Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/381

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356 RUNNIMEDE.

Methought a dim and slumbrous veil

Enwrapt the glowing scene, And strangely stole our wearied eyes,

And each bright trace between, And at our side, behold ! a king

His thronging minions met, Arrayed in all the boasted power

Of high Plantagenet.

��See ! see ! his sceptered hand is raised

To shade a haggard brow, As if constrained to do a deed

His pride would disallow. "What now, false John ! what troubleth thee

Finds not thine art some way To blind or gull the vassal train,

And hold thy tyrant sway ?

��He falters still, with daunted eye

Turned toward those barons bold, Whose hands are grappling to their swords

With firm indignant hold ; The die is cast ; he bows him down

Before those steel-girt men, And Magna Charta springs to life

Beneath his trembling pen.

�� �