The fires of the Great ArmyChesterton would have looked on it, and doubtless thought of it while composing those lines, but Alfred would not have. This particular cathedral was built by Norman kings some years after Alfred broke the great army that no man yet had tired.
That was made of iron men,
Whose lights of sacrilege and scorn
Ran around England red as morn,
Fires over Glastonbury Thorn—
Fires out on Ely Fen.
The Earls of the Great Army
That no men born could tire,
Whose flames anear him or aloof
Took hold of towers or walls of proof,
Fire over Glastonbury roof
And out on Ely, fire.