Shod with the wingèd shoes of Hermes,
Sped on by the swiftness
Of Aeolian winds,
Fighting with the fierceness of Ares,
You turned back all your foes,
Hurled them from homeland.
Not out of hatred for them,
But because of the love you bore
For ’Ginia and the Lord.
Too soon you were taken,
Before battle sounds subsided.
Hearts in Dixie were too much darkened,
Heavens’ Lord would not bestow the laurel wreath,
Sent for your soul after stunning victory.
Woe to us! The South as Troy is fallen!
After so many careless years,
Thin has grown the mem’ry of you,
Cold the love of kinsmen for their chief.
More like a figure from
A long-forgotten tale
You seem than a member
Of the Southern family,
Than flesh and blood lying in a grave.
But your life and deeds
Have more substance than a dream.
And we know it is true,
For the angry ones your tomb
And bones would desecrate
If given but a chance.
Our King David, bright in virtue
And in battle deeds, you were not allowed
To finish the defeat of Apostate Saul
And the Philistines during your days
On earth. The oppressor remains,
For our hearts still are hardened.
Unworthy of you then,
How much more so now!
But may the God of all mercy
Grant us repentance quickly
And raise up another like yourself,
By stories of your life bestirred
To lead this captive people to freedom,
And into radiant halls of holiness,
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!