James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

March 27

Bois Ton Sang, Beaumanoir

By Frances Sargent Osgood (1811–1850)

  • A fight between thirty Bretons and thirty Englishmen, pitted against each other by Jean de Beaumanoir and Bemborough, an Englishman, to decide a contest. The contest is said to have taken place between the castles of Josselin and Ploermel on March 27, 1351, in France. The English were beaten.

  • FIERCE raged the combat—the foemen pressed nigh,

    When from young Beaumanoir rose the wild cry,

    Beaumanoir, midst them all, bravest and first,

    “Give me to drink, for I perish of thirst!”

    Hark! at his side, in the deep tones of ire,

    “Bois ton sang Beaumanoir!” shouted his sire!

    Deep had it pierced him—the foeman’s swift sword—

    Deeper his soul felt the wound of that word!

    Back to the battle, with forehead all flushed,

    Stung to wild fury the noble youth rushed!

    Scorn in his dark eyes—his spirit on fire—

    Deeds were his answer that day to his sire,

    Still where triumphant the young hero came,

    Glory’s bright garland encircled his name;

    But in her bower, to beauty a slave,

    Dearer the guerdon his lady-love gave,

    While on his shield that no shame had defaced,

    “Bois ton sang, Beaumanoir!” proudly she traced!