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Speed hence, my liege, for on your trace
I know his banner well.
Once more, my liege, farewell!"
Again he faced the battle-field,— Wildly they fly, are slain, or yield. "Now then," he said, and couched his spear, "My course is run :—the goal is near One effort more, one brave career,
Must close this race of mine!" Then in his stirrups rising high, He shouted loud his battle-cry,
"Saint James for Argentine!"
And, of the bold pursuers, four
An axe has razed his crest:
He rode with spear in rest,
And through his gallant breast.
And swung his broad-sword round! —Stirrup, steel-boot, and cuish gave way Beneath that blow's tremendous sway,—
The blood gushed from the wound; And the grim Lord of Oolonsay
Hath turned him on the ground.
Now toiled the Bruce, the battle done,
And gave command for horse and spear
Fell faintly on his ear!
The wounded knight drew near.
The effort was in vain!
He stumbled on the plain.
"Lord Earl, the day is thine!
Yet this may Argentine,
Bruce pressed his dying hand:—its grasp
It stiffened and grew cold;—
The arm in battle bold,
Sis Walter Soott. MISERIES OF ROYALTY.
O Hard condition, twin-born with greatness,
Subject to the breath of every fool,
Whose sense no more can feel but his own wringing!
What infinite heart's-ease must kings neglect,
That private men enjoy!
And what have kings that privates have not too,
Save ceremony, save general ceremony 1
And what art thou, thou idol ceremony 1
What kind of god art thou, that sufFrest more
Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers t
What are thy rents 1 what are thy comings in 1
O ceremony, show me but thy worth!
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men 1
Wherein thou art less happy being feared
Than they in fearing.
What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poisoned flattery? Oh, be sick, great greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!
Think'st thou the fiery fever will go out
With titles blown from adulation 1
Will it give place to flexure and low bending 1
Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,
Command the health of it i No, thou proud dream,
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;
1 am a king that find thee; and I know
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,
Who, with a body filled, and vacant mind,
Gets him to rest, crammed with distressful bread:
Never sees horrid Night, the child of Hell;
MESSENGEB WITH ILL NEWS.
This man's brow, like to a title leaf,
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
I see a strange confession in thine eye:
VAHITY OF POWEE.
No matter where; of comfort no man speak:
Let's talk of graves, of worms and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's choose executors, and talk of wills:
And yet not so,—for what can we bequeath,
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death,
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For Heaven's sake let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:—
How some have been deposed; some slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poisoned by their wives; some sleeping killed ;
All murdered: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,—
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable; and humoured thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and—farewell king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief,
Need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me I am a king?