A Celebration of Women Writers

"Newbury Town." by Norah M. Holland (1876-1925)
From: Spun-Yarn And Spindrift. by Norah M. Holland. London & Toronto: J. M. Dent & Sons; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1918, pp. 51-52.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 51] 


RUPERT'S soldiers came riding, riding,
  All in the sunshine riding down,
Scented curls on the breezes flowing,
Banners dancing and bugles blowing,
Gaily the troops came riding, riding,
  Through the streets of Newbury town.

Bells in the church towers all were swinging,
  Flags were waving and flowers were strown;
Roses lay in the road before them,
Roses rained from the casements o'er them,
All in the streets, with shout and singing,
  Prayed that the King might win his own.

Rupert's soldiers came riding, riding,
  All in the darkness riding down;
Never a church-bell chimed to greet them,
Never a maid came forth to meet them;
Broken, defeated, they came riding
  Through the streets of Newbury town.

Never more while the bells are calling
  Rupert's soldiers come riding down;
They have ridden, with bugles blowing,
Into a land beyond our knowing,
Never more shall their footsteps falling
  Haunt the streets of Newbury town.

[Page 52] 

Yet, as I sit here, idly dreaming,
  Watching the water onward flow,
Still I see, in the sun or shadow,
Rupert's soldiers across the meadow,
Banners blowing and lovelocks streaming,
  Riding back from the long ago.

And in my dreams they still are riding
  Victor or vanquished, riding down;
Now with the roses strewn before them–
Now with the darkness gathering o'er them–
Rupert's soldiers, forever riding
  Through the streets of Newbury town.

[Page 53]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom