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That like the thunderbolt, where'er it fell,
Scattered the trembling ranks; the Saracen,
Tho' arm'd from Cashbin or Damascus, wields
A weaker sword ; nor might that magic blade
Compare with this that Oriana saw
Flame in the brutal Ardan's robber hand,
When, sick and cold as the grave, she turn'd away
Her dizzy eyes lest they should see the death
Of her own Amadis. Nor plated shield,
Nor the strong hauberk, nor the crested casque,
Stay that descending sword. Dreadful she moved,
Like as the Angel of the Lord went forth
And smote his army, when the Assyrian King,
Haughty of Hamath and Sepharvaim fallen,
Blasphem'd the God of Israel.
Yet the fight
Hung doubtful, where exampling hardiest deeds,
Salisbury mow'd down the foe, and Fastolffe strove,
And in the hottest doings of the war
Towered Talbot. He, remembering the past day
When from his name the affrighted sons of France
Fled trembling, all astonish'd at their force
And wontless valour, rages round the field
Dreadful in fury; yet in every man
Meeting a foe fearless, and in the faith
Of Heaven's assistance firm.
The clang of arms
Reaches the walls of Orleans. For the war
Prepared, and confident of victory,
Speed forth the troops. Not when afar exhaled
The hungry raven snuffs the steam of blood
That from some carcass-cover'd field of fame
Taints the pure air, wings he more eagerly
To riot on the gore, than rush'd the ranks ;
Impatient now for many an ill endured
In the long siege, to wreak upon their foes
Due vengeance. Then more fearful grew the fray;
The * swords that late flash'd to the evening sun,
* Now does the day grow blacker than before,
Now quenched in blood their radiance.
O'er the host Howl'd the deep wind that ominous of storms Rolld on the lurid clouds. The blacken'd night Frown'd; and the thunder from the troubled sky Roar'd hollow. Javelins clash'd and bucklers rang; Shield prest on shield; loud on the helmet jarr'd The ponderous battle axe; the frequent groan Of death commingling with the storm was heard, And the shrill shriek of Fear.
Before the walls of Chartres quell'd the pride
Of the third Edward, when the heavy hail
Smote down his soldiers, and the Conqueror heard
The swords that glistered late, in purple gore
Now all distain'd, their former brightnesse lose.
Mays Edward III.
And again Book 7.
The glittering swords that shone so bright of late
Are quickly all distain'd with purple gore.
God in the tempest, and remembered him
Of the widows he had niade, and in the name
Of blessed Mary * yowed the vow of peace.
* 1l advint a luy ct a toute sa gent, estant devant Chartres, qui moult humilia et brise son courage ; car entendis que ces traicteurs Francois alloient et preschoient ledit roy et son conseil, et encores nulle responce agreable nen avoient eue. Une orage une tempeste et une fouldre si grande et si horrible des. cendit du ciel en lost du roy Dangleterre quil sembloit proprement que le siecle deust finer. Car il cheoit si grosses pierres que elles tuoyent hommes et chevaulx, et en furent les plus hardis tous esbahis. Adoncques regarda le roy Dangleterre devers leglise de nostre dame de Chartres, et se voua et rendit devotement a nostre dame, et promist, et confissa sicomme il dist depuis quil se accorderoit a la paix.
But whilst he lodged there, (before Chartres) his army making a horrible spoile of the whole country, there chanced an occasion, as the work of Heaven, which suddenly quailed his ambitious design to ruin France : for behold a horrible and extraordinary tempest of haile, th der, and lightning, fals with such violence as many horses and men in the army perished, as if that God had stretched forth his hand frona Heaven to stay his course.
Lo! where the holy banner waved aloft,
The lambent lightnings play'd. Irradiate round
As with a blaze of glory, o'er the field
It stream'd miraculous splendour. Then their hearts
Sunk, and the English trembled; with such fear
Possessed, as when the combined host beheld
The sun stand still on Gibeon, at the voice
Of that king-conquering warrior, he who smote
The country of the hills, and of the south,
From Baal-gad to Halak, and their Kings,
Even as the Lord commanded. Swift they fled
From that portentous banner, and the sword
Of France; tho' Talbot with vain valiancy
Yet urged the war, and stemm'd alone the tide
Of conquest. Even their leaders felt dismay;
Fastolffe fled fast, and Salisbury in the rout
Mingles, and all impatient of defeat,
Borne backward Talbot turns. Then echoed loud
cry of conquest, deeper grew the storm, And Darkness, hovering o'er on raven wing,