10/7/15

Lepanto

(October 7th: Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.)

"The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man’s house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plum├Ęd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines."

~Excerpt from Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton.

Read the complete poem here.


The Naval Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571, waged 
by Don John of Austria. 
Don Juan of Austria in battle, at the bow of the ship. 
Painting by Juan Luna y Novicio, c. 1880's. 
(Reproduced from an art textbook.)