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Full sore amazed at the wonderous change,
And frightened, as a child might be, At the wild yell and visage strange,
And the dark words of gramarye, The child, amidst the forest bower, Stood rooted like a lilye flower;
And when at length, with trembling pace, He sought to find where Branksome lay,
He feared to see that grisly face Glare from some thicket on his way. Thus, starting oft, he journeyed on, And deeper in the wood is gone,— For aye the more he sought his way, The farther still he went astray,— Until he heard the mountains round Ring to the baying of a hound. 1 XV.
And hark! and hark! the deep-mouthed bark Comes nigher still, and nigher;
But a rough voice cried, " Shoot not, hoy! Ho! shoot not, Edward—'tis a boy!"
The speaker issued from the wood,
And quelled the ban-dog's ire:
And born in Lancashire. Well could he hit a fallow deer
Five hundred feet him fro; With hand more true, and eye more clear,
No archer bended bow.
Set off his sun-burned face;
His barret-cap did grace;
All in a wolf-skin baldric tied,
His kirtle, made of forest green,
Reached scantly to his knee;
A furbished sheaf bore he;
No longer fence had he;
Would strike below the knee; His slackened bow was in his hand, And the leash, that was his blood-hound's band.
XVIII. He would not do the fair child harm, But held him with his powerful arm, That he might neither fight nor flee; For when the Red-Cross spied he, The boy strove long and violently. "Now, by St George," the archer cries, "Edward, methinks we have a prize!
This boy's fair face, and courage free,
"Yes! I am come of high degree,
For I am the heir of bold Buccleuch; And, if thou dost not set me free,
False Southron, thou shalt dearly rue! For Walter of Harden shall come with speed, And William of Deloraine, good at need, And every Scott from Esk to Tweed; And, if thou dost not let me go, Despite thy arrows, and thy bow, I'll have thee hanged to feed the crow!"—
"Gramercy, for thy good will, fair boy!