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HAROLD TIIE SECOND.

“ 'Twas party deceit,

“ Help'd the Normans to beat,
“Of traitors they managed to buy land;

“ Pict, Saxon, or Dane,

“ Had assail'd us in vain, :
“ While true to the king of the island.
“ Brave Harold fought hard for the island,
“ He lost both his life and the island;

“ And the records of fame

Shall add to his name,
“ Like a Briton he died for his island.”

T. Dibdir's Songs.

The truth demands, yet we record with pain,
How brief the honours of this short liv'd reign.
Crowns take some value from a nation's voice,
And HAROLD was, 'tis said, the PEOPLE's choice:
HAROLD, (the son of Godwin,) who proclaim'd
That he by EDWARD was successor named;
William, the Duke of Normandy, declares,
The same pretence; and these two self-named

heirs,
Alike, rejecting each the other's word,
Refer decision to the sharpest sword;
Mean time, as oft the muse of hist’ry sings,
The subjects suffer for contending Kings.

WILLIAM

WILLIAM 'ere yet his fortune he essayed,. With Norway's chief, and Harold's brother

made
A league that they should first the isle invade;)
Their early efforts with success were crown’d,
And British men gave way on British ground.
Northumberland and Mercia's Earls were beat,

But Harold's arm so well that loss redeem'd
That neither of his foes surviv'd defeat.
And victory in mercy's smile was drest,

The last, last time she beam'd,
On hapless Harold's crest.
To Norway's son the King allow'd retreat,
And greatly gave him back his father's captive

fleet.

But whose the ships afar descried,
Reflected by the glassy tide,
Where chiefs in arms refulgent ride,

Our fears exciting?

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'Tis Norman WILLIAM and his band,
Near, and more near, they make the land !
And who their prowess shall withstand,

For England fighting?

Mark !

Mark! high exalted o'er the rest,
Where Baieux' Bishop proudly drest,
Blesses the crew with hands unblest,

To blood inviting!

LLAM

They land! To earth see mail-clad William

falls, His troops the omen not appals ; Turf, and the cotter's thatch, his warriors bring, As seizen of the soil, and hail the invader, King.

What knight, in breast-plate wrought with gold,
Marshals yon troop of bowmen bold,
Who land in numbers yet untold,

Each other chearing?

'Tis Aimar, with good reason vain
Of troops he leads from ACQUITAIN,
Each knight of whom some peer has slain,

No foeman fearing.

And there, a thousand men at arms
Fitz-Osborn's shrill-toned clarion charms,
While every echoing blast alarms

Our startled hearing.

The

The deep drum rolls, and, as the threatning

throng, Beneath their frowning banners move along, The shore resounds with Rollo's martial song.

De Beaumont, Lacy, Pevrel, each an host, (The noblest warriors from the Norman coast) D'Evreux, Fitz-Richard, with that chieftain

famed, CHABLES MARTEL, and (too num'rous to be

named) LONGUEVILLE, DE THOURS, GRANTMESNIL,

and MORTAIGNE, De. EsTAPLES, Warrean, GIFFARD, and a

train, With EUSTACE DE BOULOGNE of men renowned. And, hark again the drum, and hark the trum

pet's sound! Forward they march, and now, from WILLIAM

sent, A Norman herald seeks the royal tent ; There fiercely throws his master's gauntlet down, Who proffers single combat for the crown. HAROLD with stern disdain the pledge denies, And on his people's love, and heav'n's high aid,

relies.

..

Yet

Yet why before the arbitrative day,

Expectant of the fight, Did Britons pass the night In song unseemly and carousal gay? While to the sacred pow'r that rules the skies, Unnumber'd Norman prayers and praises rise.

'Tis dawn !—'Tis day! once more the trumpet's

throat Brays bold defiance—who can tell i What numbers in its dreadful note

Have heard their dying knell ?

No thund’ring cannon here the field affrights,
But from a thousand chosen knights

The Norman bowstring's fatal twang

Echoed by groans responsive rang. Not there with simultaneous sound The well-timed musquetry is found;

But on the glitt’ring ranks,

On iron helms the falling iron clanks, And cleaves through shiver'd mail with dreadful

wound.

Not there, as late on Maida's plains,
The British bayonet the palm obtains ;

But

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