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But, till more near the shock of fight,
And rested on their arms awhile,
To close and rank their warlike filc,
And hold high council, if that night
O gay, yet fearful to behold,
And bristled o'er with bills and spears,
With plumes and pennons waving fair,
Rode England's King and peers :
Could then his direful doom foretell !
Fair was his seat in knightly selle,
Yon knight who marshals thus their line ?"
66 The tokens on his helmet tell
The Bruce, my Liege : I know him well."
66 And shall the audacious traitor brave
The presence where our banners wave ?”. “ So please my Liege,” said Argentine, 66 Were he but horsed on steed like mine, To give him fair and knightly chance, I would adventure forth my lance."
6 In battle-day,” the King replied, “ Nice tourney rules are set aside.
-Still must the rebel dare our wrath ?
Set on him-sweep him from our path !”-
Of Hereford's high blood he came,
He spurrd his steed, he couch'd his lance,
And darted on the Bruce at once.
-As motionless as rocks, that bide The wrath of the advancing tide, The Bruce stood fast.-Each breast beat high, And dazzled was each gazing eyeThe heart had hardly time to think, The eye-lid scarce had time to wink,
While on the King, like flash of flame,
His course-but soon his course was o'er !
High in his stirrups stood the King,
his battle-axe the swing. Right on De Boune, the whiles he pass'd,
Fell that stern dintthe first the last !
Such strength upon the blow was put,
The axe-shaft, with its brazen clasp,
-First of that fatal field, how soon,
One pitying glance the Monarch sped,
That risk'd ʼgainst each adventurous spear A life so valued and so dear.
His broken weapon's shaft survey'd
Edith, disguised, at distance stands,
And hides her blushes with her hands.