James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 3

The Battle of Moncontour

By Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859)

  • The French Catholics defeated the Huguenots under Coligny. The battle was fought on Oct. 3, 1569.

  • OH! weep for Moncontour! Oh! weep for the hour

    When the children of darkness and evils had power,

    When the horsemen of Valois triumphantly trod

    On the bosoms that bled for their rights and their God.

    Oh! weep for Moncontour! Oh! weep for the slain,

    Who for faith and for freedom lay slaughtered in vain

    Oh, weep for the living, who linger to bear

    The renegade’s shame, or the exile’s despair.

    One look, one last look, to our cots and our towers,

    To the rows of our vines, and the beds of our flowers,

    To the church where the bones of our fathers decayed,

    Where we fondly had deemed that our own would be laid.

    Alas! we must leave thee, dear desolate home,

    To the spearmen of Uri, the shavelings of Rome,

    To the serpent of Florence, the vulture of Spain,

    To the pride of Anjou, and the guile of Lorraine.

    Farewell to thy mountains, farewell to thy shades,

    To the songs of thy youths, and the dance of thy maids,

    To the breath of thy gardens, the hum of thy bees,

    And the long waving line of the blue Pyrenees.

    Farewell, and for ever. The priest and the slave

    May rule in the halls of the free and the brave,

    Our hearths we abandon; our lands we resign;

    But, Father, we kneel to no altar but thine.