Imágenes de página

But sturdy pikemen pierce th’embattled field, And bear to earth who bears th' opposing shield.

The English bill, dread weapon, hews it way, And Harold's valour almost claims the day. Three foaming coursers under Wuliam slain Add blood to blood on the ensanguined plain : The Duke undaunted, “ dares again the field,” The dauntless monarch scorns alike to yield; His loyal soldiers gallantly contend, While Norman hopes of conquest nearly end; The Kentish phalanx ev'ry onset dares, And fierce invasion pauses and despairs.

O, stratagem! in war, as love, allow'd,
Too oft thy keen-brain'd cunning foils the

brave; Too oft his living laurels charm the crowd, Who vanquish’d, but for thee, had found a


While fortune, and while justice in the scale,

Alternately our hopes and fears divide :
While justice seems a moment to prevail,

See fortune turn, by artifice, the tide.


The foe before the English force retreat,
The English follow to unlook'd defeat ;
For suddenly the wily band returns,
The fray renew'd with ten-fold fury burns.
Again the spear, the battle-axe, the bow,
Destroy the van, and lay the distant low!
The British, late of victory secure,
Outwitted thus, the contest scarce endure.

But HAROLD, HAROLD, now supremely great,
Proudly superior to thy savage fate ;
Once, twice, and thrice, from rank to rank he

flew, Once, twice, and thrice, his ranks the fight

renew. Again he leadş 'em with resistless rage, Again a fruitless war the Normans wage; Another onset ends the doubtful strife, He leads, he falls, and loses but his life! His crown he never lost, who, unsurpast, Maintain'd it like a Briton, to the last. While hand to hand death threaten’d him in

vain, The shaft accurs'd that pierc'd his royal brain Left WILLIAM less a victor than the slain. ..


Il-fame betide the coward hand that drew
The fatal string, and such an hero slew.
Two gallant brothers* fighting by his side,
Thousands of faithful hearts, their leader's pride,
His patriot laurels with his fate divide.

Peace to their manes! cou'd th' unequal pen
But justly celebrate the glorious men;
The Poet's lay a deathless fame shou'd raise,
And deeds immortal meet immortal praise,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »