[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

When down their bows they threw,
And forth their bilbos drew,

And on the French they flew,

Not one was tardy;

Arms were from shoulders sent,
Scalps to the teeth were rent,
Down the French peasants went-
Our men were hardy.

This while our noble king
His broadsword brandishing,

Down the French host did ding
As to o'erwhelm it;

And many a deep wound lent,
His arms with blood besprent,
And many a cruel dent

Bruised his helmet.

Gloster, that duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood

With his brave brother;
Clarence, in steel so bright,
Though but a maiden knight,
Yet in that furious fight

Scarce such another.

Warwick in blood did wade,
Oxford the foe invade,
And cruel slaughter made
Still as they ran up;
Suffolk his axe did ply,
Beaumont and Willoughby
Bare them right doughtily,
Ferrers and Fanhope.

82. bilbos] swords.







Upon Saint Crispin's Day
Fought was this noble fray,
Which fame did not delay

To England to carry.
O when shall English men
With such acts fill a pen?
Or England breed again
Such a King Harry?


45. grandsire. Edward III, at Crecy, 1346.





A reference to the map will show that Orleans is the key to the country south of the Loire, and its importance was fully recognized by the English who tried for six months to take it. They were frustrated by Joan of Arc, who triumphantly led the French into the town, and in eight days forced the English to raise the siege and retire. The failure to take Orleans was the beginning of the end of English rule over France.

THE fray began at the middle-gate,
Between the night and the day;
Before the matin bell was rung
The foe was far away.

No knight in all the land of France
Could gar that foe to flee,

Till up there rose a young maiden,
And drove them to the sea.

Sixty forts around Orleans town,
And sixty forts of stone!

Sixty forts at our gates last night-
To-day there is not one.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Talbot, Suffolk, and Pole are fled
Beyond the Loire, in fear-
Many a captain who would not drink
Hath drunken deeply there-
Many a captain is fallen and drowned,
And many a knight is dead,
And many die in the misty dawn
While the forts are burning red.

Sixty forts around Orleans town, &c.

The blood ran off our spears all night

As the rain runs off the roofs

God rest their souls that fell i' the fight
Among our horses' hoofs !

They came to rob us of our own
With sword and spear and lance,

They fell and clutched the stubborn earth,
And bit the dust of France!

Sixty forts around Orleans town, &c.

We fought across the moonless dark
Against their unseen hands-
A knight came out of Paradise
And fought among our bands.
Fight on, Ŏ maiden knight of God!
Fight on and never tire,

For lo! the misty break o' the day
Sees all their forts on fire!

Sixty forts around Orleans town, &c.









After the battle of Northampton, in 1460, the Duke of York claimed the throne by right of descent. The Parliament effected a compromise to which Henry VI agreed: he should reign for his lifetime, but York should succeed him. The Queen, Margaret of Anjou, naturally objected to the exclusion of her son from the throne, and raising the 'northern lords', defeated and killed the Duke of York at Wakefield.

King Henry. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.

Queen Margaret. Who can be patient in such



Ah! wretched man; would I had died a maid,
And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father.
Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I,
Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood,
Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there,
Rather than have made that savage duke thine heir,
And disinherited thine only son.

Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me:
If you be king, why should not I succeed?


King Henry. Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me,

sweet son;


The Earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me. Queen Margaret. Enforc'd thee! art thou King, and wilt be forc'd?

I shame to hear thee speak. Ah! timorous wretch; Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me;

« VorigeDoorgaan »