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“Our dead and dying countrymen lay heap'd ; “ Yet still he strove; I wonder'd at his valour! “ There was not one who on that fatal day. “ Fought brávelier.” . ii .i i
“ Fatal was that day to France,” Exclaim'd the Bastard; “ there Alençon fell, “ Valiant in vain; there D'Albert, whose mad pride “ Brought the whole ruin on. There fel] Brabant, “ Vaudemont, and Marle, and Bar, and Faquenberg, “ Our noblest warriors; the determin'd foe “ Fought for revenge, not hoping victory, ::.' “ Desperately brave; ranks fell on ranks before them; “ The prisoners of that shameful day out-summ’d “ Their conquerors!" i siis'
.. ." Yet believe not,” Bertram cried, “ That cowardice disgraced thy countrymen.. “ They by their leader's arrogance led on . “ With heedless fury, found all numbers vain, “ All efforts fruitless there; and hadst thou seen, “ Skilful as brave, how Henry's ready eye
“ Lost not a thicket, not a hillock's aid; “ From his hersed bowmen how the arrows flew “ Thick as the snow flakes and with lightning force, “ Thou wouldst have known such soldiers, such a chief, “ Could never be subdued.
“But when the field “ Was won, and they who had escaped the fight “ Had yielded up their arms, it was foul work “ To glut on the defenceless prisoners “ The blunted sword of conquest. Girt around “ I to their mercy had surrender'd me, " When lo! I heard the dreadful cry of death. “ Not as amid the fray, when man met man “ And in fair combat gave the mortal blow; “ Here the poor captives, weaponless and bound, “ Saw their stern victors draw again the sword, “ And groan’d and strove in vain to free their hands, “ And bade them think upon their plighted faith, “ And pray'd for mercy in the name of God, “ In vain : the King had bade them massacre,
“ And in their helpless prisoners' naked breasts “ They drove the blade. Then I expected death, “. And at that moment death was terrible,.. “ For the heat of fight was over; of my home “ I thought, and of my wife and little ones “ In bitterness of heart. The gallant man, “ To whom the chance of war had made me thrall, “ Had pity, loosed my hands, and bade me fly. “ It was the will of Heaven that I should live “ Childless and old to think upon the past, “ And wish that I had perish'd !"
The old man Wept as he spake. “ Ye may perhaps have heard “Of the hard siege so long by Roan endured. “ I dwelt there, strangers ; I had then a wife, “ And I had children tenderly beloved, “ Who I did hope should cheer me in old age “ And close mine eyes. The tale of misery : “ May-hap were tedious, or I could relate “ Much of that dreadful time.”..... . ..
The Maid replied, Anxious of that devoted town to learn. Thus then the veteran :
. “ So by Heaven preserved, “ From the disastrous plain of Agincourt “ I speeded homewards and abode in peace.” “ Henry as wise as brave had back to England “ Led his victorious army; well aware :: : “ That France was mighty, that her warlike sons, “ Impatient of a foreign victor's sway, “ Might rise impetuous, and with multitudes. “ Tread down the invaders. Wisely he return'd, .“ For the proud barons in their private broils “Wasted the strength of France. I dwelt at home, “ And, with the little I possess'd content, “ Lived happily. A pleasant sight it was .. “ To see my children, as at eve I sate.. “ Beneath the vine, come clustering round my knee, “ That they might hear again the oft-told tale “ Of the dangers I had past : their little eyes
“ Did with such anxious eagerness attend
« Ah me! when war the masters of mankind, : “ Woe to the poor man! if he sow the field, “ He shall not reap the harvest; if he see “ His offspring rise around, his boding heart “ Aches at the thought that they are multiplied “ To the sword ! Again from England the fierce foe “ Rush'd on our ravaged coasts. In battle bold, “ Merciless in conquest, their victorious King “ Swept like the desolating tempest round. .“ Dambieres submits ; on Caen's subjected wall “ The Alag of England waved.' Roan still remain'd, “ Embattled Roan, bulwark of Normandy;