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Bow'd down; their lances shiver'd with the shock:
Talbot beheld his fall; on the next foe,
Ran through his frame, as thrills the African,
But Talbot now
« And let them fly!” the indignant Earl exclaim'd, “ And let them fly! and bear thou witness, chief ! That guiltless of this day's disgrace, I fall. But, Frenchman! Talbot will not tamely fall, Nor unrevenged.”
So saying, for the war 525 He stood prepared: nor now with heedless rage The champions fought, for either knew full well His foeman's prowess : now they aim the blow Insidious, with quick change then drive the steel Fierce on the side exposed. The unfaithful arms 530 Yield to the strong-driven edge; the blood streams down
Their batter'd mail. With swift
death Avail thee, weak and wounded !”
“Long enough Talbot has lived,” replied the sullen chief : 540 “ His hour is come; yet shalt not thou survive To glory in his fall!” So, as he spake, He lifted from the ground a massy spear, And came again to battle.
Now more fierce The conflict raged, for careless of himself, 545 And desperate, Talbot fought. Collected still Was Conrade. Whereso'er his foeman aim'd The well-thrust javelin, there he swung around His guardian shield: the long and vain assault Exhausted Talbot now; foredone with toil 550 He bare his buckler low for weariness, The buckler now splinter'd with many a stroke Fell piecemeal; from his riven arms the blood Stream'd fast: and now the Frenchman's battle-axe Came unresisted on the shieldless mail.
555 But then he held his hand. Urge not to death This fruitless contest!” he exclaim'd: 66 Oh chief! Are there not those in England who would feel Keen anguish at thy loss? a wife perchance Who trembles for thy safety, or a child 560 Needing a father's care!”
Then Talbot's heart
Smote him. “Warrior!” he cried, “if thou dost think
So saying, he address'd him to the fight, 565 Impatient of existence: from their arms Fire flash'd, and quick they panted; but not long Endured the deadly combat. With full force Down through his shoulder even to the chest, Conrade impellid the ponderous battle-axe; 570 And at that instant underneath his shield Received the hostile spear. Prone fell the Earl, Even in his death rejoicing that no foe Should live to boast his fall.
Then with faint hand Conrade unlaced his helm, and from his brow 575 Wiping the cold dews ominous of death, He laid him on the earth, thence to remove, While the long lance hung heavy in his side, Powerless. As thus beside his lifeless foe He lay, the herald of the English Earl 580 With faltering step drew near, and when he saw His master's arms,
6 Alas! and is it you, My lord ? ” he cried. God pardon you your sins! I have been forty years your officer, And time it is I should surrender now
585 The ensigns of my office !” So he said, And paying thus his rite of sepulture, Threw o'er the slaughter'd chief his blazon'd coat.
Then Conrade thus bespake him: “Englishman, Do for a dying soldier one kind act !
590 Seek for the Maid of Orleans, bid her haste
Hither, and thou shalt gain what recompence
The herald soon
“ I sent for thee, My friend !” with interrupted voice he cried, That I might comfort this my dying hour 600 With one good deed. A fair domain is mine, Let Francis and his Isabel possess That, mine inheritance.” He paused awhile, Struggling for utterance; then with breathless speed, And pale as him he mourn'd for, Francis came, 605 And hung in silence o'er the blameless man, Even with a brother's sorrow: he pursued, “ This Joan will be thy care. : I have at home An aged mother— Francis, do thou soothe Her childless age. Nay, weep not for me thus: Sweet to the wretched is the tomb's repose !" 611
So saying, Conrade drew the javelin forth, And died without a groan.
By this the scouts, Forerunning the king's march, upon the plain Of Patay had arrived, of late so gay
615 With marshall'd thousands in their radiant arms, And streamers glittering in the noon-tide sun, And blazon'd shields and
accoutrements, The pageantry of war: but now defiled