« ForrigeFortsæt »
The Austrian nobles made their vow,
So hot their heart and bold, « On Switzer carles we'll trample now,
And slay both young and old.”
With clarion loud, and banner proud,
From Zurich on the lake, In martial and fair
array, Their onward march they make.
“ Now list, ye lowland nobles all,
Ye seek the mountain strand, Nor wot ye what shall be your
lot In such a dangerous land.
“ I rede ye, shrive you of your sins,
Before you further go;
May send your souls to woe.”
“ But where now shall we find a priest
Our shrift that he may hear ?"-
He deals a penance drear.
“ Right heavily upon your head
He'll lay his hand of steel ;
Your absolution deal.”_
'Twas on a Monday morning then,
The corn was steep'd in dew,
When the host to Sempach drew.
The stalwart men of fair Lucerne
Together have they join'd;
* All the Swiss clergy who were able to bear arms fought in this patriotic war.
The pith and core of manhood stern,
Was none cast looks behind.
It was the Lord of Hare-castle,
And to the Duke he said,
“ Yon little band of brethren true
Will meet us undismay'd.”—
“ O Hare-castle, * thou heart of hare !"
Fierce Oxenstern replied. “ Shalt see then how the
will fare, The taunted knight replied.
There was lacing then of helmets bright,
And closing ranks amain ;
Might well nigh load a wain.t
* In the original, Haasenstein, or Hare-stone.
+ This seems to allude to the preposterous fashion, during the middle ages, of wearing boots with the points or peaks
And thus, they to each other said,
Yon handful down to hew
Will be no boastful tale to tell,
The peasants are so few.”
The gallant Swiss confederates there,
They pray'd to God aloud, And he display'd his rainbow fair
Against a swarthy cloud.
Then heart and pulse throb’d more and more
With courage firm and high,
On the Austrian chivalry.
turned upwards, and so long, that in some cases they were fastened to the knees of the wearer with small chains. When they alighted to fight upon foot, it would seem that the Austrian gentlemen found it necessary to cut off these peaks, that they might move with the necessary activity.
The Austrian Lion* 'gan to growl,
And toss his mane and tail ; And ball, and shaft, and cross-bow bolt
Went whistling forth like hail.
Lance, pike, and halberd, mingled there,
The game was nothing sweet ; The boughs of many a stately tree
Lay shiver'd at their feet.
The Austrian men-at-arms stood fast,
So close their spears they laid ; It chafed the gallant Winkelried,
Who to his comrades said
“ I have a virtuous wife at home,
A wife and infant son ;
* A pun on the Archduke's name, Leopold.