‘For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way’ (II Thessalonians 2:7).
Fiercely rages the storm of battle,
Demons contending with men at the mouth of hell.
Bravely fight the warriors of man,
Led by anointed kings and queens.
Alas! That so many of those crownèd heads
Lie already asleep in the dust, their weapons
No more wielding, their faithful soldiers,
Slain, lying still beside them: Oswald,
Edmund, and Edward; Radegund, Clotilde;
Lazar of Kosovo and Queen Ketevan –
Their ranks are thinning, evil advancing,
Till one family alone restrains the horde –
Tsar Nicholas, the second of that name,
His Tsaritsa Alexandra, the crown prince
Alexis, and his four valiant sisters –
A single thin line at the threshold
Of the earth, a-glow with the Glory of God,
Resolute, unyielding. Their foes
Quail, but before humanity rallies
To the banner of the Christian Tsar,
In the cold malice of their genius,
They incite some of his own brothers
To strike him down with wife and children
In a Cain-ish act of heinous murder.
Where is there a respite now, since the gate
Separating earth and hell, deprived
Of guards, has been utterly destroyed?
Parliaments, senates, and presidents –
Glad at the fall of their sovereigns,
At the betrayal of God’s anointed –
Stand with mouths agape and arms hanging
Slack at their sides, powerless to stop
The mounting waves of evil breaking
O’er the world. The secret of salvation
Is not in parchment charters, nor in skillful
Scientific formulae. This dark flood
Will subside when at last we walk barefoot
To Ekaterinburg on penitential
Pilgrimage, to beg of God and the Royal
Martyrs forgiveness for regicidal murder.
Till then the world careens in a tortuous way,
No competent hand to steady the ship of state.
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!