Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • Ballad of the King’s Triumph

    From the Evening Public Ledger, June 18, 1915. By Dana Burnet.

    “Call me my minstrel,” said the king,
        “And let him sing a glee.
    For I have won this summer day
        A mighty victory.

    “Between the tides of dawn and dusk
        Upon a field I stood
    And saw my gallant swords drink deep
        Of body and of blood.

    “So bid my merry minstrel in
        With lute and silver thong,
    And let him take my stained sword
        And sheathe it in a song!”

    The minstrel came, an ancient man,
        And smote a silver string.
    “Oh, gallant is the victory
        And mighty is the king!

    “At dawn he rode with all his knights
        Into a virgin field.
    At dusk the blood of honest men
        Was stained upon his shield.

    “And in the houses of his foes
        A thousand leagues away,
    The hearts of women bled and broke
        Upon a summer’s day.”

    “What song is this?” the monarch cried,
        “What sorrow dost thou sing?”
    “Why, only of the victory
        That crowned my lord and king.”

    The minstrel smiled a fleeting smile
        And smote a splendid chord.
    “Oh, gallant is the use of arms
        And mighty is the sword!

    “For on this day a greening field
        Was won at crimson cost;
    And what the gods of war have gained
        The loves of men have lost.

    “And many a heart of friend and foe
        Has broken on this day,
    And children starve and women weep
        A thousand leagues away!

    “Then cry the triumph to the stars
        And let the heavens ring!
    For gallant is the victory!
        And mighty is the king!”