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“ Your hands are weak with age,” he said,

“Your hearts are stout and true;
So bide ye in the Maiden Town,*

While others fight for you.
My trumpet from the Border-side

Shall send a blast so clear,
That all who wait within the gate

That stirring sound may hear.

7. Or, if it be the will of Heaven

That back I never come,
And if, instead of Scottish shouts,

Ye hear the English drum, —
Then let the warning bells ring out,

Then gird you to the fray,
Then man the walls like burghers & stout,

And fight while fight you may.
'Twere better that in fiery flame

The roof should thunder down,
Than that the foot of foreign foe

Should trample in the town!”

8. Then in came Randolph Murray,

His step was slow and weak,
And as he doffed his dinted helm,

The tears ran down his cheek :
They fell upon his corselet,

And on his mailéd hand,
As he gazed around him wistfully,

Leaning sorely on his brand'.

9. And none who then beheld him

But straight were smote with fear,
For a bolder and a sterner man
Had never couched a spear.

* Edinburgh.

They knew so sad a messenger

Some ghastly news must bring,
And all of them were fathers,

And their sons were with the King.

10. And up then rose the Provost 8 –

A brave old man was he,
Of ancient name, and knightly fame,

And chivalrous degree.

0, woful now was the old man's look,

And he spake right heavily:
“Now, Randolph, tell thy tidings,

However sharp they be!
Woe is written on thy visage ,

Death is looking from thy face:
Speak! though it be of overthrow -

It cannot be disgrace!”

11. Right bitter was the agony

That wrung that soldier proud:
Thrice did he strive to answer,

And thrice he groaned aloud.
Then he gave the riven banner

To the old man's shaking hand,
Saying, “That is all I bring ye

From the bravest of the land!
Ay! ye may look upon it —

It was guarded well and long,
By your brothers and your children,

By the valiant and the strong.
One by one they fell around it,

As the archers laid them low,
Grimly dying, still unconquered,

With their faces to the foe.

12. Ay! ye well may look upon it

There is more than honor there,
Else be sure, I had not brought it

From the field of dark despair.
Never yet was royal banner

Steeped in such a costly dye;
It hath lain upon a bosom

Where no other shroud shall lie.
Sirs ! I charge you, keep it holy,

Keep it as a sacred thing,
For the stain ye see upon it

Was the life-blood of your King!”
13. Woe, woe, and lamentation !

What a piteous cry was there!
Widows, maidens, mothers, children,

Shrieking, sobbing in despair !

14. O, the blackest day for Scotland

That she ever knew before !
O our King! the good, the noble,

Shall we see him never more ?
Woe to us, and woe to Scotland !

O our sons, our sons and men!
Surely some have 'scaped the Southron, *

Surely some will come again ?”
Till the oak that fell last winter

Shall uprear its shattered stem -
Wives and mothers of Dunedin – †

Ye may look in vain for them!

I BĒa con. A fire lighted on a height | 6 CÖRSE'LĘT. A breastplate or light as a signal.

I armor for the fore part of the body. : WÄRD'ER. Keeper ; guard.

7 BRAND. Sword. : HÄR'NESS. Defensive armor ; equip. 8 Prov'ost. The chief or head. In ment of an ancient knight.

Scotland, a provost corresponds to 4 RYV'EN. Torn or rent asunder.

a mayor elsewhere. 6 Bürgh'ęR (bürger). A townsman. | 9 VÝş'ÂGE. Face,

* SOUTU'RỌN. Englishman. † DON-ÉD'IN. Gaelic name for Edinburgh.




(John Dryden, a celebrated English poet, was born in 1631, and died in 1700. He was a voluminous writer, his works comprising tragedies, comedies, satires, didactic poems, narrative poems, odes, and occasional pieces. His is an emia nent name in English literature. No writer is a greater master in the use of the heroic measure, and no one possesses in so high a degree the power of reasoning in verse. He was also a forcible and animated prose writer.

The following scene is from the tragedy of “ All for Love." Mark Antony, a distinguished Roman, despairing of further success in the field, after his defeat at Actium, gives himself up to inglorious ease. Ventidius is one of his generals. Octavius Cæsar (afterwards the Emperor Augustus) has taken up arms against Antony. Cleopatra is the Queen of Egypt, for whom Antony has abandoned his wife Octavia, the sister of Octavius Cæsar.)

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Antony. Art thou Ventidius ?

Are you Antony ?
I'm liker what I was, than you to him
I left you last.

I'm angry.
Ven. So am I.

I would be private: leave me.
Ven. Sir, I love you,
And therefore will not leave you.

Ant. Will not leave me!
Where have you learnt that answer? Who am I?

Ven. My Emperor: the man I love next Heaven.
If I said more, I think 'twere scarce a sin;
You're all that's good and noble.

All that's wretched,
You will not leave me, then ?

'Twas too presuming
To say I would not: but I dare not leave you;
And 'tis unkind in you to chide me hence
So soon, when I so far have come to see you.

Ant. Now thou hast seen me, art thou satisfied ?

For, if a friend, thou hast beheld enough;
And, if a foe, too much.

Ven. Look, Emperor, this is no common dew :
I have not wept these forty years; but now
My mother comes afresh into my eyes;
I cannot help her softness.

Ant. Sure there's contagion in the tears of friends;
See, I have caught it too. Believe me, 'tis not
For my own griefs, but thine — nay, father —

Ven. Emperor.

Ant. Emperor! why that's the style of victory.
The conquering soldier, red with unfelt wounds,
Salutes his general so: but never more
Shall that sound reach my ears.
I lost a battle.

Ven. So has Julius * done.
Ant. Thou favor’st me, and speak’st not half thou

For Julius fought it out, and lost it fairly:
But Antony

Ven. Nay, stop not.

Antony —
(Well, thou wilt have it) — like a coward fled,
Fled while his soldiers fought; fled first, Ventidius.
Thou long'st to curse me, and I give thee leave.
I know thou cam’st prepared to rail.

I did.
Ant. I'll help thee — I have been a man, Ventidius.
Ven. Yes, and a brave one: but-

I know thy meaning. But I have lost my reason, have disgraced The name of soldier, with inglorious ease. In the full vintage 2 of my flowing honors Sate still, and saw it pressed by other hands.

* Julius Cæsar.

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