'The verse adorn again

Fierce War, and faithful Love,

And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest.

In buskin'd measures move

Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,

With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice as of the cherub-choir

Gales from blooming Eden bear,

And distant warblings lessen on my ear That lost in long futurity expire.



Fond impious man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud 135 Raised by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day? To-morrow he repairs the golden flood

And warms the nations with redoubled ray.

Enough for me: with joy I see

The different doom our fates assign:

Be thine Despair and sceptred Care;
To triumph and to die are mine.'


-He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.


A Pindaric Ode, i. e. an ode imitating the form employed by the Greek poet Pindar (died 448 B. C.). See Edmund Gosse's Gray (English Men of Letters Series), ch. vi.

28, 29. Hoel, Llewellyn, Cadwallo. Welsh bards.

49. warp. The threads that go lengthwise; crossing them is the 'woof'.

57. She-wolf of France. Isabella, wife of Edward II.

63. Mighty victor. The Black Prince died in 1377, and Edward III, old and feeble, was at the mercy of intriguers. On his death-bed he was deserted by all, the last person even robbing him of his finger-rings.

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71. the Morn. A personification of the beginning of Richard II's reign.

87. towers of Julius. The Tower of London, commonly supposed to have been built by Julius Caesar: the scene of the death of Henry VI ('the meek usurper') and of the murder of the sons of Edward IV by Richard III (whose badge was a boar).

110. genuine kings. The Tudors, who had Welsh blood in their veins.

125. The verse adorn again, &c. An allusion to Spenser, with whom English poetry revived.

128. buskin'd measures. The works of Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights [buskin the high boot-the emblem of Tragedy].




This contemporary cantus shows the consternation produced by the death of Alexander III. His prosperous reign had done as much as his father's to weld Scotland into a strong and civilized nation. His untimely death in 1285 left her exposed to the horrors of a disputed succession and the danger of English usurpation.

WHEN Alysandyr our King was dede
That Scotland led in love and lé;
Away was sons of ale and brede,
Of wine and wax, of gamyn and glé;
Our gold was changed into lede;
Christ, born into Virginité,
Succour Scotland and remede
That stad is in perplexyté.

2. lé] law. 7. remede] remedy.

3. sons] plenty.
8. stad] bestead.



4. gamyn] sport.



The battle of Bannockburn was the end of Edward I's attempt by force to make Scotland a part of England. Wallace's rebellion had failed, largely because he had not a united Scotland at his back-the nobles had stood aloof; but he had succeeded in rousing Scotland to a sense of nationality of which Robert Bruce took full advantage while Edward II was quarrelling with his barons. Scotland remained a separate nation, with all the advantages and disadvantages of separation, till more settled times proved that union with England would be a source of strength to both countries.

[A plan of the battle will be found in Gardiner's Historical Atlas.]


THE Monarch rode along the van,
The foe's approaching force to scan,
His line to marshal and to range,
And ranks to square, and fronts to change.
Alone he rode-from head to heel
Sheathed in his ready arms of steel;
Nor mounted yet on war-horse wight,
But, till more near the shock of fight,
Reining a palfrey low and light.
A diadem of gold was set
Above his bright steel basinet.
Truncheon or leading staff he lacks,
Bearing, instead, a battle-axe.

He ranged his soldiers for the fight,
Accoutred thus, in open sight
Of either host. Three bowshots far,
Paused the deep front of England's war,
And rested on their arms awhile,
To close and rank their warlike file,
And hold high council, if that night
Should view the strife, or dawning light.





O gay, yet fearful to behold,
Flashing with steel and rough with gold,

And bristled o'er with bills and spears,
With plumes and pennons waving fair,
Was that bright battle-front! for there

Rode England's King and peers:
And who, that saw that monarch ride,
His kingdom battled by his side,
Could then his direful doom foretell!
Fair was his seat in knightly selle,
And in his sprightly eye was set
Some spark of the Plantagenet.

Though light and wandering was his glance,
It flash'd at sight of shield and lance.
'Know'st thou,' he said, 'De Argentine,
Yon knight who marshals thus their line?'
'The tokens on his helmet tell

The Bruce, my Liege: I know him well.'
'And shall the audacious traitor brave
The presence where our banners wave?
Still must the rebel dare our wrath?
Set on him, sweep him from our path!'
And, at King Edward's signal, soon
Dash'd from the ranks Sir Henry Boune.







Of Hereford's high blood he came,
A race renown'd for knightly fame.
He burn'd before his Monarch's eye
To do some deed of chivalry.

He spurr'd 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 eye,

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The heart had hardly time to think,
The eyelid scarce had time to wink,
While on the King, like flash of flame,
Spurr'd to full speed the war-horse came!
The partridge may the falcon mock
If that slight palfrey stand the shock;
But, swerving from the Knight's career,
Just as they met, Bruce shunn'd the spear.
Onward the baffled warrior bore

His course-but soon his course was o'er!
High in his stirrups stood the King,
And gave his battle-axe the swing.
Right on De Boune, the whiles he pass'd,
Fell that stern dint, the first, the last!
Such strength upon the blow was put,
The helmet crash'd like hazel-nut;
The axe-shaft, with its brazen clasp,
Was shiver'd to the gauntlet grasp.




Springs from the blow the startled horse,
Drops to the plain the lifeless corse;
First of that fatal field, how soon,


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And his deep roar sends challenge wide

To all that bars his way!

In front the gallant archers trode,
The men-at-arms behind them rode,
And midmost of the phalanx broad
The Monarch held his sway.
Beside him many a war-horse fumes,
Around him waves a sea of plumes,

When the rough west hath chafed his pride,


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