Poem 187 – Acts of Zeal and Love

Ten thousand ensigns high advanced,
Standards, and gonfalons twixt van and rear
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees;
Or in their glittering tissues bear emblazed
Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love
Recorded eminent.

Milton, Paradise Lost, Book V, 588-594

When old men talk of history, they talk of battles and betrayal,
And consider tales of kings and swords and blood.
But why should history not recall beautiful things?
Deeds of kindness, acts of zeal and love?
Such things are worth aspiring to, a history worth repeating,
Tales not of sorrow, but of worth.
Let us write the chronicle of kindness, the record of good things
And celebrate the good folk beneath the earth.

***

Dear readers,

The angelic forces, when assembled for battle, bear banners – it is these banners that record the acts. As a history student, I find the idea rather a pleasing one – too often people say they like history, when they mean they like reliving long-gone wars and atrocities.

Kind regards,

The Hapless Neo-Romantic

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