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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.


Romance of Dunois

By Queen Hortense (1783–1837)

  • Translated by Sir Walter Scott
  • 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 blood as sufficiently to indicate what had been the fate of its late owner.

  • IT was Dunois, the young and brave,

    Was bound for Palestine,

    But first he made his orisons

    Before St. 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 honor 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 honored 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 honor 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 St. 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, “Honored be the bravest knight,

    Beloved the fairest fair!”