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His helm hung at the saddle-bow;
The scar on his brown cheek revealed
A token true of Bosworth field;
His eye-brow dark, and eye of fire,
His forehead, by his casque worn bare,
But more through toil than age;
In camps, a leader sage.
Well armed was he from head to heel,
In mail, and plate, of Milan steel;
Amid the plumage of the crest,
With wings outspread, and forward breast ; E'en such a falcon, on his shield,
Soared sable in an azure field :
The golden legend bore aright,
" Who checks at me, to death is dight."
Behind him rode two gallant squires,
They burned the gilded spurs to claim;
For well could each a war-horse tame,
Could draw the bow,' the sword could sway,
And lightly bear the ring away ;
Could dance in hall, and carve at board,
And frame love-ditties passing rare,
And sing them to a lady fair.
Four men-at-arms came at their backs,
Him listed ease his battle-steed.
The last, and trustiest of the four,
Flutter'd the streamer glossy blue,
Where, blazoued sable, as before,
The towering falcon seemed to soar.
In hosen black, and jerkins blue,
With falcons broider'd on each breast,
Attended on their lord's behest
Each, chosen for an archer good,
Knew hunting-craft by lake or wood;
'Tis meet that I should tell you now, How fairly armed, and ordered how,
The soldiers of the guard,
With musquet, pike, and morion,
Stood in the Castle-yard ;
For welcome-shot prepared :-
As then through all his turrets rang,
Old Norham never heard.
The guards their morrice-pikes advanced,
The trumpets flourished brave,
And thundering welcome gave.
The minstrels well might sound,