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When fainting Nature called for aid,
And hovering death prepared the blow, His vigorous remedy displayed The power
of art without the show.
In misery's darkest caverns known,
His ready help was ever nigh, Where hopeless anguish poured his groan,
And lonely want retired to die.
No summons mocked by chill delay,
No petty gains disdained by pride: The modest wants of every day
The toil of every day supplied.
His virtues walked their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void; And sure the eternal Master found
His single talent well employed.
The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by; His frame was firm, his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.
Then, with no throbs of fiery pain,
No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
God prosper long our noble king,
Our lives and safeties all;
In Chevy-Chace befall;
To drive the deer with hound and horn
Erle Percy took his way;
The hunting of that day.
The stout Erle of Northumberland
A vow to God did make,
Three summer's days to take,
The chiefest harts in Chevy-Chace
To kill and bear away.
In Scotland where he lay:
Who sent Erle Percy present word,
He wold prevent his sport.
Did to the woods resort
With fifteen hundred bow-men bold,
All chosen men of might,
To ayme their shafts aright.
To chase the fallow deere :
Ere daylight did appeare ;
An hundred fat buckes slaine ;
To rouse the deere againe.
Well able to endure;
That day were guarded sure.
The nimble deere to take,
An echo shrill did make.
Lord Percy to the quarry went,
To view the slaughtered deere :
This day to meet me here,
No longer wold I stay.'
Thus to the Erle did say:
'Lo, yonder doth Erle Douglas come,
His men in armour bright;
All marching in our sight;
Fast by the river Tweede': 'O, cease your sports,' Erle Percy said,
'And take your bowes with speede;
And now with me, my countrymen,
Your courage forth advance,
In Scotland or in France,
That ever did on horsebacke come,
But if my hap it were,
And with him break a speare.'
Erle Douglas on his milke-white steede,
Most like a baron bold,
Whose armour shone like gold. ‘Show me,' said he, 'whose men ye be,
That hunt so boldly here,
fallow-deere.' The first man that did answer make,
Was noble Percy he;
Who sayd, 'We list not to declare,
Nor shew whose men we be,
Thy chiefest harts to slay.'
And thus in rage did say:
One of us two shall dye:
Lord Percy, so am I.
And great offence to kill
For they have done no ill.
And set our men aside.' ‘Accurst be he,' Erle Percy said,
‘By whom this is denied.' Then stept a gallant squier forth,
Witherington was his name,
To Henry our king for shame,
And I stood looking on. Ye be two erles,' said Witherington,
'And I a squier alone: Ile do the best that do I may,
While I have power to stand: