Fr. Hunwicke remembers Lepanto and the liberation of Christian galley slaves

Not for attribution

The Catholic fleet won the day against all odds. Calling up the Chesterton poem about the battle.

Chesterton reminds his readers that the Turkish galleys at Lepanto had Christian slaves labouring deep within them, each witless in his quiet room in hell / Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, / And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign. But as we take up the joyful story …

Don John of Austria has burst the battle line!
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for the bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!

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