Arrow's fly high

He dispatched the foot in advance, to open the battle with arrows, and set crossbowmen (Balistarius) in the midst so that their speeding shafts might pierce the faces of the English. He hoped to establish the knights in the rear of the foot, but the onset of the battle did not allow this; for he perceived companies of the English appearing not far off and could see the forest glitter, full of spears. The men hastened to close shields. First the bands of archers attacked and from a distance, transfixed bodies with their shafts and the crossbow-men destroyed the shields as if by a hail-storm, shattered them by countless blows. Now the French attacked the left, the Bretons the right; the duke with the Normans fought in the centre. The English stood firm. --carmen de hastingae

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