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Let thou and I the battle try,
And set our men aside."

"Accursed be he, " earl Percy said,
By whom it is denied."

Then stept a gallant squire forth,
Witherington was his name,

Who said, "I would not have it told
To Henry our king for shame,
That e'er my captain fought on foot,
And I stood looking on;

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 captains of great might;

Like lions moved, they laid on load,
And made a cruel fight.

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.

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"Yield thee, lord Percy!" Douglas cried, "In faith I will thee bring,

Where thou shalt high advanced be
By James our Scottish king.

Thy ransom I will freely give,
And thus report of thee,

Thou art the most courageous knight,
That ever I did see."

"No, Douglas," quoth earl Percy then,
Thy proffer I do scorn:

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I will not yield to any Scot,

That ever yet was born."

With that there came an arrow keen
Out of an English bow,

Which struck earl Douglas to the heart,
A deep and deadly blow.

Who never spoke more words than these, "Fight on my merry men all;

For why? my life is at an end;
Lord Percy sees my fall."

Then leaving life earl Percy took
The dead man by the hand;
And said, "Earl Douglas, for thy sake
Would I had lost my land.

O Christ! my very heart doth bleed
With sorrow for thy sake;
For sure, a more renowned knight
Mischance did never take.'

A knight amongst the Scots there was,
Which saw earl Douglas die,
Who strait in wrath did vow revenge
Upon the lord Percy.

Sir Hugh Montgomery was he call'd,
Who, with a spear most bright,
Well mounted on a gallant steed,

Ran fiercely through the fight.

And past the English archers all,
Without all dread or fear;

And through earl Percy's body then
He thrust his hateful spear.

With such a vehement force and might
He did his body gore,


spear went through the other side
A large cloth-yard and more.

So thus did both these nobles die,

Whose courage none could stain,
An English archer then perceived
The noble earl was slain.

He had a bow bent in his hand,
Made of a trusty tree;
An arrow of a cloth-yard long
Up to the head drew he.

Against Sir Hugh Montgomery
So right the shaft he set,
The gray-goose wing that was thereon,
In his heart's blood was wet.

This fight did last from break of day,
Till sitting of the sun;

For when they rang the evening bell,
The battle scarce was done.

With brave earl Percy there was slain
Sir John of Egerton,

Sir Robert Ratcliff, and Sir John,

Sir James that bold barón.

And with Sir George and stout Sir James
Both knights of good account,
Good Sir Ralph Raby there was slain,
Whose prowess did surmount.

For Witherington needs must I wail,
As one in doleful dumps :

For when his legs were smitten off,
He fought upon his stumps.

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