Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

morning, 24th Aug. 1572, was still fresh in the minds of many as they mustered round their gallant leader on the field of Ivry. Between sixty and seventy thousand of their brethren had been slain at the instigation of Catharine de' Medici. 12 Ho! maidens of Vienna! Ho! matrons of Lucerne! Austria, Switzerland, and Spain had each sent reinforcements to the army of the League, and the first two are represented by leading cities in them. 13 Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexi

can pistoles. Philip II., an ardent Roman Catholic, was king of Spain during this struggle between the League and the Huguenots. The vast American continent, whose wealth had but lately been laid open, supplied him with endless resources.

14 Antwerp, a province and city of the Netherlands. See Note 2.

15 St Genevieve, Paris, of which St Genevieve is the patron saint. The citizens zealously supported the League.

[graphic][merged small]

To drive the deer with hound and horn,

Earl Percy took his way;

The child may rue 2 that is unborn
The hunting of that day.

The stout Earl of Northumberland
A vow to God did make,
His pleasure in the Scottish woods
Three summer days to take;

The chiefest harts in Chevy Chase
To kill and bear away.

This tidings to Earl Douglas came,
In Scotland where he lay;

Who sent Earl Percy present word,
He would prevent his sport.
The English earl, not fearing him,
Did to the woods resort,

With fifteen hundred bowmen bold;
All chosen men of might,
Who knew full well, in time of need,
To aim their shafts aright.

The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran
To chase the fallow-deer :
On Monday they began to hunt,
When daylight did appear;

And long before high noon they had
An hundred fat bucks slain ;
Then having dined, the drivers went
To rouse the deer again.

The hounds ran swiftly through the woods

The nimble deer to take,

That with their cries the hills and dales
An echo shrill did make.

[blocks in formation]

'Shew me,' saith he, 'whose men you be

That hunt so boldly here;

That, without my consent, do chase

And kill my fallow-deer?'

[blocks in formation]

'That e'er my captain fought on foot, And I stood looking on.

You be two earls,' said Witherington,
'And I a squire alone:

'I'll do the best that do I may,
While I have power to stand:
While I have power to wield my sword,
I'll fight with heart and hand.'



Our English archers bent their bows,
Their hearts were good and true;
At the first flight of arrows sent,
Full fourscore Scots they slew.

Yet bides Earl Douglas on the bent,6
As chieftain stout and good,
As valiant captain all unmoved
The shock he firmly stood.

At last these two stout earls did meet,
Like captains of great might:
Like lions wild, they laid on loud,7
And made a cruel fight:

They fought until they both did sweat,
With swords of tempered steel;
Until the blood, like drops of rain,
They trickling down did feel.

'Yield thee, Lord Percy,' Douglas said;
In faith I will thee bring
Where thou shalt high advanced be
By James, our Scottish king!

'Thy ransom I will freely give,
And thus report of thee,

Thou art the most courageous knight

That ever I did see.'

'No, Douglas,' quoth Earl Percy then;

[ocr errors][merged small]

With that there came an arrow keen
Out of an English bow,

Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart,

A deep and deadly blow;

« AnteriorContinuar »