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“ Let thou and I the battle try,

And set our men aside."
"A coward he,” Lord Percy said,

“ By whom this is denied.”
Then stepp'd a gallant squire forth,

Witherington was his name,
Who said, “I would not have it told

To Henry, our king, for shame,
That e'er my captain fought on foot

And I stood looking on;
Ye be two earls,” said Witherington,

“And I a squire alone :
• I'll do my best, that do I may,

While I have strength to stand;
While I have pow'r to wield my sword,

I'll fight with heart and hand.”

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TIE FIGHT.

Our English archers bent their bows,

Their hearts were good and true;
At the first sight of arrows sent,

Full three score Scots they slew.
Yet bides Earl Douglas on the bent *,

As chieftain stout and good ;
A stalwart captain all unmov'd,

The shock he firmly stood.
And throwing straight their bows away,

They grasp'd their swords so bright,
And now sharp blows, a heavy shower t,

On shields and helmets light! * Bides on the bent, remains on the slope (hillside).

Blows, a heavy shower, = blows rained:

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They closed full fast on ev'ry side,

No slackness was there found; And many a gallant gentleman

Lay gasping on the ground.
In sooth, it was a grief to see,

And likewise for to hear
The cries of men lying in their gore,

And scatter'd here and there.
At last these two stout earls did meet,

Like captains of great might;
Like lions wode*, they laid on loadt,

And made a cruel fight. “ Yield thee, Lord Percy,” Douglas said ;

“ In faith I will thee bring
Where thou shalt high advanced be,

By James our Scottish king:
Thy ransom I will freely give,

And thus report of thee :
Thou art the most courageous knight

That ever I did see.” “No, Douglas," quoth Lord Percy then,

Thy proffer I do scorn ; I will not yield to any

Scot
That ever yet was born."

DEATH AND REVENGE.

With that there came an arrow keen

Out of an English bow, Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart

A deep and deadly blow;

* Wode, enraged, mad.

+ Load, blows.

Who never spoke more words than these:

“Fight on, my merry men all! For why ?—my life is at an end

Lord Percy sees my fall."
Then leaving life, Earl Percy took

The dead man by the hand,
And said, " Earl Douglas, for thy life

Would I had lost my land !"
A knight amongst the Scots there was

Who saw Earl Douglas die,
Who straight in wrath did vow revenge

Upon the Earl Percy':
Sir Hugh Montgomery was he call'd,

Who with a spear most bright,
Well mounted on a gallant steed,

Ran fiercely through the fight;
And pass'd the English archers all,

Without or dread or fear;
And through Earl Percy's body then

He thrust his hateful spear.

THE GRIEF.

Next day did many widows come,

Their husbands to bewail;
They washed their wounds in briny tears,

But all would not avail.
Their bodies, bathed in purple gore,

They bore with them away;
They kissed them dead a thousand times,
When they were clad in clay.

Percy's Reliques.

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FATHER WILLIAM.

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“ You are old, Father William," the young man cried,

“ The few locks which are left you are gray ; You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man

Now tell me the reason, I pray ? " “ In the days of my youth,” Father William replied,

“ I remember'd that youth would fly fast, And abused not my health and my vigor at first,

That I never might want them at last.” “ You are old, Father William," the young man cried,

" And pleasures with youth pass away,
And yet you lament not the days that are gone;
Now tell me the reason,

I
pray

?
“In the days of my youth,” Father William replied,

“I remember'd that youth could not last; I thought of the future, whatever I did,

That I never might grieve for the past." “ You are old, Father William," the young man cried,

“ And life must be hastening away : You are cheerful, and love to converse upon

death

h; Now tell me the

reason,

I
pray

?
"I am cheerful, young man," Father William replied,

" Let the cause thy attention engage; In the days of my youth I remember'd my God; And he hath not forgotten my age ! ”

Southey.

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JOHN GILPIN.

JOHN PROPOSES A WEDDING HOLIDAY, AND THE FAMILY

GO ON BEFOREHAND. JOHN GILPIN was a citizen of credit and renown, A train-band* captain eke f was he, of famous London town. John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear, " Though wedded we

“ have been These twice ten tedious years, yet we no holiday have seen. “ To-morrow is our wedding day, and we will then repair Unto the Bell at Edmonton, all in a chaise and pair.” The morning came, the chaise was brought, but yet was not

allowed To drive up to the door, lest all should say that she was

proud. So three doors off the chaise was stayed, where they did all

get in; Six precious souls, and all agog, to dash through thick and

thin. Smack went the whip, round went the wheels, were never

folks so glad; The stones did rattle-underneath, as if Cheapside were mad.

JOHN GILPIN FOLLOWS ON HORSEBACK. Now see John Gilpin mounted well upon his nimble steed, Full slowly pacing o'er the stones with caution and good

heed.

* Trainband captain, captain of militia. of Eke, also.

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