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The piercing anguish'd note, the brushing wing,
Mean time the younger victims, one by one,
wings Quivering, as if to fly; his carol ğay Lightening the pale mechanic's tedious task. Poor birds ! most sad the change, - of daisied
fields, Of hawthorn blooming sprays, of boundless air, With melody replete, for clouds of smoke, Through which the daw flies cawing, steeple high ; Or creak of grinding wheels, or skillet tongue, Shrilly reviling, more discordant still.
FRIEND after friend departs :
Who hath not lost a friend ?
That finds not here an end.
Beyond the flight of time,
Beyond this vale of death,
Where life is not a breath,
There is a world above,
Where parting is unknown,
Form’d for the good alone!
Thus star by star declines,
Till all are pass'd away,
To pure and perfect day;
J. MONTGOMERY. THE GLADNESS OF NATURE.
Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When our mother Nature laughs around; When even the deep blue heavens look glad, And gladness breathes from the blossoming
There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and
wren, And the gossip of swallows through all the
sky; The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den,
And the wilding bee hums merrily by.
The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And there they roll on the easy gale. There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,
There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree, There's a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the
flower, And a laugh from the brook that runs to the
And look at the broad-fac'd sun, how he smiles
On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray, On the leaping waters and gay young isles; Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom away.
Oh! gay, yet fearful to behold,
And bristled o'er with bills and spears,
Rode England's king ? and peers :
1 The incident is thus related in Sir W. Scott's History of Scotland, where a most interesting account of the battle is given :
The evening before the battle “ Bruce himself, mounted upon a small horse or pony, was attentively marshalling the ranks of his vanguard. He carried a battle-axe in his hand, and was distinguished to friend and enemy by a golden coronet which he wore on his helmet. A part of the English vanguard made its appearance at this time; and a knight amongst them, Sir Henry de Bohun, conceiving he saw an opportunity of gaining himself much honour and ending the Scottish war at a single blow, couched his lance, spurred his powerful warhorse, and rode against the king at full career, with the expectation of bearing him to the earth by the superior strength of his charger and length of his weapon. The king, aware of his purpose, stood as if expecting the shock; but the instant before it took place, he suddenly moved his little palfrey to the left, avoided the unequal encounter, and striking the English knight with bis battle-axe, as he passed him in his career, he dashed helmet and head to pieces, and laid Sir Henry de Bohun at his feet a dead man. * * * * The Scottish nobles remonstrated with Robert on the hazard in which he placed his person. The king looked at his weapon, and only replied, • I have broken my good battle-axe.'”
· Edward II.
Though light and wandering was his glance, It flash'd at sight of shield and lance. “Know'st thou,” he said, “De Argentine, You knight who marshals thus their line?” “ The tokens on his helmet tell The Bruce, my liege ; I know him well.” “ And shall the audacious traitor brave The presence where our banners wave?” “So please my liege,” said Argentine, “ Were he but hors'd on steed like mine, To give him fair and knightly chance, I would adventure forth lance." “In battle-day," the king replied, “ Nice tourney rules are set aside. Still must the rebel dare our wrath ? Set on him sweep him from our path !” And, at king Edward's signal, soon Dash'd from the ranks Sir Henry Boune. Of Hereford's high blood he came, A race renown'd for knightly fame. He burn'd before his monarch's eye To do some deed of chivalry.
Sir Egidius or Giles de Argentine was one of the most accomplished knights of the period. He had served in the wars of Henry of Luxembourg with such reputation, that he was, in the popular esteem, the third worthy of the age. Those to whom fame assigned precedence over him were, Henry of Luxembourg himself, and Robert Bruce.
Argentine had warred in Palestine, encountered thrice with the Saracens, and had slain two antagonists in each engagement - an easy matter, he said, for one christian knight to slay two pagan dogs. His death corresponded with his high character. With Aylmer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, he was appointed to attend immediately upon the person of Edward II. at Bannockburn. When the day was utterly lost, they forced the king from the field. De Argentine saw the king safe from immediate danger, and then took bis leave of him; “ God be with you, Sir,” he said, “it is not my wont to fly.” So saying, he turned his horse, cried his war-cry, plunged into the midst of the combatants, and was slain.