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In many a hard-fought field, belming his head;
There was amid the garrison
The battle-axt, and smote upon the lance
I have met with one instance in the English 'history, and *only one,
of throwing the spear after the manner of the ancients. It is in the chronicle of Howės. 1442. The 30th of January, a challenge was done in Smithfield within lists, before the King ; the one Sir Philip de Beawse of Arragon a Knight, and the other an Esquire of the King's house called John Ausley or Astley. These comming to the fielde, tooke their tents, and there was the Knight's Sonne made Knight 'by the King, and so brought again to his father's tent. Then the Heralds of Armes called them by name to doe their bat. tell, and so they came both, all armed, with their weapons ; the Knight came with his sword drawn, and the Esquirc 'with his speare. "The Esquire cast his speare against the Knight, but the Knight avoiding it with his sword cast it to 'the ground. Then the Esquire took his axe and went against the Knight suddenly, on whom he stroke many strokes, hard and sore upon his basenet, and on his hand, and made him Joose and let fall his axe to the ground, and brast up his limbes three times, and caught his dagger and would have 'smitten him in the face, 'for to have slaine him in the field ; and then the King cried hoo, and so they were departed and went to their tents, and the King dubbed John Astley Knight for his valiant Torney, and the Knight of Arragon offered his armes at Windsor."
Shrunk from the flying death; yet not in vain
purer air distended, to the heart
+ The corselet was chiefly worn by pikemen.
Gaze on-then heart-sick turn to her poor babe,
The enraged Knight
Held forth his buckler, and his battle axe
the blood Started; with blood the chambers of the brain Were fill’d; his breast-plate with convulsive throes, Heaved as he fell; victorious, he the prize At many a tournament had borne
away In the mimic war : happy, if so content With bloodless glory, he had never left The mansion of his sires.
The English stood, nor durst adventure now
Near that death-doing man.
Amid their bost Was one who well could from the stubborn bow Shower his sharp shafts : well skill'd in wood-craft be, Even as the merry Outlaws who their haunts In Sherwood held, and bade their bugles rouse The sleeping stag, ere on the web-woven grass The dew-drops sparkled to the rising sun. He safe in distance at the warrior aim'd The feather'd dart; with force he drew the bow; Loud on his bracer struck the sounding string : And swift and strong the well-winged arrow filed. Deep in his shield it hung; then Conrade rais'd Again his echoing voice, and called for aid, Nor was the call unheard : the troops of France, From St. Loup's captur'd fort along the wall Haste to the portal ; cheering was the sound Of their near footsteps to the Chief; he drew His falchion forth, and down the steps he rusb'd. Then terror seized the English, for their foes Swarm'd thro' the open portal, and the sword