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keep as closely as possible to his original. various puns, rude attempts at pleasantry, and disproportioned episodes, must be set down to Tehudi's account, or to the taste of his age.
The military antiquary will derive some amusement from the minute particulars which the martial poet has recorded. The mode in which the Austrian men-at-arms received the charge of the Swiss was by forming a phalanx, which they defended with their long lances. The gallant Winkelried, who sacrificed his own life by rushing among the spears, clasping in his arms as many as he could grasp, and thus opening a gap in these iron battalions, is celebrated in Swiss history. When fairly mingled together, the unwieldy length of their weapons, and cumbrous weight of their defensive armour, rendered the Austrian men-at-arms a very unequal match for the light-armed mountaineers. The victories obtained by the Swiss over the German chivalry, hitherto deemed as formidable on foot as on horseback, led to important changes in the art of war. The poet describes the Austrian knights and squires as cutting the peaks from their boots ere they could act upon foot, in allusion to an inconvenient piece of foppery, often mentioned in the middle ages. Leopold III., Archduke of Austria, called "The handsome man-atarms," was slain in the battle of Sempach, with the flower of his chivalry.
'TWAS when among our linden trees The bees had housed in swarms, (And gray-hair'd peasants say that these Betoken foreign arms,)
Then look'd we down to Willisow, The land was all in flame;
We knew the Archduke Leopold With all his army came.
The Austrian nobles made their vow,
With clarion loud, and banner proud, From Zurich on the lake,
In martial pomp 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;
A skirmish in Helvetian hills
"But where now shall we find a priest, Our shrift that he may hear?" "The Switzer priest* has ta'en the field, He deals a penance drear.
* All the Swiss clergy who were able to bear arms fought in this patriotic war.
"Right heavily upon your head He'll lay his hand of steel; And with his trusty partizan Your absolution deal."
'Twas on a Monday morning then, The corn was steep'd in dew, And merry maids had sickels ta'en, When the host to Sempach drew.
The stalwart men of fair Lucerne
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 game will fare," The taunting knight replied.
There was lacing then of helmets bright,
The peaks they hew'd from their boot-points
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,
And he display'd his rainbow fair
Then heart and pulse throbb'd more and more With courage firm and high,
And down the good confederates bore
On the Austrian chivalry.
The Austrian lion‡ 'gan to growl,
Lance, pike, and halberd, mingled there,
The Austrian men-at-arms stood fast,
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 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 neces sary activity.
A pun on the archduke's name, Leopold.
His shallop to the shore he steer'd,
And while against the tide and wind
The fisher's back was to them turn'd,
Hans saw his shadow in the lake,
He whelm'd the boat, and as they strove,
"Two gilded fishes in the lake
This morning have I caught,
It was a messenger of wo
Has sought the Austrian land; "Ah! gracious lady, evil news! My lord lies on the strand.
"At Sempach, on the battle field,
Now would you know the minstrel wight,
A merry man was he, I wot,
Sweet virgin! who hearest the suppliant's cry;
All distant and faint were the sounds of the battle,
And the chase's wild clamour, came loading the
Had we a difference with some petty isle,
Or with our neighbours, Britons, for our landmarks,
It must not be.-No! as they are our foes,
Let's use the peace of honour-that's fair dealing;
THE MAID OF TORO.
O LOW shone the sun on the fair lake of Toro,
THE following war-song was written during the apprehension of an invasion. The corps of volunteers, to which it was addressed, was raised in 1797, consisting of gentlemen, mounted and armed at their own expense. It still subsists, as the Right Troop of the Royal Mid-Lothian Light Cavalry, commanded by the honourable Lieutenant-colonel
All as a fair maiden bewilder'd in sorrow,
Sorely sigh'd to the breezes, and wept to the Dundas. The noble and constitutional measure, of arming freemen in defence of their own rights, was bend-nowhere more successful than in Edinburgh, which furnished a force of 3000 armed and disciplined volunteers, including a regiment of cavalry, from the city and county, and two corps of artillery, each capable of serving twelve guns. To such a force, above all others, might, in similar circumstances, be applied the exhortation of our ancient Galgacus: "Proinde ituri in aciem, et majores vestros et posteros cogitate."
To horse to horse! the standard flies,
* The royal colours.
The allusion is to the massacre of the Swiss guards, on the fatal 10th of August, 1792. It is painful, but not useless, to remark, that the passive temper with which the Swiss regarded the death of their bravest countrymen, mercilessly slaughtered in discharge of their duty, encou raged and authorized the progressive injustice by which the Alps, once the seat of the most virtuous and free people upon the continent, have, at length, been converted into the citadel of a foreign and military despot. A state degraded is half enslaved.