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The bow-men mufter'd on the hill,
Well able to endure.
Their backfides all with fpecial care,
That day were guarded fure.
The hounds ran fwiftly thro' the wood,
The nimble deer to take;
And with their cries the hills and dales
An eccho fhrill did make.
Earl Piercy to the quarry went,
To view the tender deer;
Quoth he, Earl Douglas promised
This day to meet me here:
But if I thought he would not come,
No longer would I ftay.
With that a brave young gentleman
Thus to the Earl did fay:
Lo yonder doth Lord Douglas come,
His men in armour bright,
Full fifteen hundred Scottish spears,
All marching in our fight;
All pleafant men of Teviotdale,
Dwell by the river Tweed.
Then ceafe your fports, Earl Piercy faid,
And take your bows with fpeed.
And now with me my countrymen,
Your courage to advance;
For there was ne'er a champion yet,
In Scotland or in France,
That ever did on horfe-back come,
But if my hap it were,
I durft encounter man for man
With him to break a fpear.
Lord Douglas on milk-white steed,
Moft like a baron bold,
Rode foremost of the company,
Whose armour 'fhin'd like gold.
Shew me (faid he) whofe men you be,.
That hunt, fo boldly here,
That, without my confent, do chace
And kill my fallow-deer.
The firft man that did answer make,
was noble Piercy he,
Who faid, We lift not to declare,
Nor fhew whofe men we be;
Yet we will spend our dearest blood,
The choiceft harts to flay.
Then Douglas fwore a folemn oath,
And thus in rage did fay,.
Ere thus I will outbraved be,
One of us two fhall die.
I know thee well, an Earl thou art,
Lord Piercy, fo am I.
But trust me, Piercy, pity it were,
And great offence to kill
Any of thofe our harmless men;
For they have done no ill :
Let thee and me the battle try,
And fet our men afide.
Accurft be he, faid Earl Piercy,.
By whom this is denied.
Then fteps a gallant Squire forth,
Witherington by name;
Who faid, He would not have it told
To Henry, his King, for fhame,
That ere my captain fought on foot,.
And I ftood looking on.
You be two Earls faid Witherington,
And I a Squire alone......
I'll do the beft that I may do,
While I have power to ftand;
While I have power to wield my fword,
I'll fight with heart and, hand.
Our Scottish archers bent their bows,
Their hearts were good and true;
At the first flight of arrows fent,
Full fourfcore English flew.
To drive the deer with hound and horn,.
Douglas bade on the bent,
A captain mov'd with meikle pride;
The fpears in fhivers went.
They clos'd full faft on every side,
No flacknefs there was found;
And many a gallant gentleman
Lay gafping on the ground.
O but it was a grief to fee,
And likewife for to hear,
The cries of men lying in their gore,
Were fcatter'd here and there!
At laft, thefe two ftout Earls did meet,
Like chiftains of great might;
Like lions mov'd, they fear'd no lord,
And made a cruel fight.
They fought until they both did fweat,
With fwords of temp'red fteel,
Until the blood, like drops of rain,
They trickling down did feel.
Yield thee, Lord Piercy, Douglas faid,
In faith I will thee bring
Where thou shalt high advanced be,.
By James, our Scottish King.
Thy ranfom I will freely give,
And this report of thee,
Thou art the most couragious knight
That ever I did fee.
No, Douglas, quoth Lord Piercy then,
Thy profer I do fcorn.
I will not yield to any Scot
That ever yet was born..
With that there came an arrow keen,
Out of an English bow,
Which ftruck Lord Douglas to the heart
A deep and deadly blow;
Who never spake more words than these,
Fight on my merry men all;
For why, my life is at an end.
Lord Piercy fees me fall.
Then, leaving life, Lord Piercy took.
The dead man by the hand,
And faid, Lord Douglas, for thy life.
Would I had loft my land.
Oh but my very heart doth bleed.
With forrow for thy fake:
For fure a more renowned knight
Mifchance did never take.
A knight among the Scots there was,
Which faw Earl Douglas die ;
Who ftraight, in wrath, did vow revenge
Upon the Earl Piercy.
Sir Hugh Montgomery was he call'd,.
Who, with a fpear full bright,
Well mounted on a gallant fteed,
Ran fiercely thro' the fight.
He pafs'd the English archers all,
Without all dread or fear,
And through Earl Piercy's body then,.
He thrust his hateful fpear:
With fuch a vehement force and might,
It did his body gore,
The fpear ran through the other fide,
A large cloth-yard and more.
So thus did both thefe nobles die,
Whofe courage none could stain.
An English archer then perceiv'd
His noble Lord was flain;
He had a bow bent in his hand,
Made of a trufty tree,
An arrow of a cloth-yard's length,
Unto the head drew he;
Against Sir Hugh Montgomery then,
So right his haft he fet,
The grey-goofe wing that was thereon,
In his heart-blood was wet.
This fight did laft from break of day
Till fetting of the fun;
For when they rang the evening bell, - The battle fcarce was done.
With the Lord Piercy there were flain
Sir John of Ogerton,
Sir Robert Ratcliff and Sir John,
Sir James that bold baron;
Sir George, and alfo good Sir Hugh,
Both knights of good account;
Good Sir Ralph Roby there was flain,
Whofe prowess did furmount.
For Witherington L needs muft wail,
As one in doleful dumps:
For when his legs were fmitten off,
He fought ftill on his ftumps.
And with Earl Douglas there were flain-
Sir Hugh Montgomery;
Sir Charles Murray, that from the field,.
One foot would never flee;
Sir Charles Murray of Ratcliff too,
His fifter's fon was he;.
Sir David Lamb fo well efteem'd,
Yet faved could not be ;
And the Lord Maxwel in likewise
Did with Earl Douglas die.-
Of fifteen hundred Scottish fpears
Went home but, fifty three :.