We heard no voice of comfort. From the walls
Could we behold their savage Irish Kerns,
Ruffians half-clothed, half-human, half-baptized,
Come with their spoil, mingling their hideous shouts
With moan of weary flocks, and piteous low 200
Of kine sore-laden, in the mirthful camp
Scattering abundance; while the loathliest food
We prized above all price; while in our streets
The dying groan of hunger, and the cries
Of famishing infants echoed, .. and we heard, 205
With the strange selfishness of misery,
We heard, and heeded not.

“ Thou wouldst have deem'd
Roan must have fallen an easy sacrifice,
Young warriorhadst thou seen our meagre limbs
And pale and shrunken cheeks, and hollow eyes ;
Yet still we struggled bravely! Blanchard still
Spake of the obdurate temper of the foe, 212
Of Harfleur's wretched people driven out
Houseless and destitute, while that stern King
Knelt at the altar, and with impious prayer

215 Gave God the glory, even while the blood That he had shed was reeking up to Heaven. He bade us think what mercy they had found Who yielded on the plain of Agincourt, And what the gallant sons of Caen, by him, 220 In cold blood slaughter'd : then his scanty food Sharing with the most wretched, he would bid us Bear with our miseries manfully.

“ Thus press'd, Lest all should perish thus, our chiefs decreed Women and children, the infirm and old, 225

All who were useless in the work of war,
Should forth and take their fortune. Age, that makes
The joys and sorrows of the distant years
Like a half-remember'd dream, yet on my

Leaves deep impress’d the horrors of that hour. 230
Then as our widow-wives clung round our necks,
And the deep sob of anguish interrupted
The prayer of parting, even the pious priest
As he implored his God to strengthen us,
And told us. we should meet again in Heaven, 235
He groan'd and curs'd in bitterness of heart
That merciless King. The wretched crowd pass'd on;
My wife..my children. .through the gates they pass d,
Then the gates closed .. Would I were in my grave
That I might lose remembrance !

" What is man That he can hear the groan of wretchedness

241 And feel no fleshly pang! Why did the All-Good Create these warrior scourges of mankind, These who delight in slaughter? I did think There was not on this earth a heart so hard 245 Could hear a farish'd woman ask for food, And feel no pity. As the outcast train Drew near, relentless Henry bade his troops Drive back the miserable multitude. They drove them to the walls ;... it was the depth Of winter, ... we had no relief to grant. 251 The aged ones groan'd to our foe in vain, The mother pleaded for her dying child, And they felt no remorse!”

The mission'd Maid Rose from her seat, ..“The old and the rm, 255

The mother and her babes ! .. and yet no lightning Blasted this man !"

“Aye, Lady," Bertram cried, “ And when we sent the herald to implore His mercy on the helpless, his stern face Assum'd a sterner smile of callous scorn, 260 And he replied in mockery. On the wall I stood and watch'd the miserable outcasts, And every moment thought that Henry's heart, Hard as it was, would melt. All night I stood, .. Their deep groans came upon the midnight gale ; Fainter they grew, for the cold wintry wind 266 Blew bleak; fainter they grew, and at the last All was still, save that ever and anon Some mother raised o'er her expiring child A cry of frenzying anguish.

“ From that hour On all the busy turmoil of the world

271 I look'd with strange indifference; bearing want With the sick patience of a mind worn out. Nor when the traitor yielded up our town Aught heeded I as through our ruin'd streets, 275 Through putrid.heaps of famish'd carcases, The pomp of triumph pass'd. One pang alone I felt, when by that cruel King's command The gallant Blanchard died : calmly he died, And as he bow'd beneath the axe, thank'd God 280 That he had done his duty.

“ I survive, A solitary, friendless, wretched one, Knowing no joy save in the certain hope That I shall soon be gather'd to my sires,

And soon repose, there where the wicked cease From troubling, and the weary are at rest.” 286

“And happy," cried the delegated Maid, And happy they who in that holy faith Bow meekly to the rod l A little while Shall they endure the proud man's contumely, 290 The injustice of the great: a little while Though shelterless they feel the wintry wind, The wind shall whistle o'er their turf-grown grave, And all be peace below. But woe to those, Woe to the Mighty Ones who send abroad 295 Their ministers of death, and give to Fury The flaming firebrand ; these indeed shall live The heroes of the wandering minstrel's song; But they have their reward; the innocent blood Steams up to Heaven against them : God shall hear The widow's groan."

“ I saw him," Bertram cried, Henry of Agincourt, this mighty King, 302 Go to his grave. The long procession pass'd Slowly from town to town, and when I heard The deep-toned dirge, and saw the banners wave A pompous shade, and the tall torches cast 306 In the mid-day sun a dim and gloomy light, I thought what he had been on earth who now Was gone to his account, and blest my God I was not such as he!”

So spake the old man, 310 And then his guests betook them to repose.



Fair dawn'd the morning, and the early sun
Pour'd on the latticed cot a cheerful gleam,
And up the travellers rose, and on their way
Hasten'd, their dangerous way, through fertile tracks
Laid waste by war. They pass'd the Auxerrois; 5
The autumnal rains had beaten to the earth
The unreap'd harvest; from the village church
No even-song bell was heard; the shepherd's dog
Prey'd on the scatter'd flock, for there was now
No hand to feed him, and upon the hearth 10
Where he had slumber'd at his master's feet

grew and reptiles crawl'd. Or if they found
Sometimes a welcome, those who welcomed them
Were old and helpless creatures, lingering there
Where they were born, and where they wish'd to die,
The place being all that they had left to love.
They pass'd the Yonne, they pass'd the rapid Loire,
Still urging on their way with cautious speed,
Shunning Auxerre, and Bar's embattled wall,
And Romorantin's towers.

So journeying on, Fast by a spring, which welling at his feet 21


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