Sir Hornboook; or, Childe Launcelot's Expidition
I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII
Now when Sir Pronoun look'd abroad,17
And spied the coming train,
He left his fort beside the road,
And ran with might and main.
Two cloth-yard shafts from I and U,
Went forth with whizzing sound:
Like lightning sped the arrows true;
Sir Pronoun pressed the ground:
But darts of science ever flew
To conquer, not to wound.
His fear was great: his hurt was small:
Childe Launcelot took his hand:
--"Sir Knight,"--said he,--"though doomed to fall
Before my conquering band,
"Yet knightly treatment shall you find,
On faith of cavalier:
Then join Sir Substantive behind,
And follow our career."--
Sir Substantive, that man of might,
Felt knightly anger rise;
For he had marked Sir Pronoun's flight
With no approving eyes.
"Great Substantive, my sovereign liege!"--
Thus sad Sir Pronoun cried,
--"When you had fallen in furious siege,
Could I the shock abide?"
"That all resistance would be vain,
Too well, alas! I knew:
For what could I, when you were ta'en,
Your poor lieutenant, do?"
Then louder rung Sir Hornbook's horn,
In signals long and shrill:
His merrymen all, for conquest born,
Went marching up the hill.
17 A pronoun is used instead of a noun, and may be considered its locum tenens, or deputy: as, "The King is gone to Windsor, he will return to-morrow."