiet room in hell / Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, / And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign. But as we take up the story ...

 ... Don John of Austria has burst the battle line!

Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for the bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.

     Vivat Hispania!
     Domino Gloria!
     Don John of Austria 
     Has set his people free!

1 comment:

Священник села said...

How delightful to read this en route to Andalusia, with happy intimations of the possibility of overcoming the prejudices of the settlement narrative in the face of the glories of a great Christian civilization. Thank you.