The Chieftain’s gripe his throat compress’d,
His knee was planted on his breast;
His clotted locks he backward threw,
Across his brow his hand he drew,
From blood and mist to clear his sight,
Then gleam’d aloft his dagger bright!
—But hate and fury ill supplied
The stream of life’s exhausted tide,
And all too late the advantage came,
To turn the odds of deadly game;
For, while the dagger gleam’d on high,
Keeled soul and sense, reeled brain and eye,
Down came the blow! but in the heath
The erring blade found bloodless sheath.
The struggling foe may now unclasp
The fainting Chief’s relaxing grasp;
Unbounded from the dreadful close,
But breathless all, Fitz-James arose.
[Notes: Fitz-James is James V. in disguise.
Holy Rood, or Holy Cross, where was the royal palace of the Scottish kings.
Albany. The Duke of Albany, who was regent of Scotland during part of the minority of James V.
Where Rome, the Empress, &c. And where remnants of Roman encampments are still to be traced.]
* * * * *
BY five o’clock in the morning, the whole army, in order of battle, began to descry the enemy from the rising grounds about a mile from Naseby, and moved towards them. They were drawn up on a little ascent in a large common fallow-field, in one line, extending from one side of the field to the other, the field something more than a mile over; our army in the same order, in one line, with the reserves.
The king led the main battle of foot, Prince Rupert the right wing of the horse, and Sir Marmaduke Langdale the left. Of the enemy Fairfax and Skippon led the body, Cromwell and Roseter the right, and Ireton the left. The numbers of both armies so equal, as not to differ five hundred men, save that the king had most horse by about one thousand, and Fairfax most foot by about five hundred. The number was in each army about eighteen thousand men.
The armies coming close up, the wings engaged first. The prince with his right wing charged with his wonted fury, and drove all the parliament’s wing of horse, one division excepted, clear out of the field. Ireton, who commanded this wing, give him his due, rallied often, and fought like a lion; but our wing bore down all before them, and pursued them with a terrible execution.
Ireton, seeing one division of his horse left, repaired to them, and keeping his ground, fell foul of a brigade of our foot, who coming up to the head of the line, he like a madman charges them with his horse. But they with their pikes tore them to pieces; so that this division was entirely ruined. Ireton himself, thrust through the thigh with a pike, wounded in the face with a halberd, was unhorsed and taken prisoner.