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THE SCARF OF GOLD AND BLUE.

293

THE SCARF OF GOLD AND BLUE.

* God speed thee, Eustace D'Argencourt, be brave as thou

art true, And wear the scarf I've wov’n for thee—this scarf of gold

and blue !" He bent his knee, he kiss'd her hand, and fervently he

swore, That till his sword had lost its might, till life's last pulse

was o'er, That scarf should never leave his arm, in tournament or

fight;

That scarf should be his pride by day, his dream of joy by

night : Then bounded he upon his steed, and, with one parting

glance, Forth rode Sir Eustace D'Argencourt, the bravest knight

in France.

Scarce had he ridden one short week-one short week and

a dayWhen he saw twelve Spanish knights approach, all bent to

cross his way; And his squire said to his master bold, “I pray

thee turn thy steed, For little hope is left us now save in our coursers' speed.” “How! Thinkst thou, craven-hearted squire," Sir D’Ar

gencourt replied, " That from the lance of mortal foe I e'er could turn aside ? Twelve Spaniards are there in the field, and we are only

two, But wear I not my lady's scarf–her scarf of gold and

blue !"

be,

Then up rode Don Pedrillo, and tauntingiy spake he : “I envy thee thy fortune, knight, whate'er thy name may For if thou’rt slain by my right hand, a happy death

thou'lt die." Sir Eustace placed his lance in rest, but deigned him no

reply ;

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THE SCARF OF GOLD AND BLUE.

As thunder rides the lightning's wings, so strode he his

good steed, And soon beneath his charger's feet he saw Pedrillo bleed. Then up çame Garcia Perez-Don Carlos by his side : “O! dearly shalt thou rue, Sir Knight, thy self-deceiving

pride 1 " Sir Eustace stroked his gallant barb, and, with a sudden

bound, Hurled Garcia Perez from his seat, sore mangled, on the

ground ; Then turning on Don Carlos, like a lion in his wrath, He stretched him with one desperate blow all stiff across

his path.

Nine Spaniards still remained behind, but motionless they

stood, And looked with silent wonder on that young knight's

hardihood : "Come one-come all !” Sir Eustace cried, "I neither

yield nor fly; But for the Lady Isabel, or you or I must die." Then the Count Alcaras recognised Sir Eustace D'Argen

court, His favoured rival in the love of Isabel D'Etours ; And on he urged his dastard friends, and as a cloud they “ Base traitors !” shouted D’Argencourt, “how can ye

fight, for shame! Such odds were never seen before-nine armed men

'gainst one ! God guard thee, Lady Isabel--my race of life is run !”

came.

Yet fiercely did Sir Eustace fight, and fast flowed Spanish

gore, Till the Count Alcaras came behind-he dared not come

before And stabbed that brave knight in the back—a false,

dishonest blow. Sir Eustace turned him round, and fixed one long gaze on

his foe,

THE SCARF OF GOLD AND BLUE.

295

Then feeble fell his gallant arm, and clouds swam round

his head, And the Spaniards raised a joyful shout, for they thought

Sir Eustace dead. They bound his arms behind his back, they tied him to

a tree, And beside him stuck his broken lance, in graceless

mockery. “And now, Sir Knight,” Alcaras cried, “ I'll wear this

gewgaw too. Methinks I guess who wore this scarf-this scarf of gold

and blue. Away! my friends, there's little breath in proud Sir

Argencourt, Away! my friends, I'll win her yet-fair Isabel D'Etours !"

Bright shines the sun upon the waves--the waves of blue

Garonne, But brighter shine those diamond eyes in the lists at

Roussilon; And trumpets bray, and banners stream, and chargers

gallop round, And noble hearts beat quick for praise with many an

aching bound. But who is she, who wins all looks-for whom all ride the

ring To gain a smile of whose dark eyes were glory for a king ? Ha ! did you mark her sudden blush-the paleness of the

trance That followed quick as on that knight she bent her eager

glance ? “ It was the Count Alcaras !” for his Spanish crest she

knew, But why wore he that plighted scarf—“that scarf of gold

and blue ?" "I took it, lady,” boastingly, the crafty Spaniard said, “From one I forced to yield beneath my more victorious

blade; He gave it me with right good will, his life was all he

sought : Too cheaply with the coward's death so rich a prize I

bought."

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THE SCARF OF GOLD AND BLUE.

“Now, by St. Louis, braggart base !” fair Isabel replied, “I tell thee, in thy craven teeth, that loudly thou hast

lied !Then bared she straight her snow-white hand, and down

she threw her glove : “Oh! is there any knight who here, for honour or for

love, Will make the Count Alcaras his unhallowed falsehood

rite, And win me back that well-known scarf-that scarf of

gold and blue.

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A hundred swords leaped forth at once to do her proud

behest, A hundred lords were at her feet, a hundred spears in

rest; But she has singled from them all that solitary knight Who wears his coal-black vizor down, nor yet has proved

his might. The heralds sound the onset, and they meet with deadly

shock; The count has fallen from his horse, the knight sits as a

rock; But when he saw Alcaras down, he stayed not on his

steed; And when he saw Alcaras' lance was shivered as a reed, Away, without one word, the knight that instant cast his

own, And forth he drew his glittering sword, that as a sunbeam

shone : With one fierce blow he cleft the casque the Spaniard

proudly wore, And with the next struck off the arm on which the scarf

he bore ; Then thrice he kissed that well-worn scarf, that scarf of

gold and blue, And raised his vizor as he knelt to her he found so true. O! dearly was that scarf beloved by Sir Eustace D'Argen

court, But dearer far the prize he won in Isabel D’Etours !

H. G. Bell.

THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.

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THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.

It was a summer evening,

Old Kaspar's work was done,
And he before his cottage door

Was sitting in the sun;
And by him sported on the green,
His little grandchild, Wilhelmine.
She saw her brother Peterkin

Roll something large and round,
That he beside the rivulet

In playing there had found ;
She ran to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.
Old Kaspar took it from the boy,

Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,

And with a natural sigh-
“'Tis some poor fellow's skull,” said he,

Who fell in the great victory. “ I find them in my garden, for

There's many hereabout; And often when I go to plough

The ploughshare turns them out ; For many thousand men,” said he, “Were slain in that great victory.” “Now tell us what 'twas all about,"

Young Peterkin, he cries, And little Wilhelmine looks up

With wonder-waiting eyes ; “Now tell us all about the war, And what they killed each other for ?" “ It was the English,” Kaspar cried,

“Who put the French to rout; But what they kill'd each other for

I could not well make out. But everybody said,” quoth he, “ That 'twas a famous victory !

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