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And some who spurs had first braced on,
And deemed that fight should see them won,

King Edward's 'hest obey.
De Argentine attends his side
With stout De Valence-Pembroke's pride-
Selected champions from the train
To wait upon his bridle-rein.
Upon the Scottish foe he gazed ;
At once before his sight amazed

Sunk banner, spear, and shield; Each weapon-point is downward bent. “ The rebels, Argentine, repent !

For pardon they have kneeled.”
“Ay! but they bend to other powers,
And other pardon sue than ours.
See where yon barefoot Abbot stands,
And blesses them with lifted hands.
Upon the spot where they have kneeled
These men will die, or win the field.”
“Then prove we, if they die or win!
Bid Gloster's Earl the fight begin."

Earl Gilbert waved his truncheon high,

Just as the Northern ranks arose,
Signal for England's archery

To halt and bend their bows.
Then stepped each yeoman forth a pace,
Glanced at the intervening space,

And raised his left hand high;
To the right ear the cords they bring ;
At once ten thousand bowstrings ring,

Ten thousand arrows fly.
Nor paused on the devoted Scot
The ceaseless fury of their shot ;

As fiercely and as fast
Forth whistling came the gray-goose wing
As the wild hailstones pelt and sing

Adown December's blast.
Nor mountain targe of tough bull-hide,
Nor lowland mail, that storm may bide ;
Woe, woe, to Scotland's bannered pride,

If the fell shower may last.

Upon the right, behind the wood,
Each by his steed, dismounted, stood

The Scottish chivalry ;
With foot in stirrup, hand on mane,
Fierce Edward Bruce can scarce restrain
His own keen heart, his eager train,
Until the archers gained the plain ;

Then, "Mount, ye gallants free!"
He cried ; and, vaulting from the ground,
His saddle every horseman found.
On high their glittering crests they toss,
As springs the wild-fire from the moss ;
The shield hangs down on every breast,
Each ready lance is in its rest.

And loud shouts Edward Bruce“ Forth, Marshal, on the peasant foe! We'll tame the terrors of their bow

And cut the bowstrings loose !" Then spurs were dashed in chargers' flanks They rushed among the archer ranks ; No spears were there the shock to let, No stakes to turn the charge were set ; And how shall yeoman's armor light 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 rung, And shriek and groan and vengeful shout Give note of triumph and of rout. Awhile with stubborn hardihood Their English hearts the fight made good; Borne down at length on every side, Compelled to fight, they scatter wide. Let Stags of Sherwood leap for glee, And bound the deer of Dallom-Lee ! The broken bows of Bannock's shore Shall in the greenwood sing 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, trod down, by thousands slain
They cumber Bannock's bloody plain.

The king with scorn beheld their flight :
“Are these,” he said, “our yeomen wight?
Each braggart churl could boast before
Twelve Scottish lives his baldric bore !
Fitter to plunder chase or park,
Than make a manly foe their mark :
Forward, each gentleman and knight!
Let gentle blood show generous might,
And chivalry redeem the fight.”

But in mid-space the Bruce's care
Had bored the ground with many a pit
With turf and brushwood hidden yet,

That formed a ghastly snare.
Rushing, ten thousand horsemen came,
With spears in rest and hearts on flame,

That panted for the shock.
With blazing crests and banners spread,
And trumpet clang and clamor dread,
The wide plain thunders to their tread,

As far as Stirling Rock.
Down, down, in headlong overthrow,
Horseman and horse, the foemen go,

Wild foundering on the field.
The first are in destruction's gorge,
Their followers wildly o'er them urge ;

The knightly helm and shield,
The mail, the acton, and the spear,
Strong hand, high heart, are useless here!
Loud from the mass confused the cry
Of dying warriors swells on high,
And steeds that shriek in agony.
They came like mountain torrent red
That thunders o'er its rocky bed ;
They broke like that same torrent's wave
When swallowed by a darksome cave,
Billows on billows burst and boil,

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