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Dark rolling like the ocean-tide,
When the rough west hath chafed his pride,
And his deep roar sends challenge wide

To all that bars his way!
In front the gallant archers trode,
The men-at-arms behind them rode,
And midmost of the phalanx broad

The Monarch held his sway.
Beside him many a war-horse fumes,
Around him waves a sea of plumes,

In a schiltrum. But whether it was
Through the great straitness of the place
That they were in, to bide fighting;
Or that it was for abaysing ; ?
I wete not. But in a schiltrum
It seemed they were all and some;
Out ta'en the vaward anerly,"
That right with a great company,
Be them selwyn, arrayed were.
Who had been by, might have seen there
That folk ourtake a mekill feild
On breadth, where many a shining shield,
And many a burnished bright armour,
And many a man of great valour,
Might in that great schiltrum be seen:
And many a bright banner and sheen.”

BARBOUR's Bruce, vol. ii. p. 137. 1 Schiltrum.-This word has been variously limited or extended in its signifi. cation, In general, it seems to imply a large body of men drawn up very closely together. But it has been limited to imply a round or circular body of men so drawn up. I cannot understand it with this limitation in the present case. The schiltrum of the Scottish army at Falkirk was undoubtedly of a cir. cular form, in order to resist the attacks of the English cavalry, on whatever quarter they might be charged. But it does not appear how, or why, the English, advancing to the attack at Bannockburn, should have arrayed themselves in a circular form. It seems more probable, that, by Schiltrum in the present case, Barbour means to express an irregular mass into which the English army was compressed by the unwieldiness of its numbers, and the carelessness or ignorance of its leaders, 2 Frightening.

9 Alone. Vol. V. -18

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Where many a knight in battle known,
And some who spurs had first braced on,
And deem'd that fight should see them won,

King Edward's hests obey.
De Argentine attends his side,
With stout De Valence, Pembroke's pride,
Selected champions from the train,
To wait upon his bridle-rein.
Upon the Scottish foe he gazed –
- At once, before his sight amazed,

Sunk banner, spear, and shield;
Each weapon-point is downward sent,
Each warrior to the ground is bent.
“ The rebels, Argentine, repent !

For pardon they have kneeld.”—
Ay!— but they bend to other powers,
And other pardon sue than ours !
See where yon barefoot Abbot stands,
And blesses them with lifted hands !
Upon the spot where they have kneeld,
These men will die, or win the field.”.
_" Then prove we if they die or win!
Bid Gloster's Earl the fight begin.”

1« Maurice, abbot of Inchaffray, placing himself on an eminence, celebrated mass in sight of the Scottish army. He then passed along the front, bare-footed, and bearing a crucifix in his hands, and exhorting the Scots in few and forcible words, to combat for their rights and their liberty. The Scots kneeled down. • They yield,' cried Edward ; see, they implore mercy.' - They do,' answered Ingelram de Umfraville, . but not ours. On that field they will be victorious, or die.'” - Annals of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 47.

XXII.
Earl Gilbert waved his truncheon high,

Just as the Northern ranks arose,
Signal for England's archery

To halt and bend their bows. Then stepp'd each yeoman forth a pace, Glanced at the intervening space,

And raised his left hand high; To the right ear the cords they bring — - At once ten thousand bow-strings ring,

Ten thousand arrows fly! Nor paused on the devoted Scot The ceaseless fury of their shot ;

As fiercely and as fast, Forth whistling came the grey-goose wing As the wild hailstones pelt and ring

Adown December's blast. Nor mountain targe of tough bull-hide, Nor lowland mail, that storm may bide ; Woe, woe to Scotland's banner'd pride,

If the fell shower may last ! Upon the right, behind the wood, Each by his steed dismounted, stood

The Scottish chivalry ;With foot in stirrup, hand on mane, Fierce Edward Bruce can scarce restrain His own keen heart, his eager train, Until the archers gain'd the plain ;

Then, “Mount, ye gallants free!” He cried; and, vaulting from the ground, His saddle every horseman found. On high their glittering crests they toss, As springs the wild-fire from the moss;

The shield hangs down on every breast,
Each ready lance is in the rest,

And loud shouts Edward Bruce,
“Forth, Marshal, on the peasant foe!
We'll tame the terrors of their bow,
And cut the bow-string loose !"

XXIII. Then spurs were dash'd in chargers' flanks, They rush'd among the archer ranks. No spears were there the shock to let, No stakes to turn the charge were set, And how shall yeoman's armour slight Stand the long lance and mace of might? Or what may their short swords avail, 'Gainst barbed horse and shirt of mail ? Amid their ranks the chargers sprung, High o'er their heads the weapons swung, And shriek and groan and vengeful shout Give note of triumph and of rout! Awhile, with stubborn hardihood, Their English hearts the strife made good; Borne down at length on every side, Compellid to flight they scatter wide. Let stags of Sherwood leap for glee, And bound the deer of Dallom-Lee! The broken bows of Bannock's shore Shall in the greenwood ring no more! Round Wakefield's merry may-pole now, The maids may twine the summer bough, May northward look with longing glance, For those that wont to lead the dance,

*[See Appendix, Note Z.]

For the blithe archers look in vain!
Broken, dispersed, in flight o'erta'en,
Pierced through, trod down, by thousands slain,
They cumber Bannock's bloody plain.

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The King with scorn beheld their flight.
"Are these," he said, “our yeomen wight?
Each braggart churl could boast before,
Twelve Scottish lives his baldric bore !
Fitter to plunder chase or park,
Than make a manly foe their mark.-
Forward, each gentleman and knight!
Let gentle blood show generous might,
And chivalry redeem the fight!"
To rightward of the wild affray,
The field show'd fair and level way;

But, in mid-space, the Bruce's care

1

Roger Ascham quotes a similar Scottish proverb, “whereby they give the whole praise of shooting honestly to Englishmen, saying thus, that every English archer beareth under his girdle twenty-four Scottes.' Indeed Toxophilus says before, and truly of the Scottish nation, “The Scottes surely be good men of warre in theyre owne feates as can be; but as for shootinge, they can neither use it to any profite, nor yet challenge it for any praise.'” - Works of Ascham, edited by Bennet, 4to, p. 110.

It is said, I trust incorrectly, by an ancient English historian, that the “good Lord James of Douglas” dreaded the superiority of the English archers so much, that when he made any of them prisoner, he gave him the option of losing the forefinger of his right hand, or his right eye, either species of mutilation rendering him incapable to use the bow. I have mislaid the reference to this singular passage.

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