Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“ It was the will of heaven that I should live

the past

“ Childless and old to think

upon “ And wish that I had perish'd I”

The old man

Wept as he spake. “Ye may perhaps have heard “Of the hard siege so long by Roan endur’d. “I dwelt there strangers ; I had then a wife “ And I had children tenderly beloved, Who I did hope should cheer me in old age “ And close mine eyes. The tale of misery

May-hap were tedious, or I could relate “ Much of that dreadful siege.”

The Maid replied Anxious of that devoted town to learn.

Thus then the veteran.

The night after the battle “ when the King sate at his refec. tion in the aforesaid village, he was served at his boord of those great Lords and Princes that were taken in the field."

Edmond Howes.

• So by Heaven preserved, “From that disastrous plain of * Azincour; “ I speeded homewards and abode in peace. “Henry † as wise as brave had back to England

* Perhaps one consequence of the victory at Azincour is not generally known. Immediately on his return Henry sent his legates to the Council of Constance : “at this councell, by the assent of all nations there present, it was authorised and ordained, that England should obtaine the name of a nation, and should be said one of the five nations that owe their devotion to the Church of Rome, which thing untill that time men of other nations, for envy, had delayed and letted.”

Edmond Howes. Elmham. + Henry judged, that by fomenting the troubles of France, he should procure more certain and lasting advantages, than by means of his arms. The truth is, by pushing the French vigorously, he ran the risk of uniting them all against him; in which case, his advantages, probably, would have been inconsiderable, but by granting them some respite, he gave them opportunity to destroy one another; therefore, contrary to every one's expectation, he laid aside his military affairs for near eighteen months, and betook himself entirely to negotiation, which afforded him the prospect of less doubtful advantages.

Rapin.

“ Led his victorious army; well aware That France was mighty, that her warrior sons,

Impatient of a foreign vi&tor's sway,

Might rise impetuous, and with multitudes Tread down the invaders. Wisely he return'd, “For the proud Barons in their private broils Wasted the strength of France. I dwelt at home “ And, with the little I possess'd content, “ Lived happily. A pleasant sight it was To see my children, as at eve I sat “ Beneath the vine, come clustering round my knee, “ That they might hear again the oft-told tale Of the dangers I had past : their little eyes « Did with such anxious eagerness attend “ The tale of life preserved, as made me feel “ Life's value. My poor children! a hard fate “ Had they! but oft and bitterly I wish " That God had to his mercy taken me “ In childhood, for it is a heavy thing “ To linger out old age in loneliness!

[ocr errors]

« Ah me! when war the masters of mankind, Woe to the poor man! if he sow the field, “ He shall not reap the harvest; if he see “His blooming children rise around, his heart Aches at the thought that they are multiplied “ To the sword ! Again from England the fierce foe “ Rush'd on our ravaged coasts. In battle bold,

Savage in conquest, their victorious King

Swept like the desolating tempest round. “ Dambieres submits; on Caen's subjected wall “The flag of England waved. Roan still remain'd, " Embattled Roan, bulwark of Normandy; « Nor unresisted round our massy

walls “ Pitched they their camp. I need not tell Sir Knight “ How oft and boldly on the invading host “ We burst with fierce assault impetuous forth, “ For many were the warrior * Sons of Roan.

* Yet although the armie was strong without, there lacked not within both hardie capteins and manfull soldiers, and as for people, they had more than igough: for as it is written by

* O'er all that gallant Citizen was famed, “ For virtuous hardihood præeminent, “ Blanchard. He, gathering round his countrymen, “ With his own courage kindling every breast, “ Had bade † them vow before Almighty God “Never to yield them to the usurping foe

While yet their arms could lift the spear, while yet “ Life was to think of every pledge that man “ Most values. To the God of Hosts we vow'd ; And we had baffled the besieging power, “ But our cold-hearted foeman drew around

some that had good cause to know the truth, and no occasion to erre from the same, there were in the citie at the time of the siege 210,000 persons. Dailie were issues made out of the citie at diverse gates, sometime to the losse of the one partie and sometimes of the other, as chances of warre in such adventures happen."

Holinshed. 566. + The Frenchmen indeed preferring fame before worldlic riches, and despising pleasure (the enemy to warlike prowesse) sware ech to other never to render or deliver the citie, while they might either hold sword in hand or speare in rest."

Holinshed 566

« AnteriorContinuar »