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Blind Harry's Wallace

The Life and Heroick Actions of the Renoun'd Sir William Wallace,
General and Governour of Scotland
by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield

Book XII, Chapter II
How WALLACE killed the Two French Champions.

Read a synopsis of this chapter in modern American English.

With the French King did dwell Two Champions great,
Who mortally did the Scots Hero hate.
Express'd themselves in most Satyrick Joke,
And with Disdain 'gainst Scotland always spoke,
Which fired our brave Champion very soon,
With him such Language would not well go down.
This verifies the Proverb we may see,
Two of a Trade in one Place ne'er agree.
Save in the Case of these French Champions, who,
Linked in others Arms did always go.

At length it so fell out and chanc'd, that they
Were all Three left upon a certain Day,
Themselves alone, discoursing in a Hall,
Where they no Weapons us'd to wear at all.
There did the Champions talk of Scotland long,
With great Contempt, which Wallace said was wrong.
"Since both our Nations live in Friendship great
And firm Alliance, what means all this Hate?
Did we not help you lately in your Need?
We do deserve good Words for our good Deed.
What would you say of the Proud South'ron Foe,
When of your Friends you talk at Random so?"

With slighting Words, in their own Language, they
Disdainfully replyed, and did say:
"The South'ron are our Foes, we grant and own,
But Scots for Falshood ev'ry where are known."
At which good Wallace was inraged so,
One of the Champions got a fearfull Blow,
Which found'red the proud Coxcomb where he stood,
Made Mouth and Nose gush out in Streams of Blood.
The other struck at Wallace in great hast,
Not doubting but his Friend was now deceas'd.
Whom Wallace gripp'd, fo fast and wondrous sore,
His Sp'rit departed and he ne'er spake more.
The first arose and smote at Wallace fast,
But their Death Stroaks he gave them both at last.

Upon a Pillar he dash'd out their Brains,
And said, "Let them take that up for their Pains.
What Devil ail'd the Carles, they're to blame,
It would been long e'er I had troubled them.
Unto themselves they only owe their Paiks,
If they have won, let them take up their Staiks.
And let all others learn when they are young,
Strictly to bridle the unruly Tongue."

Many great Lords of the first Rank in France,
Were much displeas'd at this unlucky Chance,
But the good King who knew the Story all,
Did wave the Thing and kindly let it fall.
And did exoner Wallace the same Day,
So after that no Man had ought to say,
Nor once durst give him, but a Saucie look,
Or yet play boo, unto his Blanket Nook.

Next page: Book XII, Chapter III

The ballad, The Life and Heroick Actions of the Renoun'd Sir William Wallace, General and Governour of Scotland, by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, 1722, is in the public domain.

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