Imagens da página

That with the cries they make The very earth did shake; Trumpet to trumpet spake,

Thunder to thunder.

Upon St. Crispin's day Fought was this noble fray, Which fame did not delay

To England to carry ; 0, when shall Englishmen With such acts fill a pen, Or England breed again

Such a King Harry ?


Well it thine age became,
O noble Erpingham!
Which did the signal aim

To our hid forces;
When, from a meadow by,
Like a storm suddenly,
The English archery

Struck the French horses,

With Spanish yew so strong, Arrows a cloth-yard long, That-like to serpents stung,

Piercing the weather ; None from his fellow starts, But playing manly parts, And like true English hearts,

Stuck close together.

When down their bows they threw,
And forth their bilboes drew,
And on the French they flew,

Not one was tardy ;
Arms were from shoulders sent;
Scalps to the teeth were rent;
Down the French peasants went;

Our men were hardy.


FROM "KING HENRY iv.,” part i. But I remember, when the fight was done, When I was dry with rage and extreme toil, Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword, Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dressed, Fresh as a bridegroom ; and his chin, new reaped, Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home; He was perfumed like a milliner : And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held A pouncet-box, which ever and anon He gave his nose, and took 't away again ;Who, therewith angry, when it next came there, Took it in snuff :--and still he smiled and talked ; And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by, He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly, To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse Betwixt the wind and his nobility, With many holiday and lady terms He questioned me ; among the rest, demanded My prisoners in your majesty's behalf. I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold, To be so pestered with a popinjay, Out of my grief and my impatience, Answered neglectingly, I know, not what, He should, or he should not ; for he made me mad To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet, And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman, Of guns, and drums, and wounds, — God save the

mark ! And telling me, the sovereign'st thing on earth Was parmaceti for an inward bruise ; And that it was great pity, so it was, That villanous saltpetre should be digged Out of the bowels of the harmless earth, Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed So cowardly ; and, but for these vile guns, He would himself have been a soldier.

This while our noble king,
His broadsword brandishing,
Down the French host did ding,

As to o'erwhelm it;
And many a deep wound lent,
His arms with blood besprent,
And many a cruel dent

Bruised his helmet.

Glo'ster, that duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood,

With his brave brother, Clarence, in steel so bright, Though but a maiden knight, Yet in that furious fight

Scarce such another.


Warwick in blood did wade ;
Oxford the foe invade,
And cruel slaughter made,

Still as they ran uր.
Suffolk his axe did ply;
Beaumont and Willoughby
Bare them right doughtily,

Ferrers and Fanhope.

MARMION AND DOUGLAS. Not far advanced was morning day, When Marnion did his troop array

To Surrey's camp to ride ;
He had safe-conduct for his band,

| The ponderous grate behind him rung: To pass there was such scanty room, The bars, descending, razed his plume.

Beneath the royal seal and hand,

And Douglas gave a guide : The ancient Earl, with stately grace, Would Clara on her palfrey place, And whispered in an undertone, “Let the hawk stoor, his prey is flown." The train from out the castle drew, - . But Marmion stopped to bid adieu : -“Though something I might plain," he said, Of cold respect to stranger guest, Sent hither by your king's behest,

While in Tantallon's towers I stayed,
Part we in friendship from your land,
And, noble Earl, receive my hand.” —
But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke : -
“My manors, halls, and bowers shall still
Be open, at my sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, lowe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation-stone, -
The hand of Douglas is his own ;
And never shall in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp." —

The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise ;
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim;
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clenched hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers.
“Horse ! horse !" the Douglas cried, "and

chase !"
But soon he reined his fury's pace :
A royal messenger he came,
Though most unworthy of the name.

St. Mary, mend my fiery mood !
Old age ne'er cools the Douglas blood,
I thought to slay him where he stood.
'T is pity of him too,” he cried ;
“ Bold can he speak, and fairly ride :
I warrant him a warrior tried."
With this his mandate he recalls,
And slowly seeks his castle halls.



(The battle was fought in September, 1513. between the forces of England and Scotland. The latter were worsted, and King Janes slain with cight thousand of his men. Lord Surrey commanded the English troops.) A MOMENT then Lord Marmion stayed, And breathed his steed, his men arrayed,

Then forward moved his band,
| Until, Lord Surrey's rear-guard won,
He halted by a cross of stone,
That, on a hillock standing lone,

Did all the field command.

Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
And shook his very frame for ire,

And – “This to me!” he said, -
“An 't were not for thy hoary beard,
Such land as Marmion's had not spared

To cleave the Douglas' head !
And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer,
He who does England's message here,
Although the meanest in her state,
May well, prond Angus, be thy mate:
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,

Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here in thy hold, thy vassals near,
(Nay, never look upon your lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword,)

I tell thee, thou 'rt defied !
And if thou said'st I am not peer
To any lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,

Lord Angus, thou hast lied !'
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage
O'crcame the ashen hue of age :
Fierce he broke forth, — “And dar'st thou then
To beard the lion in his den,

The Douglas in his hall ? And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go ? No, by St. Bride of Bothwell, no ! Up drawbridge, grooms, — what, Warder, ho!

Let the portcullis fall." Lord Marmion turnell, - well was his need !And dashed the rowels in his steed, Like arrow through the archway sprung;

Hence might they see the full array
Of either host for deadly fray ;
Their marshalled lines stretched cast and west,

And fronted north and south,
And distant salutation past

From the loud cannon-mouth;
Not in the close successive rattle
That breathes the voice of modern battle,

But slow and far between. —
The hillock gained, Lord Marmion stayed :
“Here, by this cross," he gently said,

“You well may view the scene; Here shalt thou tarry, lovely Clare : O, think of Marmion in thy prayer !

Thou wilt not ? - we!), - no less my care | Shall, watchful, for thy weal prepare. —

You, Blount and Eustace, are her guard,

With ten picked archers of my train ; With England if the day go hard,

To Berwick speed amain. -
But, if we conquer, cruel maid,
My spoils shall at your feet be laid,

When here we meet again."
He waiteil not for answer there,
And would not mark the maid's despair,

Nor heed the discontented look From either squire : but spurred amain, And, dashing through the battle-plain,

His way to Surrey took.

Then marked they, dashing broad and far,
The broken billows of the war,
And pluméd crests of chieftains brave
Floating like foam upon the wavc;

But naught distinct they see :
Wide raged the battle on the plain ;
Spears shook, and falchions flashed amain;
Fell England's arrow-flight like rain ;
Crests rose, and stooped, and rose again,

Wild and disorderly.
Amid the scene of tumult, high
They saw Lord Marmion's falcon sy :
And stainless Tunstall's banner white,
And Edmund Howard's lion bright,
Still bear them bravely in the fight;

Although against them come,
Of gallant Gordons many a one,
| And many a stubborn Highlandman,
And many a rugged Border clan,

With Huntley and with Home.

Blount and Fitz-Eustace rested still
With Lady Clarc upon the hill ;
On which (for far the day was spent)
The western sunbeams now were bent.
The cry they heard, its meaning knew,
Could plain their distant comrades view ;
Sadly to Blount did Eustace say,
“ Unworthy office here to stay !
No hope of gilded spurs to-day. -
But, see! look up, - on Flodden bent
The Scottish foe has fired his tent." -

And sudden, as he spoke,
From the sharp ridges of the hill, -
All downward to the banks of Till

Was wreathed in sable smoke.
Volumed and vast, and rolling far,
The cloud enveloped Scotland's war,

As down the hill they broke ;
Nor martial shout, nor minstrel tone,
Announced their march ; their tread alone,
At times their warning trumpet blown,

At times a stifled hum,
Told England, from his mountain-throne

King James did rushing come. -
Scarce could they hear or see their foes,
Until at weapon-point they close. —
They close in clouds of smoke and dust,
With sword-sway and with lance's thrust;

And such a yell was there,
of sudden and portentous birth,
As if men fought upon the earth

And fiends in upper air :
O life and death were in the shout,
Recoil and rally, charge and rout,

And triumph and despair.
Long looked the anxious squires; their eye
Could in the darkness naught descry.

Far on the left, unseen the while,
Stanley broke Lennox and Argyle ;
Though there the western mountaineer
Rushed with bare bosom on the spear,
And Aung the feeble targe aside,
And with both hands the broadsword plied,
'T was vain :- But Fortune, on the right,
With fickle smile, cheered Scotland's fight.

Then fell that spotless banner white, | The Howard's lion fell;

Yet still Lord Marmion's falcon few
With wavering flight, while fiercer grow

Around the battle-yell.
The Border slogan rent the sky!
A Home! a Gordon ! was the cry :
Loud were the clanging blows ;
Advanced, - forced back, - now low, now nigii,

The pennon sunk and rose ;
As bends the bark's mast in the gale,
When rent are rigging, shrouds, and sail,

It wavered mid the foes.
No longer Blount the view could bear :-
“By heaven and all its saints, I swear,

I will not see it lost !
Fitz-Eustace, you with Lady Clare
May bid your beads, and patter prayer, —

I gallop to the host."
And to the fray he rode amain,
Followed by all the archer train.
| The fiery youth, with desperate charge,
Made, for a space, an opening large, –

The rescued banner rose, -
But darkly closed the war around,
Like pine-tree, rooted from the ground,

It sunk among the foes.
Then Eustace mounted too ; -- yet stayed,
| As loath to leave the helpless maid,

At length the freshening western blast
Aside the shroud of battle cast;
And, first, the ridge of mingled spears
Above the brightening cloud appears ;
And in the smoke the pennons flew,
As in the storm the white sea-mew.

When, fast as shaft can fly, Bloodshot his eyes, his nostrils spread, The loose rein dangling from his head, Housing and saddle bloody red,

Lord Marmion's steed rushed by ; And Eustace, maddening at the sight,

A look and sign to Clara cast,

To mark he would return in haste, Then plunged into the fight.

Or victory and England's lost. -
Must I bid twice? - hence, varlets ! fly!
Leave Marmion here alone - to die."
They parted, and alone he lay :

Clare drew her from the sight away,
Till pain wrung forth a lowly moan,
And half he murmured, - “Is there none,

Of all my halls have nurst,
Page, squire, or groom, one cup to bring,
Of blessed water from the spring,

To slake my dying thirst ?"

Ask me not what the maiden feels,

Left in that dreadful hour alone : Perchance her reason stoops or reels;

Perchance a courage, not her own,

Braces her mind to desperate tone. —
The scattered van of England wheels ; -

She only said, as loud in air
The tumult roared, “Is Wilton there?” –
They fly, or, maddened by despair,

Fight but to die, - "Is Wilton there?”
With that, straight up the hill there rode

Two horsemen drenched with gore, And in their arms, a helpless load,

A wounded knight they bore. His hand still strained the broken brand ; His arms were smeared with blood and sand. Dragged from among the horses' feet, With dinted shield, and helmet beat, The falcon-crest and plumage gone, Can that be haughty Marmion !.... Young Blount his armor did unlace, And, gazing on his ghastly face,

Said, “By St. George, he 's gone ! That spear-wound has our master sped, And see the deep cut on his head !

Good night to Marmion.” — “Unnurtured Blount ! thy brawling cease : He opes his eyes," said Eustace ; “ peace !"

( woman ! in our hours of case,
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
And variable as the shade
By the light quivering aspen made;
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou ! -
Scarce were the piteous accents said,
When, with the Baron's casque, the maid

To the nigh streamlet ran ;
Forgot were hatred, wrongs, and fears ;
The plaintive voice alone she hears,

Sees but the dying man.
She stooped her by the runnel's side,

But in abhorrence backward drew;
For, oozing from the mountain's side,
Where raged the war, a dark-red tide

Was curdling in the streamlet blue, Where shall she turn ! - behold her mark

A little fountain cell,
Where water, clear as diamond-spark,

In a stone basin fell.
Above, some half-worn letters say,
Drink. weary. pilgrim. drink. and. pray.
For. the. kind. soul. of. Sybil. Grey.

Tuho. built. this. cross. and. well.
She filled the helm, and back she hied,
And with surprise and joy espied

A monk supporting Marmion's head;
A pious man whom duty brought
To dubious verge of battle fought,

To shrive the dying, bless the dead.

When, doffed his casque, he felt free air,
Around 'gan Marnion wildly stare : -
“Where's Harry Blount? Fitz-Eustace where ?
Linger ye here, ye hearts of hare !
Redeem my pennon, — charge again !
Cry — Marmion to the rescue !' - vain !
Last of my race, on battle-plain
That shout shall ne'er be heard again ! -
Yet my last thought is England's:- fly,

To Dacre bear my signet-ring :

Tell him his squadrons up to bring: -
Fitz-Eustace, to Lord Surrey hie;

Tunstall lies dead upon the field,
His life-blood stains the spotless shield :
Edmund is down ; – my life is reft ; —
The Admiral alone is left.
Let Stanley charge with spur of fire, —
With Chester charge, and Lancashire,
Full upon Scotland's central host,

Deep drank Lord Marmion of the wave, And, as she stooped his brow to lave, — “ Is it the hand of Clare," he said, “Or injured Constance, bathes my head ?"

Then, as remembrance rose, — “Speak not to me of shrift or prayer !

I must redress her woes. Short space, few words, are mine to spare ; Forgive and listen, gentle Clare !” –

Alas !" she said, “the while, -
0, think of your immortal weal !
In vain for Constance is your zeal;

She - died at Holy Isle." -
Lord Marmion started from the ground,

As light as if he felt no wound;

Then down we went, a hundred knights, Though in the action burst the tide

All in our dark array,
In torrents from his wounded side.

And flung our armor in the ships
" Then it was truth!” he said, “I knew That rode within the bay.
That the dark presage must be true. —
I would the Fiend, to whom belongs

We spoke not as the shore grew less,
The vengeance due to all her wrongs,

But gazed in silence back, Would spare me but a day!

Where the long billows swept away
For wasting fire, and dying groan,

The foam behind our track.
And priests slain on the altar stone,
Might bribe him for delay.

And aye the purple hues decayed
It may not be !- this dizzy trance, --

Upon the fading hill, Curse on yon base marauder's lance,

And but one heart in all that ship
And doubly cursed my failing brand !

Was tranquil, cold, and still.
A sinful heart makes feeble hand.”
Then, fainting, down on earth he sunk,

The good Lord Douglas paced the deck,
Supported by the trembling monk.

And O, his face was wan!

Unlike the flush it used to wear
With fruitless labor, Clara bound,

When in the battle-van. -
And strove to stanch the gushing wound :
The monk, with unavailing cares,

“Come hither, come hither, my trusty knight, Exhausted all the Church's prayers.

Sir Simon of the Lee ; Ever, he said, that, close and near,

! There is a freit lies near my soul A lady's voice was in his ear,

I fain would tell to thee. And that the priest he could not hear,

“Thou know'st the words King Robert spoke For that she ever sung,

Upon his dying day: In the lost battle, borne down by the flying

How he bade take his noble heart Where mingles war's rattle with groans of the

And carry it far away ; dying!So the notes rung :

“And lay it in the holy soil “Avoid thee, Fiend ! — with cruel hand,

Where once the Saviour trod, Shake not the dying sinner's sand! —

Since he might not bear the blessed Cross, 0, look, my son, upon yon sign

Nor strike one blow for God.
Of the Redeemer's grace divine :
O, think on faith and bliss ! —

“Last night as in my bed I lay, By many a death-bed I have been,

I dreamed a dreary dream :And many a sinner's parting seen,

Methought I saw a Pilgrim stand
But never aught like this." —

In the moonlight's quivering beam.
The war, that for a space did fail,
Now trebly thundering swelled the gale,

“ His robe was of the azure dye, And-STANLEY! was the cry :

Snow-white his scattered hairs, A light on Marmion's visage spread,

And even such a cross he bore
And fired his glazing eye :

As good St. Andrew bears.
With dying hand above his head
He shook the fragment of his blade,

Why go ye forth, Lord James,' he said, And shouted “Victory!

. With spear and belted brand ? Charge, Chester, charge ! On, Stanley, on!” Why do you take its dearest pledge Were the last words of Marmion.

From this our Scottish land ?

««• The sultry breeze of Galilee

Creeps through its groves of palm,

The olives on the Holy Mount
THE HEART OF THE BRUCE. Stand glittering in the calm.

It was upon an April morn,

While yet the frost lay hoar,
We heard Lord James's bugle-horn

Sound by the rocky shore.

""But 't is not there that Scotland's heart

Shall rest by God's decree,
Till the great angel calls the dead

To rise from earth and sea !

« AnteriorContinuar »