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Sir Charles Murray of Ratcliff, too-
Sir David Lamb, so well esteemed,
And the Lord Maxwell in like case
Of fifteen hundred Englishmen,
Next day did many widows come,
They washed their wounds in brinish tears,
Their bodies, bathed in purple blood,
They kissed them dead a thousand times,
The news was brought to Edinburgh,
"Oh heavy news," King James did
I have not any captain more
Of such account as he."
1 Clad in clay: buried.
Like tidings to King Henry came
Within as short a space,
That Percy of Northumberland
"Now God be with him," said our king,
I trust I have within my realm
"Yet shall not Scots or Scotland
But I will vengeance take:
For brave Earl Percy's sake."
This vow full well the king performed
In one day fifty knights were slain,
And of the best, of small account,
Thus endeth the hunting of Chevy-Chase,
God save the king, and bless this land,
And grant, henceforth, that foul debate 2
1 Humbledown: Humbleton, Northumberland, England. Here the Eng
lish gained a great victory over the Scotch in 1402.
2 Debate: contest.
THE BALLAD OF AGINCOURT.1
FAIR stood the wind for France,
When we our sails advance,
Nor now to prove our chance
Longer will tarry;
But putting to the main,2
At Kaux, the mouth of Seine,
And taking many a fort,
Marched towards Agincourt
1 Agincourt (Ah-zhan-koor'): to divert the attention of his people from dangerous political questions at home, and also to gratify hopes of conquest, Henry V. of England began a war with France in 1415. The battle of Agincourt was fought that year. It gets its name from the little village of Agincourt, in the Department of Calais, about forty miles southwest of that port.
The French greatly outnumbered Henry's forces; but the English had the good fortune to be able to use their bowmen to the best possible advantage, as a hard rain had fallen the night before, and the heavily armed French troops could with difficulty get over the muddy ploughed land.
The English king gained a great victory, and went back to London in triumph. Later he renewed the war, and obtained the hand of the French princess Katherine in marriage, and the promise of the crown of France on the death of Charles VI., her father, who was then insane, and in feeble health.
2 To the main: to sea. 8 Kaux (Kō).
Skirmishing day by day
With those that stopped his way,
Which in his height of pride,
To the king sending;
And turning to his men,
Yet have we well begun
Have ever to the sun
By fame been raised.
And for myself, quoth he,
Victor I will remain,
Or on this earth lie slain;
Never shall she sustain
Loss to redeem me.
1 Ransom: it was the custom then for the victors to extort heavy ran soms from all prisoners of rank taken in war. The French king demands Henry's ransom in advance of the battle by way of deriding his power.
1 Poitiers and Cressy: two famous battles fought by the English in France in 1356 and 1346, in both of which the English gained decisive victories. The French pronunciation of Poitiers is nearly Pwi'-te-a'.
2 Grandsire: Edward III. of England, who gained the victory of Cressy. He claimed the throne of France.
8 Lilies: the lilies or fleur-de-lis on the arms of France.
4 Vaward: vanward, front.
5 Main: main body of troops. According to some early accounts Henry had only six or seven thousand soldiers to fifty thousand of the enemy. 6 Henchmen: followers.
7 Excester (Exe Cester or Exe Chester; meaning the fortified place on the river Exe, in Devonshire, in the southwest of England, the modern Exeter): Sir Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, one of Henry's chief men.