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BERNARDO AND KING ALPHONSO.

129

1 Vintage, wine.
2 Flora, the goddess of flowers, and

hence the flowers themselves.
3 Provençal song, the song of the vine-

dressers in Provence. 4 Beaker, a drinking-bowl. 6 Hippocrene, a fountain at the foot of

Mount Helicon in Boeotia. The Muses frequented the spot, and bestowed their sacred favours on all who drank of the limpid waters.

6 Charioted by Bacchus and his pards,

conveyed by the wine-god in a chariot drawn by panthers. Bacchus is represented, in classical mythology, as drawn by tigers,

lions, lynxes, or panthers. 7 Fays, fairies, elves. 8 Requiem, a dirge or hymn sung

for the dead, 9 Through the sad heart of Ruth. See

the beautiful Scripture narrative in the book of Ruth.

BERNARDO AND KING ALPHONSO.

With some good ten of his chosen men,

Bernardo hath appeared,
Before them all in the palace hall,

The lying king to beard.1
With

cap

in hand and eye on ground,
He came in reverent guise ;
But ever and anon he frowned,

And flame 2 broke from his eyes.

A curse upon thee,' cries the king,

Who com'st unbid to me!
But what from traitor's blood should spring,

Save traitor like to thee ?-
His sire, lords, had a traitor's heart-

Perchance our champion brave
May think it were a pious part

To share Don Sancho's grave.'
“Whoever told this tale, the king

Hath rashness to repeat,'
Cries Bernard ; 'here iny gage 3 I fling

Before the liar's feet.
No treason was in Sancho's blood-

No stain in mine doth lie :
Below the throne, what knight will own

The coward calumny?

I

130

BERNARDO AND KING ALPHONSO.

* Ye swore upon your kingly faith

To set Don Sancho free;
But, curse upon your paltering breath!

The light he ne'er did see:
He died in dungeon cold and dim,

By Alphonso's base decree ;
And visage blind, and mangled limb,

Were all they gave to me.

The king that swerveth from his word,

Hath stained his purple black :
No Spanish lord shall draw his sword

Behind a liar's back.
But noble vengeance shall be mine ;

And open hate I 'll shew;
The king hath injured Carpio's line,

And Bernard is his foe!'

'Seize—seize him !’ loud the king doth scream :

There are a thousand here ;
Let his foul blood this instant stream;
What ! caitiffs, 4 do

ye

fear ?
Seize-seize the traitor !' But not one

To move a finger dareth :
Bernardo standeth by the throne,

And calm his sword he bareth.

He drew the falchion from its sheath,

And held it up on high ;
And all the hall was still as death!

Cries Bernard : “Here am I;
And here's the sword that owns no lord,

Excepting Heaven and me:
Fain would I know who dares its point-

King, condé,5 or grandee.'6

Then to his mouth his horn he drew

It hung below his cloak;
His ten true men the signal knew,

And through the ring they broke.

With helm on head, and blade in hand,

The knights the circle brake,
And back the lordlings 'gan to stand,

And the false king to quake.
“Ha! Bernard !' quoth Alphonso,

What means this warlike guise ?
Ye know full well I jested ;

Ye know your worth I prize!'
But Bernard turned upon his heel,

And, smiling, passed away.
Long rued Alphonso and Castile
The jesting of that day !

J. G. Lockhart.

1 Beard, to reprove face to face.
2 Flame, anger.
3 Gage, challenge.

4 Caitiffs, cowards.
5 Condé, count or earl.
6 Grandee, a Spanish nobleman.

BATTLE OF THE LEAGUE. 1 Oh ! how our hearts were beating, when, at the dawn of day, We saw the army of the League drawn out in long array ; With all its priest-led citizens, and all its rebel peers, And Appenzel's stout infantry, and Egmont's Flemish spears. 2 There rode the brood of false Lorraine, the curses of our land ! And dark Mayenne 4 was in the midst, a truncheon in his

hand ; And, as we looked on them, we thought of Seine's empurpled

flood, And good Coligni's 5 hoary hair all dabbled with his blood; And we cried unto the living Power who rules the fate of

war, To fight for His own holy name, and Henry of Navarre ! The king is come to marshal us, all in his armour drest ; And he has bound a snow-white plume upon his gallant crest. He looked upon his people, and a tear was in his eye ; He looked upon the traitors, and his glance was stern and

high.

132

BATTLE OF THE LEAGUE.

Right graciously he smiled on us, as rolled, from wing to

wing, Down all our line, a deafening shout, ‘Long live our lord the

King.'— "And if my standard-bearer fall, as fall full well he mayFor never saw I promise yet of such a bloody frayPress where you see my white plume shine, amidst the ranks

of war,

And be your oriflamme, to-day, the helmet of Navarre.'

10

Hurrah! the foes are moving! Hark to the mingled din
Of fife, and steed, and trump, and drum, and roaring culverin ! 7
The fiery Duke is speeding fast across St André's 8 plain,
With all the hireling chivalry of Guelders 9 and Almayne. 1
Now, by the lips of those ye love, fair gentlemen of France,
Charge-for the golden lilies now-upon thein with the

lance !' A thousand spurs are striking deep, a thousand spears in rest, A thousand knights are pressing close behind the snow-white

crest ;

And in they burst, and on they rushed, while, like a guiding

star, Amidst the thickest carnage blazed the helmet of Navarre.

Now, Heaven be praised, the day is ours! Mayenne hath

turned his rein. D'Aumale hath cried for quarter. The Flemish Count is

slain. Their ranks are breaking like thin clouds before a Biscay

gale; The field is heaped with bleeding steeds, and flags, and cloven

mail. And then we thought on vengeance; and all along our van * Remember St Bartholomew !'11 was passed from man to

man ; But out spake gentle Henry : 'No Frenchman is my foe:

down with every foreigner, but let your brethren go.' Oh! was there ever such a knight, in friendship or in war, As our sovereign lord, King Henry, the soldier of Navarre !

Ho! maidens of Vienna! Ho! matrons of Lucerne ! 12
Weep, weep, and rend your hair, for those who never shall

return. Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexican pistoles, 13 That Antwerp 14 monks may sing a mass for thy poor

spearmen's souls ! Ho! gallant nobles of the League, look that your arms be

bright! Ho! burghers of St Genevieve,15 keep watch and ward to-

night! For our God hath crushed the tyrant, our God hath raised the

slave, And mocked the counsel of the wise, and the valour of the

brave.Then glory to His holy name, from whom all glories are ; And glory to our sovereign lord, King Henry of Navarre !

Macaulay.

1 Battle of the League. During the reign

of Henry III. of France, the Roman Catholics formed a league for the extermination of the Huguenots from that country. Henry, Duke of Guise, headed the League, while Henry, king of Navarre, became the acknowledged leader of the Protestants. On the death of Henry III., the crown of France devolved on the king of Navarre, under the title of Henry IV. But he had still to contend with the Leaguers, who met him, with the Duke of Mayenne at their head, in the celebrated fields of Arques and Ivry. The battle of Ivry was the crisis of the struggle. The army of the League was totally defeated, and the Huguenots triumphed. This victory was gained eighteen years after the

Massacre of St Bartholomew. 2 Appenzel's stout infantry, and Egmont's

Flemish spears. Swiss Catholics joined the League, and several troops from the Low Countries were led by Count Egmont.

3 Brood of false Lorraine. Lorraine was

brother of the Duke of Guise, and as inveterate in his hatred of the

Protestants. 4 Mayenne was another brother of Guise,

and after the assassination of the latter became Lieutenant-general of France, and leader of the

Catholics.
5 Coligni's hoary hair. Gaspard de

Coligni, better known as Admiral
Coligny, was one of the noblest
champions in the struggles of the
Huguenots for religious liberty.
In the Massacre of St Bartholo-

mew he was the first victim.
6 Oriflamme, the ancient royal standard

of France. 7 Culverin, an old kind of cannon. 8 St André's plain, the battle-field. 9 Guelders, a province of the Nether

lands from which many mercenary

troops had been levied. 10 Almayne, Germany, from Allemanni,

the ancient name of the confederate

tribes. 11 Remember St Bartholomew! The re

membrance of that bloody Sunday

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