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It flash'd at sight of shield and lance. And gave his battle-axe the swing. "Know'st thou," he said, “ De Argen-Right on De Boune, the whiles he tine,
pass'd, Yon knight who marshals thus their Fell that stern dint - the first - the line?”
last ! “ The tokens on his helmet tell
Such strength upon the blow was put, The Bruce, my Liege: I know him The helmet crash'd like hazel-nut; well."
The axe-shaft, with its brazen clasp, “ And shall the audacious traitor brave Was shiver'd to the gauntlet grasp. The presence where banners Springs from the blow the startled horse, wave?"
Drops to the plain the lifeless corse; “ So please my liege,” said Argentine, - First of that fatal field, how soon, “ Were he but horsed on steed like How sudden, fell the fierce De Boune!
mine, To give him fair and knightly chance,
XXI. I would adventure forth my lance.”. “In battle-day,” the King replied, Now onward, and in open view, “ Nice tourney rules are set aside. The countless ranks of England drew, -- Still must the rebel dare our wrath? Dark rolling like the ocean-tide, Set on him - sweep him from our When the rough west hath chased his path!
pride, And, at King Edward's signal, soon And his deep roar sends challenge wide Dash'd from the ranks Sir Henry
To all that bars his way!
In front the gallant archers trode,
And midmost of the phalanx broad Of Hereford's high blood he came,
The Monarch held his sway. A race renown'd for knightly fame. Beside him many a war-horse fumes, He burn'd before his Monarch's eye Around him waves a sea of plumes, To do some deed of chivalry.
Where many a knight in battle known, He spurr'd his steed, he couch'd his And some who spurs had first braced lance,
on, And darted on the Bruce at once. And deem'd that fight should see them - As motionless as rocks, that bide
won, The wrath of the advancing tide,
King Edward's hests obey. The Bruce stood fast. — Each breast De Argentine attends his side, beat high,
With stout De Valence, Pembroke's And dazzled was each gazing eye –
pride, The heart had hardly time to think, Selected champions from the train, The eyelid scarce had time to wink, To wait upon his bridle-rein. While on the King, like flash of flame, Upon the Scottish foe he gazed Spurr'd to full speed the war-horse - At once, before his sight amazed, came!
Sunk banner, spear, and shield; The partridge may the falcon mock, Each weapon-point is downward sent, If that slight palfrey stand the shock -- Each warrior to the ground is bent. But, swerving from the knight's career, “The rebels, Argentine, repent! Just as they met, Bruce shunn'd the For pardon they have kneeld.” spear,
Aye! -- but they bend to other Onward the baffled warrior bore
powers, His course but soon his course was And other pardon sue than ours ! o'er!
See where yon bare-foot Abbot stands, High in his stirrups stood the King, And blesses them with lifted hands.
Upon the spot where they have kneelid, These men will die or win the field.”.
“ Then prove we if they die or win! Bid Gloster's Earl the fight begin."
XXIII. Then spurs were dash'd in chargers'
flanks, They rush'd among the archer ranks, No spears were there the shock to let, No stakes to turn the charge was set, And how shall yeoman's armor slight, Stand the long lance and mace of
might? Or what may their short swords avail, 'Gainst barbed horse and shirt of mail ? Amid their ranks the chargers sprung, High o'er their heads the weapons
swung, And shriek and groan and vengeful
shout Give note of triumph and of rout! Awhile, with stubborn hardihood, Their English hearts the strife made
good. Borne down at length on every side, Compellid to flight, they scatter wide. – Let stags of Sherwood leap for glee, And bound the deer of Dallon-Lee ! The broken bows of Bannock's shore Shall in the greenwood ring no more! Round Wakefield's merry May-pole
now, The maids may twine the summer
bough, May northward look with longing
glance, For those that wont to lead the dance, For the blithe archers look in vain ! Broken, dispersed, in flight o'erta'en, Pierced through, trode down, by thou
sands slain, They cumber Bannock's bloody plain.
Both Southern fierce and hardy Scot;
prove, And that to win his lady's love; Some fought from ruffian thirst of
blood, From habit some, or hardihood. But ruffian stern, and soldier good,
The noble and the slave, From various cause the same wild road, On the same bloody morning, trode, To that dark inn, the grave!
XXVIII. Bruce, with the pilot's wary eye, The slackening of the storm could spy.
“One effort more, and Scotland's free!
Is firm as Ailsa Rock;
Now, forward to the shock!”
shone; The pibroch lent its maddening tone, And loud King Robert's voice was
The foe is fainting fast !
The battle cannot last!”
Unflinching foot 'gainst foot was set,
The groans of those who fell
And in the battle-yell.
Already scatter'd o'er the plain, Reproof, command, and counsel vain, The rearward squadrons fled amain,
Or made but doubtful stay; But when they mark'd the seeming
show Of fresh and fierce and marshall’d foe,
The boldest broke array.
O give their hapless prince his due !
His person 'mid the spears,
And cursed their caitiff fears;
But quitted there the train :
I needs must turn again. Speed hence, my Liege, for on your
You shall see him brought to bay,
The fiery Douglas takes the chase,
I know his banner well. God send my Sovereign joy and bliss, And many a happier field than this !
Once more, my Liege, farewell.”
THE PALMER. “O OPEN the door, some pity to show,
Keen blows the northern wind! The glen is white with the drifted snow,
And the path is hard to find.
“No outlaw seeks your castle gate,
From chasing the King's deer, Though even an outlaw's wretched
WAKEN, lords and ladies gay,
spear! Hounds are in their couples yelling, Hawks are whistling, horns are knell
ing, Merrily, merrily, mingle they, "Waken, lords and ladies gay.”
“A weary Palmer, worn and weak,
I wander for my sin;
A pilgrim's blessing win!
" I'll give you pardons from the Pope,
And reliques from o'er the sea; Or if for these you will not ope,
Yet ope for charity.
Waken, lords and ladies gay,
“The hare is crouching in her form,
The hart beside the hind; An aged man, amid the storm,
No shelter can I find.
Waken, lords and ladies gay,
“ You hear the Ettrick's sullen roar,
Dark, deep, and strong is he, And I must ford the Ettrick o'er,
Unless you pity me. “The iron gate is bolted hard,
At which I knock in vain; The owner's heart is closer barr'd,
Who hears me thus complain.