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Ross, Montague, and Mauley, came,
And Courtenay's pride, and Percy's fame
Names known too well in Scotland's war,
At Falkirk, Methven, and Dunbar,
Blazed broader yet in after years,
At Cressy red and fell Poitiers,
Pembroke with these, and Argentine,
Brought up the rearward battle-line.
With caution o'er the ground they tread,
Slippery with blood and piled with dead,
Till hand to hand in battle set,
The bills with spears and axes met,
And, closing dark on every side,
Raged the full contest far and wide.
Then was the strength of Douglas tried,
Then proved was Randolph's generous pride,
And well did Stewart's actions grace
The sire of Scotland's royal race !
Firmly they kept their ground;
As firmly England onward press’d,
And down went many a noble crest,
And rent was many a valiant breast,
And Slaughter revell'd round.
Unflinching foot 'gainst foot was sety
Unceasing blow by blow was met;
The groans of those who fell
Were drown'd amid the shriller clang,
That from the blades and harness rang,
And in the battle-yell.
Yet fast they fell, unheard, forgót,
Both Southern fierce and hardy Scot;
And O! amid that waste of life,
What various motives fired the strife!
The aspiring Noble bled for fame,
The Patriot for his country's claim;
This Knight his youthful strength to prove,
And that to win his lady's love;
Some fought from ruffian thirst of bload, From habit some, or hardihood.
But ruffian stern, and soldier good,
The noble and the slave,
From various cause the same wild road,
On the same bloody morning, trode,
To that dark inn, the Grave !
The tug of strife to flag begins,
Though neither loses yet nor wins.
High rides the sun, thick rolls the dust,
And feebler speeds the blow and thrust.
Douglas leans on his war-sword now,
And Randolph wipes his bloody brow,
Nor less had toil'd each Southern knight,
From morn till mid-day in the fight.
Strong Egremont for air must gasp,
Beauchamp undoes his visor-clasp,
And Montague must quit his spear,
And sinks thy falchion, bold De Vere !
The blows of Berkley fall less fast,
And gallant Pembroke's bugle-blast
Hath lost its lively tone;
Sinks, Argentine, thy battle-word,
And Percy's shout was fainter heard,
“ My merry-men, fight on!”—
Bruce, with the pilot's wary eye,
The slackening of the storm could spy.
“ One effort more, and Scotland's free!
Lord of the Isles, my trust in thee
Rush on with Highland sword and targe, 1, with my Carrick spearmen, charge;
Now, forward to the shock !"
At once the spears were forward thrown,
Against the sun the broadswords shone ;
The pibroch lent its maddening tone,
And loud King Robert's voice was known-
“ Carrick, press on--they fail, they fail !
Press on, brave sons of Innisgail,
The foe is fainting fast !
Each strike for parent, child, and wife,
For Scotland, liberty, and life,
The battle cannot last!"
The fresh and desperate onset bore
The foes three furlongs back and more,
Leaving their noblest in their gore.
Alone, De Argentine
Yet bears on high his red-cross shield,
Gathers the reliques of the field,
Renews the ranks where they have reeld,
And still makes good the line.
Brief strife, but fierce, his efforts raise;
A bright but momentary blaze.