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REFLECTIONS ON LIFE-CHEVY CHACE.

21

Reflections on Life.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle !
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour

upon
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

the stage,

The Ballad of Chevy Chace.'
Supposed to have been written about A.D. 1600.
HEAVEN prosper long our noble king,

Our lives and safetyes all!
A woeful hunting once there did

In Chevy Chace befall.
To drive the deere with hound' and horne

Erle Percy took his way:
The child may rue that is unborne

The hunting of that day,
The stout Erle of Northumberland

A vow he once did make,
His pleasure in the Scottish woods

Three summer days to take;
The cheefest harts in Chevy Chace

To kill and beare away.
These tydings to Erle Douglas came,

In Scotland where he lay : 1 Chevy Chace, or Cheviot Chace, a preserve for game on the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland.

Who sent Erle Percy present word,

He would prevent his sport.
The English erle, not fearing that,

Did to the woods resort,

With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,

All chosen men of might,
Who knew full well in time of neede

To ayme their shafts arright.

The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran,

To chase the fallow-deere :
On Munday they began to hunt,

When daylight did appeare ;

And long before high noone they had

An hundred fat buckes slaine ; Then having dined, the drovyers went

To rouze the deere againe.

The bowmen muster'd on the hills,

Well able to endure;
And all their reare, with speciall care,

That day was guarded sure.

The hounds ran swiftly through the woods,

The nimble deere to take,
That with their cryes the hills and dales

An eccho shrill did make.

Lord Percy to the quarry went,

To view the slaughter'd deere; Quoth he, “ Erle Douglas promised

This day to meet me heere;

But if I thought he would not come,

Noe longer would I stay.""
With that, a brave younge gentleman

Thus to the erle did say:

THE BALLAD OF CHEVY CHACE.

23

“Loe, yonder doth Erle Douglas come,

His men in armour bright;
Full twenty hundred Scottish speres

All marching in our sight;
All men of pleasant Tivydale,

Fast by the river Tweede.” “ Then cease your sports,” Erle Percy said,

“And take your bowes with speede:

And now with me, my countrymen,

Your courage forth advance;
For never was there champion yett,

In Scottland or in France,

That ever did on horsebacke come,

But if my hap it were,
I durst encounter man for man,
With him to break a spere.”

Erle Douglas on his milke-white steede,

Most like a baron bold,
Rode foremost of his company,

Whose armour shone like gold.

“Show me,” sayd hee, “whose men you bee,

That hunt soe boldly heere; That without my consent do chase

And kill my fallow-deere.”

The first man that did answer make

Was noble Percy he,
Who sayd, “Wee list not to declare

Nor show whose men wee bee;

Yet will we spend our deerest blood,

Thy cheefest harts to slay.”
Then Douglas swore a solemne oathe,

And thus in rage did say,—

“ Ere thus I will out-braved bee,

One of us two shall dye :
I know thee well, an erle thou art :

Lord Percy, soe am I.
But trust me, Percy, pittye it were,

And great offence, to kill
Any of these our guiltlesse men,

For they have done no ill.
Let thou and I the battell trye,

And set our men aside.” “Shame on the man,” Erle Percy sayd,

“By whome this is denyed." Then stept a gallant squier forth,

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

To Henry our king for shame,
That e'er my captaine fought on foote,

And I stood looking on. You two bee erles," quo’l Witherington,

“And I a squier alone: Ile doe the best that doe I may,

While I have power to stand ; While I have power to weeld my sword,

Ile fight with heart and hand.” Our English archers bent their bowes,

Their hearts were good and trew; Att the first flight of arrowes sent,

Full four-score Scots they slew. Yet bides Erle Douglas on the bent,

As chieftain stout and good ; As valiant captain, all unmoved

The shock he firmly stood.

I said.

THE BALLAD OF CHEVY CHACE.

25

His host he parted had in three,

As leader warel and try'd ;
And soon his spearmen on their foes

Bare down on' every side.
Throughout the English archery

They dealt full many a wound:
But still our valiant Englishmen

All firmly kept their ground;
And throwing strait their bowes away,

They grasp'd their swords so bright;
And now sharp blows, a heavy shower,

On shields and helmets light. They closed full fast on everye side,

Noe slacknes there was found; And many a gallant gentleman

Lay gasping on the ground.
Alack ! it was a griefe to see

How each one chose his spere,
And how the blood out of their brests

Did gush like water cleere.
At last these two stout erles did meet,

Like captaines of great might;
Like lyons wode,2 they layd on lode,

And made a cruell fight :
They fought untill they both did sweat,

With swords of temper’d steele;
Untill the blood, like drops of rain,

They trickling downe did feele.
“Yeeld thee, Lord Percy,” Douglas sayd;

In faith I will thee bringe
Where thou shalt high advanced bee
By James our Scottish king:
1 cautious.

mad.

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