Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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In the twelfth year of Richard II. (1888,) the Scots assembled an extensive army, with the intention of invading England on a grand scale, in revenge for a previous incursion made by that sovereign. But in­formation having been received that the Northum­brians were gathering in considerable force for a counter-invasion, it was thought prudent not to at­tempt to carry out the original enterprise. While, therefore, the main body of the army, commanded by the Earl of Fife, the Scottish king's second son, ravaged the western borders of England, a detachment of three or four thousand chosen men, under the Earl of Douglas, penetrated by a swift march into the Bishop­ric of Durham, and laid waste the country with fire and sword. Returning in triumph from this inroad, Douglas passed insultingly before the gates of New­castle, where Sir Harry Percy lay in garrison. This fiery warrior, though he could not venture to cope with forces far superior to his own, sallied out to break a lance with his hereditary foe. In a skirmish before the town he lost his spear and pennon, which Douglas swore he would plant as a trophy on the highest tower of his castle, unless it should be that very night re­taken by the owner. Hotspur was deterred from

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