For England

OF all great deaths on English ground, thine most,
Simon de Montfort, doth my spirit stir.
Thou fought’st for England, and thou died’st for her,
Thyself of other race, from outland coast.
Law’s mandatory and Freedom’s, thou thy host
Didst hurl against a sceptred lawbreaker ;
Nor didst thou blench when Fate, in plume and spur,
On Evesham field swept like a hungry ghost.
Then for their lives thou bad’st thy nobles fly.
“ Thou dying, we would not live,” they made reply,
And dauntless round thy dauntlessness were mown.
And thou, with wrath that hewed its way on high,
Fell’st fighting the steep fight of Liberty,
In a crashing forest of the foe, alone.
William Watson.