"For God! For The Cause! For The Church! For The Laws!"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: This first of Macaulay's two "Songs of the Civil War" (The English, not the American Civil War), was supposedly written by a sergeant in the regiment of Henry Ireton (1611-1651), a general in the Puritan revolution. On June 14, 1645, the Parliamentarians under Fairfax and Cromwell defeated the Royalists under Charles I and his nephew Prince Rupert, born in Germany, at the decisive Battle of Naseby, in Northamptonshire, England. Macaulay's swinging lines, so effective in recreating ancient Rome, are just as stirring when he writes about battles and events in the history of his own land. In this poem, the sergeant describes the enemy under King Charles, "the man of blood with his long essenced hair" in contrast to the close-cropped and unperfumed Roundheads. He also speaks of Prince Rupert (1619-1682), Count Palatine of the Rhine and grandson of James I of England. Because of his bravery he won the name of "The Mad Cavalier." Then the narrator turns to his own army:

Like a servant of the Lord, with his Bible and his sword,
The General rode along us to form us to the fight,
When a murmuring shout broke out, and swell'd into a shout,
Among the godless horsemen upon the tyrant's right.
And hark! like the roar of the billows on the shore,
The cry of battle rises along their charging line!
For God! for the Cause! for the Church! for the Laws!
For Charles King of England and Rupert of the Rhine!