The fourth of five armies takes to the field in dashing black and capped in yellow. This time around it’s the not-quite-Prussian army, all 38 stands of 1-inch square menace. That leaves just the not-quite-French army and a whole lot of terrain, and then we’ll be able to kick things off in style.
Lest we slip too gallantly into the nonchalant acceptance of our little games as nothing more than mere frippery, it’s worth remembering that the Malburnian/Seven Years War era saw countless shattered men, shattered families, and broken nations. How about a moment of quiet reflection with a poem from a more recent engagement to pay our due respects to the heroes of our ancestry who marched and fought that we might enjoy such pleasant days here in the late autumn of our own turn of the Imperial Wheel?
The Eve of War – Geoffrey Faber
The night falls over London. City and sky
Blend slowly. All the crowded plains grow dark.
The last few loiterers leave the glooming park
To swell that mighty tide which still sweeps by,
Heedless save of its own humanity,
Down to the Circus, where the staring arc
Winks through the night, and every face shows stark
And every cheek betrays its painted lie.
But here through bending trees blows a great wind;
Through torn cloud-gaps the angry stars
Here have I heard this night the wings of War,
this dark and frowning countenance I saw.
What dreadful menace hangs above our town?
Let all the great cities pray; for they have sinned.