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Let thou and I the battle try,
"Accursed be he, " earl Percy said,
Then stept a gallant squire forth,
Who said, "I would not have it told
You be two earls," said Witherington, "And I a squire alone.
I'll do the best that do I may,
While I have power to stand; While I have power to wield my sword, I'll fight with heart and hand." Our English archers bent their bows; Their hearts were good and true; At the first flight of arrows sent,
Full three-score Scots they slew. They closed full fast on every side; No slackness was there found, And many a gallant gentleman
Lay gasping on the ground. O Christ, it was a grief to see, And likewise for to hear, The cries of men lying in their
And scattered here and there.
At last these two stout earls did meet,
Like lions moved, they laid on load,
They fought until they both did sweat,
With swords of temper'd steel;
Until the blood, like drops of rain,
They trickling down did feel.
"Yield thee, lord Percy!" Douglas cried, "In faith I will thee bring,
Where thou shalt high advanced be
Thy ransom I will freely give,
Thou art the most courageous knight,
"No, Douglas," quoth earl Percy then,
I will not yield to any Scot,
That ever yet was born."
With that there came an arrow keen
Which struck earl Douglas to the heart,
Who never spoke more words than these, "Fight on my merry men all;
For why? my life is at an end;
Then leaving life earl Percy took
O Christ! my very heart doth bleed
A knight amongst the Scots there was,
Sir Hugh Montgomery was he call'd,
Ran fiercely through the fight.
And past the English archers all,
And through earl Percy's body then
With such a vehement force and might
spear went through the other side
So thus did both these nobles die,
Whose courage none could stain,
He had a bow bent in his hand,
Against Sir Hugh Montgomery
This fight did last from break of day,
For when they rang the evening bell,
With brave earl Percy there was slain
Sir Robert Ratcliff, and Sir John,
Sir James that bold barón.
And with Sir George and stout Sir James
For Witherington needs must I wail,
For when his legs were smitten off,