Abbildungen der Seite

Drew round their children of the after days, And pointing to the turf, told how he lived, And taught by his example how to die. Maiden and such the evening of my days Fondly I hoped; and would that I had lived "7 In those old times, or till some better age Slumber'd unborn ; for this is a hard race, An evil generation : nor by day Nor in the night have respite from their cares And wretchedness. But I shall be at rest Soon, in that better world of peace and love Where evil is not : in that better world, J0A.V. we shall meet, and he too will be there, Thy Theodore.” Soothed by his words, the Maid Had listen’d sadly, till at that loved name She wept. ... Nay, Maid', he cried, “I did not think To wake a tear—yet pleasant is thy grief! Thou know'st not what it is, around thy heart To have a false one wreathe in viper folds. but to the battle' in the clang of arms We win forgetfulness.” | Then from the bank He sprang, and helm'd his head. The Maid arose, Bidding awhile adieu to milder thoughts. on to the fort they speed, whose name recall'd England's proud capital to the English host, Now half subdued, anticipating death, And vainly wishing they from her white cliffs Had never spread the sail. Cold terror creeps Through every vein : already they turn back Their eager eyes to meditate the flight, Though Talbot there presided, with their Chief, The dauntless Salisbury. “Soldiers tried in arms lo Thus, in vain hope to renovate the strength Of England, spake the Chief, “Victorious friends, So oft victorious in the hard-fought fight, What—shrink ye now dismay d? Have ye forgot |The plains of Agincourt, when vanquish'd France Fled with her thousands from your fathers' arms: slave ye forgotten how our English swords, | On that illustrious day before Verneuil, Cut down the flower of all their chivalry: Then was that noble heart of Douglas pierced, ” Bold Buchan bit the earth, and Narbonne died, And this Alençon, boaster as he is, Cried mercy to his conqueror. Shall I speak Of our victorious banner on the walls Of Yenville and Baugenci triumphing: And of that later hour of victory When Clermont and the Bastard plied their spurs? Shame! shame! that beaten boy is here in arms, And ye will fly before the fugitives— tly from a woman from a frantic girl Who with her empty mummeries tries to blast Your courage; or if miracles she brings, Aid of the devil! Who is there among you False to his country—to his former fame— To your old leader who so many a time Hath led ye on to glory to From the host A heartless shout arose; then Talbot's cheek Grew red with indignation. • Earl,” said he, | Addressing Salisbury, “there is no hope From these white-liver'd dastards; and this fort


| Will fall an easy conquest: we must out
And gain the Tournelles, better fortified,
Fit to endure long siege: the hope in view
To reach a safer fortress, these our troops
Will better bide the conflict.”

So he spake,
Wisely advising. Ilim the Chief replied:
“Well hast thou said : and, Talbot, if our swords
Could through the thickest ranks this sorceress reach,
The hopes of France were blasted. I have fought
In many a field, yet never to a foe
Stoop'd my proud crest: nor difficult to meet
This wizard girl, for from the battlements
I have beheld her foremost in attack,
Playing right valiantly the soldier's part;
Yet shall not all her witcheries avail
To blunt my good swords edge.”

Thus communed they,
And through the host the gladdening tidings ran,
That they should seek the Tournelles. Then their hearts
Gather'd new strength, placing on those strong walls
Dependence; empty hopes nor the strong wall,
Nor the deep moat can save, if fear within
Palsy the soldier's arm
Them issuing forth,

As from the river's banks they past along,
The Maid beheld a Lo! Conrade', she exclaim'd,
• The foes advance to meet us—Look they lower
The bridge' and now they rush upon the troops—
A gallant onset! Dost thou mark the man
Who all the day has by our side endured
The hottest conflict? I did then behold
His force, and wonder: now his deeds of death
Make all the actions of the former fight

| | Seem as of no account : knowest thou him?

There is not one amid the host of France
Of fairer promise.”

• He,” the Chief replied,
« Wretched and prodigal of life, achieves
The exploits of despair: a gallant youth,
Widow’d like me of hope, and but for whom
I had been seen among mankind no more.
Maiden with me thy comrade in the war,
II is arm is vow'd to heaven. Lo! where he stands
Bearing the battle's brunt in unmoved strength,
Firm as the mountain, round whose misty head
The unharming tempest breaks!”

Nor paused they now

In farther converse, to the perilous fray
Speeding, not unobserved; for Salisbury saw
And called on Talbot. Six, the bravest knights
And sworn with them, against the Virgin's life
Bent their fierce course. She by the herald's side
Now urged the war, when on her white plumed helm
The hostile falchion fell. On high she lifts
Her hallow'd sword, the tenant of the tomb,
And drench d it in his bosom. Conrade's blow
Fell on another, and the ponderous axe
Shatter'd his brain. With Talbot's giant force
The daring herald urged unequal fight;
For like some oak that firm with deep-six’d roots
Defics the storm, the undaunted earl endured
His rude assault. Warding with wary eye
The angry sword, the Frank around his foe
Wheels rapid, flashing his keen weapon fast;
Now as he marks the earl's descending stroke

Bending anon more fierce in swift attack.
Ill-fated man one deed of glory more
Shall with the short-lived lightning's splendour grace
This thy death-day; for Slaughtra even now
Stands o'er the loom of life, and lifts his sword

Upon her shield the martial Maiden bore
An English warrior's blow, and in his side
Pierced him; that instant Salisbury sped his sword,
Which glancing from her helm fell on the folds
That arm'd her neck, and making there its way,
Stain'd with her blood its edge. The herald saw,
He saw her red blood gushing from the wound,
And turn'd from Talbot heedless of himself,
And, lifting up his falchion, all his force
Concenterd. On the breast of Salisbury
It fell. and pierced his mail, and through the plate
Beneath drove fierce, and in his heart's-blood plunged.
Lo as he struck the strength of Talbot came:
Full on his treacherous helm he smote : it burst,
And the stern earl against his fenceless head
Drives with strong arm the murderous sword. She saw,
Nor could the Maiden save her Theodore.

Conrade beheld, and from his vanquish'd foc
Strode terrible in vengeance. Front to front
They stood, and each for the death-blow prepared
liis angry Inight. At once their weapons fell,
The Frank's huge battle-axe, and the keen sword
Of Talbot. He, stunn d by the weighty blow.
Sunk senseless; by his followers from the field
Convey'd with fearful speed : nor did his stroke
Fall vainly on the Frenchman's crested helm,
Though weak to wound; for from his eyes the fire
Sparkled, and back recoiling with the blow,
Ile in the Maiden's arms astounded fell.
But now their troops all captainless confused,
Fear seized the English. Not with more dismay
When over wild Caffraria's wooded hills,
Echoes the lion's roar, the timid herd
Fly the death-boding sound. The forts they seck,
Now reckless which, so from that battle's rage
A present refuge. On their flying ranks
The victors press, and mark their course with blood.

But loud the trumpet of retreat resounds,
For now the westering sun with many a hue
Streak'd the gay clouds.

to Dunois' the Maiden cried,
Form we around yon stronger pile the siege,
There for the night encamping.” So she said.
The Chief, to Orleans for their needful food,
And enginery to batter that huge pile,
Dismiss'd a troop, and round the Tournelles led
The host beleaguering. There they pitch their tents,
And plant their engines for the morrow's war,
Then to their meal, and o er the cheerful bowl
Recount the tale of danger; soon to rest
Betaking thein, for now the night drew on.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Humming a broken song. Along the camp -
High slames the frequent fire. The warrior Franks,
On the hard earth extended, rest their limbs
Fatigued, their spears lay by them, and the shield
Pillow'd the helmed head: "o secure they slept;
And busy fancy in her dream renew'd
The fight of yesterday.
But not to JOAN,
But not to her, most wretched, came thy aid,
Soother of sorrows, Sleep! No more her pulse,
Amid the battle's tumult throbbing fast,
Allow'd no pause for thought. With clasped hands
And fixed eye she sat, the while around
The spectres of the days departed rose,
A melancholy train' Upon the gale
The raven's croak was heard; she started up,
And passing through the camp with hasty step,
Strode to the field of blood.
The night was calm; i
Nor ever clearer welkin canopied
Chaldea, while the watchful shepherd's eye
Survey'd the host of heaven, and mark'd them rise,
Successive, and successively decay,
Lost in the stream of light, as lesser springs
Amid Euphrates current. The high wall
Cast a deep shadow, and her faltering feet
Stumbled o'er broken arms and carcasses :
And sometimes did she hear the heavy groan
of one yet struggling in the pangs of death.
She reach'd the spot where Theodore had fall n,
Before fort London's gate; but vainly there -
Sought she the youth, on every clay-cold face
Gazing with such a look” as though she fear d
The thing she sought. Amazement seized the Mail,
For there the victim of his vengeful arm.
Known by the buckler's blazon'd heraldry,
Salisbury lay dead. So as the Virgin stood
Gazing around the plain, she mark'd a man s
Pass slowly on, as burthend. Him to aid -
She sped, and soon with unencumrber'd speed
O'ertaking, thus bespake : « Stranger! this weight
Impedes thy progress. Dost thou bear away
Some slaughter d friend’ or lives the sufferer
With many a sore wound gush'd oh! if he lives,
I will with earnest prayer petition Heaven
To shed its healing on him to
So she said;
And, as she spake, stretch'd forth her careful hands
To case the burthen. “Warrior on he replied,
• Thanks for thy proffer'd aim ; but he hath ceased
To suffer, and my strength may well suffice
To bear him to the sepulchre. Farewell l
The night is far advanced; thou to the camp
Return : it sits not darkling thus to stray.”

* Conrade on the Maid exclaimed, for well she knew
His voice—with that she fell upon his neck
And cried, “My Theodore!—but wherefore thus
Through the dread midnight dost thou bear his corse.”

« Peace, Mlaiden Comrade cried; “ collect thy soul! He is but gone before thee to that world Whither thou soon must follow ! In the morn. Ere yet from Orleans to the war we went, lie pour d his tale of sorrow on milie ear— Lo, Conrade, where she moves' Beloved Maid

Devoted for the realm of France she goes, Abandoning for this the joys of life, Yea-life itself. Yet on my heart her words Vibrate. If she must perish in the war, I will not live to bear the dreadful thought, That I perchance had saved her. I will go, Her unknown guardian. Conrade, if I fall... | And trust me I have little love of life... Do thou in secret bear me from the field, Lest haply I might meet her wandering eye A mangled corpse. She must not know my fate. Do this last act of friendship, and in the flood Whelm me: so shall she think of Theodore | Without a pang. Maiden, 1 vow’d with him That I would dare the battle by thy side, And shield thee in the war. And now I hoped Thou hadst not seen his fall.”

- As thus he spake,

| sle on the earth the clay-cold carcass laid.
| Will steady eye the wretched Maiden view'd
| The life-left tenement: his batter'd arms

were with the night-dews damp; his brown hair clung Gore-clotted in the wound, and one loose lock | Phydoer his cheek's black paleness.”


She cried, “I would to God the hour were come

When I might meet thee in the bowers of blio

'No, Theodore! the sport of winds and waves,
Thy body shall not roll adown the stream,

| The sea-wolfs banquet. Conrade, bear with me

The corpse to Orleans, there in hallow'd ground

To rest; the priest shall say the sacred prayer,
And hymn the requiem to his parted soul.
So shall not Elinor in bitterness
lament that no dear friend to her dead child
Paid the last office.”

From the earth they lift

The mournful burthen, and along the plain
Pass with slow footsteps to the city gate.
The obedient sentinel at Conrade's voice

Admits the midnight travellers; on they pass,
Till, in the neighbouring abbey's porch arrived,
They rest the lifeless load.

Loud rings the bell;

The awaken'd porter turns the heavy door.

To him the Virgin : “Father, from the slain

On Yonder reeking field a dear loved friend

bring to holy sepulture, chaunt ye

The requiem to his soul; to-morrow eve

Will I return, and in the narrow house
*hold him laid to rest.” The father knew

The mission'd Maid, and humbly bow'd assent.

« Callant

Now from the city, o'er the shadowy plain, Backward they bend their way. From silent thoughts The Maid awakening cried...“ There was a time, When thinking on my closing hour of life, Though with resolved mind, some natural fears Shook the weak frame; but now the happy hour, When my emancipated soul shall burst | homoerous fetters of mortality, Wishful I contemplate. Conrade! my friend, My wounded heart would feel another pant; Shouldst thou forsake me!, JoAN on the Chief replied, | "Along the weary pilgrimage of life

Together will we journey, and beguile
The dreary road, telling with what gay hopes
We in the morning eyed the pleasant fields
Vision'd before; then wish that we had reach'd
The bower of rest!»

Thus communing they gain'd
The camp, yet hush'd in sleep; there separating,
Each in the post allotted, restless waits
The day-break.

Morning came: dim through the shade

The first rays glimmer; soon the brightening clouds
Drink the rich beam, and o'er the landscape spread
The dewy light. The soldiers from the earth
Leap up invigorate, and each his food

| Receives, impatient to renew the war.

Dunois his javelin to the Tournelles points:
* Soldiers of France! behold, your foes are there!"
As when a band of hunters, round the den
Of some wood-monster, point their spears, elate
In hope of conquest and the future feast;

when on the hospitable board their spoil

Shall smoke, and they, as the rich bowl goes round,
Tell to their guests their exploits in the chase;
They with their shouts of exultation make
The forest ring; so elevate of heart,
With such loud clamours for the fierce assault
The French prepare. Nor, guarding now the lists,
Durst the disheartened English man to man
Meet the close conflict. From the barbican, "3"
Or from the embattled wall,” they their yeugh bow.
Bent forceful, and their death-fraught enginery
Discharged; nor did the Gallic archers cease
With well-directed shafts their loftier foes
To assail: behind the guardian pavais fenced,”
They at the battlements their arrows aim d,
Showering an iron storm, whilst o'er the bayle,
The bayle now levell d by victorious France,
Pass'd the bold troops with all their mangonels; ”
Or tortoises, * beneath whose roofing safe,
They, filling the deep moat, might for the towers
Make fit foundation, or with petraries,
War-wolfs, and beugles, and that murderous sling
The matafund, from whence the ponderous stone
Fled fierce, and made one wound of whom it struck,
Shattering the frame so that no pious hand
Gathering his mangled limbs might him convey
To where his fathers slept ; a dreadful train '87
Prepared by Salisbury over the town besieged
To hurl its ruin; but that dreadful train,
Must hurl its ruin on the invaders' head,
Such retribution righteous Heaven decreed.

Nor lie the English trembling, for the fort
Was ably garrison'd. Glacidas, the chief,
A gallant man, sped on from place to place
Cheering the brave; or if the archer's hand,
Palsied with fear, shot wide the ill-aim'd shaft,
Threatening the coward who betray'd himself,
Ile drove him from the ramparts. In his hand
The Chief a cross-bow held; * an engine dread
Of such wide-wasting fury, that of yore
The assembled fathers of the Christian church
Pronounced that man accursed whose impious hand
Should point the murderous weapon. Such decrees
Besits the men of God to promulgate,
And with a warning voice, though haply vain,

To cry aloud and spare not, ‘Woe to them
Whose hands are full of blood!’
An English King,
The lion-hearted Richard, their decree
First broke, and heavenly retribution doom'd
His fall by the keen quarrel; since that day
Frequent in fields of battle, and from far
To many a good knight bearing his death-wound
From hands unknown. With such an instrument,
Arm'd on the ramparts, Glacidas his eye
Cast on the assailing host. A keener glance .
Darts not the hawk when from the feather'd tribe
Ile marks his victim.
On a Frank he six’d
Ilis gaze, who, kneeling by the Trebuchet, 139
Charged its long sling with death. Ilim Glacidas,
Secure behind the battlements, beheld,
And strung his bow; then, bending on one knee,
He in the groove the feather'd quarrel placed, 'io
And levelling with firm eye, the death-wound mark'd.
The bow-string twang'd, on its swift way the dart
Whizz'd fierce, and struck, there where the helmet's clasps
Defend the neck; a weak protection now,
For through the tube which draws the breath of life
Pierced the keen shaft; blood down the unwonted way
Gush'd to the lungs, prone fell the dying man
Grasping, convulsed, the earth: a hollow groan
In his throat struggled, and the dews of death
Stood on his livid cheek. The days of youth
Ile had pass'd peaceful, and had known what joys
Domestic love bestows, the father once
Of two fair infants; in the city hemm'd
During the hard siege, he had seen their cheeks
Grow pale with fainine, and had heard their cries
For bread ' his wife, a broken-hearted one,
Sunk to the cold grave's quiet, and her babes
With hunger pined, and followed; he survived,
A miserable man, and heard the shouts
of joy in Orleans, when the Maid approach'd,
As o'er the corpse of his last little one
Ile heap'd the utiliallow'd earth. To him the foe
Perform'd a friendly part, hastening the hour
Grief else had soon brought on.
The English Chief,
Pointing again his arbalist, let loose
The string ; the quarrel, driven by that strong blow,
True to its aim, led fatal : one it struck
Draft;ing a tortoise to the moat, and six d
Deep in his liver; blood and mingled gall
Flow d from the wound, and writhing with keen pangs
Headlong he fell. Ile for the wintry hour
Knew many a merry ballad and quaint tale,
A man in his small circle well-beloved.
None better knew with prudent hand to guide
The vine's young tendrils, or at vintage time
To press the full-swoln clusters; he, heart-glad,
Taught his yount; boys the little all he knew,
Enough for happiness. The English host
Laid waste his fertile fields : he to the war,
By want compell'd, adventured, in his gore
Now weltering.
Nor the Gallic host remit
Their eager efforts; some the watery fence, i.
Beueath the tortoise roofd, with engines apt
Drain painful; part, laden with wood, throw there
Their buoyant burthens, labouring so to gain

Firm footing: some the mangonels supply,
Or charging with huges stones the murderous sling, i.
Or petrary, or in the espringal
Fix the brass-winged arrows. ''{* IIoarse around
Rose the confused din of multitudes.
Fearless along the ramparts Gargrave moved,
Cheering the English troops. The bow he bore;
The quiver rattled as he moved along.
He knew a right to aim the feather'd shafts,
Well-skill'd to pierce the mottled roe-buck's side,
O'ertaken in his flight. Him passing on,
From some huge martinet, '+' a pouderous stone
Struck: on his breast-plate falling, there the driving

Shatter'd the bone, and with his mangled lungs
The fragments mingled. On the sunny brow
Of a fair hill, wood-circled, stood his liome,
A pleasant dwelling, whence the well-pleased eye
Gazed o'er the subject distance, and survey'd
Streams, hills, and forests, fair variety'
The traveller knew its hospitable towers,
For open were the gates, and blazed for all
The friendly fire. By glory lured, the youth
Went forth ; and he had bathed his falchion's edge
In many a Frenchman's gore; now crush'd beneath
The ponderous fragments force, his mangled limbs
Lie quivering.

Lo! towards the levelled moat,
A moving tower the men of Orleans wheel 4°
Four stages elevate. Above was hung,
Equalling the walls, a bridge; in the lower stage
The ponderous battering-ram : a troop within
of archers, through the opening, shot their shafts."
In the loftiest part was Conrade, so prepared
To mount the rampart; for he loathed the chase,
And loved to see the dappled foresters
Browze fearless on their lair with friendly eye,
And happy in beholding happiness,
Not meditating death : the bowman's art
Therefore he little knew, nor was he wont
To aim the arrow at the distant foe,
Iłut uprear in close conflict, front to front,
llis death-red battle-axe, and break the shield,
First in the war of men. There, too, the Maid
Awaits, impatient on the wall to wicla
Her falchion. Onward moves the heavy tower,
Slow o'er the moat, and steady, though the foe
Shower d there their javelins, aim'd their engines there.
And from the arbalist the fire-tipt dart 47
Shot lightning through the sky. In vain it flamed,
For well with many a recking hide secured,
Pass'd on the dreadful pile, and now it reach'd
The wall. Below, with forceful impulse driven,
The iron-horncil engine swings its stroke,
Then back recoils; while they within who guide,
In backward step collecting all their strength,
Anon the massy beam with stronger arm
Drive full and fierce. So rolls the swelling sea
Its curly billows to the unmoved foot
Of some huge promontory, whose broad base
Breaks the rough wave; the shiver'd surge rolls back,
Till, by the coming billow borne, it bursts
Again, and foams with ceaseless violence:
The wanderer, on the sunny clift outstretch'd,
Harks to the roaring surges, as they rock
His weary senses to forgetfulness.

But nearer danger threats the invaders now;
For on the ramparts, lower'd from above
The bridge reclines. 148 An universal shout
Rose from the hostile hosts. The exultant Franks
Clamour their loud rejoicing, whilst the foe
Lift up the warning voice, and call aloud
For speedy succourthere, with deafening shout
Cheering their comrades. Not with louder din
The mountain torrent flings precipitate
Its bulk of waters, though amid the fall
Shatterd, and dashing silvery from the rock.

Lo' on the bridge he stands, thre undaunted man,
Conrades the gather'd foes along the wall
Throng opposite, and on him point their pikes,
Cresting with armed men the battlements.

He undismay’d, though on that perilous height,
Stood firm, and hurl’d his javelin; the keen point
Perced through the destined victim, where his arm
lvind the broad breast: a wound which skilful care
Haply had heard; but, him disabled now
Forfarther service, the unpitying throng
of his tumultuous comrades from the wall
Thrust headlong. Nor did Conrade cease to hurl
His deadly javelins fast, for well within
The tower was stored with weapons, to the knight
Quickly supplied: nor did the mission'd Maid
host idle from the combat; she, secure,
Aind the keen quarrel, taught the cross-bow's use
By the willing mind that what it well desires
Gains aptly; nor amid the numerous throng,
Though haply erring from their destined mark,
Sped her sharp arrows frustrate. From the tower
Ceaseless the bow-strings twang : the knights below,
Each by his pavais bulwark'd, thither aimid
Their darts, and not a dart fell woundless there,
So thickly throng'd they stood; and fell as fast
'A', when the monarch of the east goes forth
From Genna's banks and the proud palaces
of Delhi, the wild monsters of the wood
Die in the blameless warfare: closed within

The still-contracting circle, their brute force
| Wasting in mutual rage, they perish there,
Or by each other's fury lacerate,
The archer's barbed arrow, or the lance
Of some bold youth of his first exploits vain,
Rajah or Omrah, for the war of beasts
Venturous, and learning thus the love of blood.

The shout of terror rings along the wall,
For now the French their scaling-ladders place,
And, bearing high their bucklers, to the assault
Mount fearless : from above the furious troops
Hurl down such weapons as inventive care
Or frantic rage supplies: huge stones and beams
Crush the bold foe; some, thrust adown the height,
Fall living to their death; some in keen pangs
And wildly-writhing, as the liquid lead
Gnaws through their members, leap down desperate,
Eager to cease from suffering. Still they mount,
And, by their fellows' fate unterrified,
Still dare the perilous way. Nor dangerless
To the English was the fight, though from above
| Easy to crush the assailants: them amidst
Fast fled the arrows; the brass-wing'd darts, '49
| There driven resistless from the espringal,

Keeping their impulse even in the wound,
Whirl as they pierce the victim. Some fall, crush'd
Beneath the ponderous fragment that descends
The heavier from its height: some the long lance,
Impetuous rushing on its viewless way,
Transfix’d. The death-fraught cannon's thundering
Convulsing air, the soldier's eager shout,
And terror's wild shriek, echo o'er the plain
In dreadful harmony.
Meantime the Chief,
Who equall'd on the bridge the rampart's height,
With many a well-aim'd javelin dealing death,
Made through the throng his passage: he advanced
In wary valour o'er his slaughter'd foes,
On the blood-reeking wall. Him drawing near,
Two youths, the boldest of the English host,
Press'd on to thrust him from that perilous height;
At once they rush’d upon him ; he, his axe
Dropping, the dagger drew : one through the throat
He pierced, and, swinging his broad buckler round,
Dash'd down his comrade. Even thus unmoved,
Stood Corineus, the sire of Guendolen,
When grappling with his monstrous enemy '2"
He the brute vastness held aloft, and bore,
And headlong hurl’d, all shatter'd to the sea,
Down from the rock's high summit, since that day
Him, hugest of the giants, chronicling,
Called Langoemagog.
The Maid of Arc
Bounds o'er the bridge, and to the wind unfurls
Her hallow'd banner. At that welcome sight
A general shout of acclamation rose,
And loud, as when the tempest-tossing forest
Roars to the roaring wind. Then terror seized
The garrison; and, fired anew with hope,
The fierce assailants to their prize rush ou
Resistless. Vainly do their English foes
Hurl there their beams, and stones, and javelins,
And fire-brands; fearless in the escalade,
The assailants mount, and now upon the wall.
Wage cqual battle.
Burning at the sight
With indignation, Glacidas beheld
His troops fly scatterd; fast on every side
The foes up-rushing eager to their spoil;
The holy standard waving ; and the Maid
Fierce in pursuit. ... Speed but this arrow, Heaven!"
The Chief exclaim'd, “ and I shall fall content.”
So saying, he his sharpest quarrel chose,
And fix'd the bow-string, and against the Maid
Levelling, let loose; her arm was raised on high
To smite a fugitive; he glanced aside,
Shunning her deadly stroke, and thus received
The Chieftain's arrow : through his ribs it pass'd,
And cleft that vessel, whence the purer blood
Through many a branching channel o'er the frame
• Fool', the exasperate knight exclaim’d,
« Would she had slain thee! thou hast lived too long.»
Again he aim'd his arbalist: the string
Struck forceful: swift the erring arrow sped
Guiltless of blood, for lightly oler the court
Bounded the warrior Virgin. Glacidas
Levell'd his bow again; the fated shaft
Fled true, and difficultly through the mail

« ZurückWeiter »