« PreviousContinue »
“Loe, yonder doth Erle Douglas come,
His men in armour bright;
All marching in our sight;
Fast by the river Tweede :" “Then cease your sports,” Erle Percy said,
“And take your bowes with speede : And now with me, my countrymen,
Your courage forth advance;
In Scottland or in France,
But if my hap it were,
With him to break a spere.”
Most like a baron bold,
Whose armour shone like gold.
That hunt soe boldly heere,
And kill my fallow deere.”
Was noble Percy he;
Nor show whose men wee bee :
Thy cheefest harts to slay.”
“Ere thus I will out-braved bee,
One of us two shall dye:
Lord Percy, soe am I.
And great offence, to kill
For they have done no ill.
And set our men aside." “Shame on the man,” Erle Percy sayd,
“By whome this is denyed.” Then stept a gallant squier forth,
Witherington was his name,
To Henry our king for shame,
And I stood looking on. You two bee erles, quo' Witherington,
“And I a squier alone: “Ile doe the best that doe I may,
While I have power to stand : While I have power to weeld my sword,
Ile fight with heart and hand.” Our English archers bent their bowes,
Their hearts were good and trew; Att the first flight of arrowes sent,
Full four-score Scots they slew. Yet bides Erle Douglas on the bent,
As chieftain stout and good; As valiant captain, all unmoved
The shock he firmly stood.
His host he parted had in three,
As leader ware a and try'd ;
Bare down on every side.
They dealt full many a wound: But still our valiant Englishmen
All firmly kept their ground: And throwing straight their bowes away,
They grasped their swords so bright: And now sharp blows, a heavy shower,
On shields and helmets light. They closed full fast on everye side,
Noe slackness there was found; And many a gallant gentleman
Lay gasping on the ground.
How each one chose his spere,
Did gush like water cleere.
Like captaines of great might:
And made a cruell fight :
With swords of tempered steel;
They trickling down did feele. “Yeeld thee, Lord Percy,” Douglas sayd;
“In faith I will thee bringe, Where thou shalt high advanced bee
By James our Scottish king.
• Thy ransome I will freely give,
And this report of thee,
That ever I did see.” “Noe, Douglas," quoth Erle Percy then,
“Thy proffer I doe scorne; I will not yeelde to any Scott,
That ever yett was borne.”
Out of an English bow,
A deepe and deadlye blow: Who never spake more words than these,
'Fight on, my merry men all; For why, my life is at an end;
Lord Percy sees my fall.”
The dead man by the hand;
With sorrow for thy sake;
Mischance did never take.”
Which saw Erle Douglas dye,
Upon the Erle Percy:
Who, with a spere full bright,
Ran fiercely through the fight:
And past the English archers all,
Without a dread or feare;
He thrust his hateful spere;
He did his body gore,
A large cloth yard, and more.
Whose courage none could staine:
The noble erle was slaine;
Made of a trusty tree ;
To the hard head haled he:
So right the shaft he sett,
In his heart's blood was wett.
Till setting of the sunne;
The battell scarce was done.
Sir John of Egerton,
Sir James the bold barròn.
Both knights of good account,
Whose prowesse did surmount.