The Battle Of Morgarten.

In the year 1315, a rural tribe, of certain valleys begirt with
high mountains, called Schwitz, revolted from its allegiance, and
withheld the tribute and service due to Duke Leopold of Austria,
who, being much angered, collected an army of 20,000 men.


And on the day St Othmar, Duke Leopold, endea-
vouring to pass into their country, was much hindered by the height and steepness of the mountain. For the knights on horse-
back, boiling with desire of action, and crowding into the first
ranks, entirely prevented the infantry from ascending. But the
Schwitzers, prceiving how much their enemy would be hampered
by the difficulty of the way, went down against them from their lurking-places, and, attacking them like fish in a net, slew them
without resistance.”
Vitodurani Chronicon.

The Evening Before the Battle.

Why are those watchfires gleaming bright, 1
Morgarten, on thy beacon height ? 2
And why are lights ’ mid the evening gloom, 3
Flitting like spirits from tomb to tomb ? 4
Why through the calm of each Alpine dell5
Do the warlike notes of the trumpet swell ? 6
And why is the scared flocks’ mournful bleat7
Drown ’ d in the trample of hurrying feet ? 8
Why doth the war-whoop, wild and shrill, 9
Re-echo from the snow-clad hill, 10
And the sentry pace his lonely round, 11
O’er thine ancient hallow’d battle-ground ? 12
The morn shall tell. That morning came, 13
Usher’d by smoke-wreath and by flame !14