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“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?.
“So please my liege,” said Argentine,
“Were he but horsed on steed like mine,
To give him fair and knightly chance,
I would adventure forth my lance.”
“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 !”
And, at King Edward's signal, soon
Dashed from the ranks Sir Henry Boune.

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Of Hereford's high blood he came,
A race renowned for knightly fame.
He burned before the Monarch's eye
To do some deed of chivalry.
He spurred his steed, he couched 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:
The heart had hardly time to think,
The eyelid scarce had time to wink,
While on the King, like flash of flame,
Spurred to full speed, the war-horse came!

The partridge may the falcon mock,
If that slight palfrey stand the shock;-

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But swerving from the knight's career,
Just as they met, Bruce shunned the spear.
Onward the baffled warrior bore
His course—but soon his course was o'er !

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High in bis stirrups stood the King,
And gave his battle-axe the swing.
Right on De Boune, the whiles he passed,
Fell that stern dint—the first, the last !
Such strength upon the blow was put,
The helmet crashed like hazel-nut;
The axe-shaft, with its brazen clasp,
Was shivered 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,
How sudden, fell the fierce De Boune!

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NOTES.

1. The Monarch, Robert Bruce, King , 5. Basinet, helmet. of Scotland.

6. Truncheon, here refers to a mar. 2. The van, the front of the army.

shal's baton. 3. The foe, the English army led by Selle, saddle. King Edward.

8. Tourney rules, regulations for con4. Wight, powerful.

ducting a tournament.

THE DEATH OF KING RICHARD I.

In the tent-door Stood Isabel, and saw the dying King. He, on his couch, an arrow in his breast, Kept down his pain as though it were his foe, And gazed, unshaken, in the eyes of Death. She heard him speak. There stood an archer

bound

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At his bed-foot, defiant, in the gripe
Of men whose faces thirsted for his blood,
Scarce able to restrain themselves, and wait
His sentence; this was he who slew the King ; 10
And the King spoke his doom : “ Take him

away,
And set him free, I freely pardon him.”

They dragg’d him forth. Then was the place

made calm Except for grief; and the King smiled, and

waved His strong hand feebly, and, with steady voice, 15 Slow dying into silence like a horn, Said : “Farewell, England ! farewell, all my

knights! Remember me in battle, as a man Who never turn'd his back, nor broke his faith, Nor fail'd to spare the weak. I have not

shaped

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[graphic]

"Take him cway, and so him free, I freely pardon him,"

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A law to keep my name for after-times,
As on a throne, above the minds of men ;
But Man is more than Law, and I may leave
Some impress of myself upon the world, ,
One poor brief life, helping to feed the flame
Of chivalry, and keep alive the truth
That courage, honour, mercy, make a knight.”
Here paused the stately sound, and then re-

sumed More softly : “Do not weep. Oh, die with me, But do not hold me back! I cannot die

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With all this weight of tears about my heart.” And low sobs answer'd through the stillness, yet You could not see who wept. Then stretch'd

the King His arms, and cried : "I see, I see a cross Beneath the palms. Oh, weary waste of sand ! 35 O Cross, my home! let me lie down and sleep At thy dear foot, and dream of deeds to come, Forgetting all the feeble, sinful past !

Father, forgive me ! Is my brother there?
Let some one tell him to be true to England. 40
Where is my sword? This trumpet in mine ears,
So far, so faint, is yet a call to war-
To horse! To horse !"

To horse !” Erect he sate, and

shook His sword, cried : “God for England !” and

was dead.

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