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And my hour has sounded; never more shall Richard
in career Of wild onset bear the bravest down like chaff before
his spear ! Never more upon his war-horse crush the ranks of
battle joined, Victory and flight before him, with a cloven path
behind! Raise me, that I sit erected as within my chair of
state, Place my battle-axe beside me, that I lean upon its
weight, Set the crown upon my forehead, so I look the monarch
still : Now the prisoner bring before me, that he hear my
There was silence in the presence, stillness by the
tempest nursed, Ere is heard the awakening thunder ; you might
hear the sighs that burst From the knights, their rough eyes tearful, watching
in that mortal hour; How before great Death the hero yielding owns the
infant's power! You might hear the breezes sighing through the tent
as morning came, . Like a welcome balm, and soothing all but fever's
cheek of flame! And the clank of prisoners' chains advancing, grated
harshly near, As De Guerdon entering slowly stood before the
monarch's bier. Though the keen blades of the Provost's axes glitter
ing on him turned, And the centering eyes of warriors in their sullen
wrath that burned,
All unmoved that sallow visage, and cold eye that like a
snake In its gathered coils is watching the doomed victim
from its brake; In that steadfast glance the monarch felt the fascination
shown Of the iron will and nature as unconquered as his own; And a sense of awe and shuddering in each mail-clad
knight awoke, As the low deep tones of Richard thrilling on that silence broke.
IX. " Seest thou thy work, Sir Archer ? what the answer
thou dost plead ? Thou, who crouched beneath the rampart, stoodst
apart to do this deed ? Have I injured thee, who laidest thus in wait to seek
my life Ere the assault of arms was rendered, or begun the
morrow's strife ? What fiend tempted thee to murder ? Feel'st thou not
thy conscience' stings ? Thou who with thy hand accursèd shedd'st the sacred
blood of kings !" “ Tyrant! in the deed I glory that hath dealt the
death I see; Thưu didst slay my sire and brethren-I have 'venged
their deaths on thee; Wreak thy tortures, for I mock them—thou shalt
rack these limbs in vain : I shall die content and happy, for I know thou first
art slain! That thou never from that pallet shall arise to plague
the world ! ” Scarce he uttered—from each warrior's hand restraint
was thread-like hurled : Baldwin's giant stride is forward, and his iron mace is
High in air red Mortmar's dagger wildly from its
sheath hath flown, And the double-handed faulchion gleams in Lacy's
hand of death : For a moment paused each champion, and withheld his
'bated breath, And across his shoulder gazing on the King—his step
withdrew Back recoiling from the presence of the power that
they knew! Like a statue sate the monarch, with raised arm, and
eye whose glare Between life and death was watchful of the deed im
pending there; Pointing with the regal gesture that contending kings
obeyed, That be lowered each brandished weapon, and each forward foot be stayed.
x. "Hold !-do ye forget your homage ?--that the monarch
still commands ? Back, on your allegiance-justice deals not with blood
reeking hands : Well I know your faith and fealty: Archer brave,
thou know'st not fear, Thou hast spoken out, though rashly—the award of
Richard hear : Strike his chains from off him ! let him from our
presence go forth free! More—a hundred marks in gold be weighed to him
with liberty; Hence! nor parley : thou art present but to hear our
last decree: Thou and all shalt own that Richard in his death was
just to thee!
“ Ha! I faint there comes a darkness-Marchandès !
- give word the fight
Wait till daybreak; when we conquer, be it in God's
open light, Hark! the roar of combat deepens, and the war-cries
gather near, Saladin is in the battle, and I lie bedridden here ! Helm and shield and hauberk bring me, that I meet
him in the fight : Onward ! with the Red Cross blazing--they are broken
and in flight! Peace again, for I am weary, I would sleep!”—his arm
upraised Nerveless sunk upon the pillow, and his fixing eye-balls
glazed ; And the heavy crown unseated, glided from his droop
ing head, And his war-axe fell unheeded, then they knew the king was dead!
PRINCE ARTHUR AND HUBERT.
SHAKSPEARE. Hubert. Heat me these irons hot; and, look thou,
.stand Within the arras; when I strike my foot Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, Fast to the chair. Be heedful. Hence, and watch. First Attendant. I hope your warrant will bear out
the deed. Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you; look to't.
[Exeunt ATTENDANTS. Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.
Good morrow, little prince,
Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Mercy on me!
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate, He will awake my mercy, which lies dead; Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [A side.
Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? You look pale to-day; In sooth, I would you were a little sick, That I might sit all night and watch with you. I warrant I love you more than you do me.
Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom. Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a Paper.
How now, foolish rheum! [A side. Turning dispiteous torture out of door! I must be brief, lest resolution drop Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears.Can you not read it ? is it not fair writ?
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect.
Hub. Young boy, I must.
And will you ?
And I will. Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did
but ache, I knit my handkerchief about your brows (The best I had, a princess wrought it me),