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Romance of Dunois

FROM THE FRENCH. [1815.]

[The original of this little Romance makes part of a manuscript
collection of French Songs, probably compiled by some young officer,
which was found on the field of Waterloo, so much stained with clay
and with blood as sufficiently to indicate what had been the fate of
its late owner. The song is popular in France, and is rather a good
specimen of the style of composition to which it belongs. The
translation is strictly literal.]

It was Dunois, the young and brave, was bound for Palestine,
But first he made his orisons before Saint Mary's shrine:
"And grant, immortal Queen of Heaven," was still the Soldier's
prayer;
That I may prove the bravest knight, and love the fairest fair."

His oath of honour on the shrine he graved it with his sword,
And followed to the Holy Land the banner of his Lord;
Where, faithful to his noble vow, his war-cry filled the air,
"Be honoured aye the bravest knight, beloved the fairest fair."

They owed the conquest to his arm, and then his Liege-Lord said,
"The heart that has for honour beat by bliss must be repaid. -
My daughter Isabel and thou shall be a wedded pair,
For thou art bravest of the brave, she fairest of the fair."

And then they bound the holy knot before Saint Mary's shrine,
That makes a paradise on earth, if hearts and hands combine;
And every lord and lady bright that were in chapel there
Cried, "Honoured be the bravest knight, beloved the fairest fair!"

Sir Walter Scott


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