Page:Early poems of William Morris.djvu/102

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62

Sir Peter Harpdon's End

In the French camp before the Castle


Sir Peter prisoner, Guesclin, Clisson, Sir Lambert


Sir Peter

So now is come the ending of my life;
If I could clear this sickening lump away
That sticks in my dry throat, and say a word,
Guesclin might listen.


Guesclin

Tell me, fair sir knight,
If you have been clean liver before God,
And then you need not fear much; as for me,
I cannot say I hate you, yet my oath,
And cousin Lambert's ears here clench the thing.


Sir Peter

I knew you could not hate me, therefore I
Am bold to pray for life; 't will harm your cause
To hang knights of good name, harm here in France
I have small doubt, at any rate hereafter
Men will remember you another way
Than I should care to be remember'd, ah!
Although hot lead runs through me for my blood,
All this falls cold as though I said, "Sweet lords,
Give back my falcon!"
See how young I am,
Do you care altogether more than France,
Say rather one French faction, than for all
The state of Christendom? a gallant knight,
As (yea, by God!) I have been, is more worth