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Title: La Chanson de Roland
Author: Gautier, Léon
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "La Chanson de Roland" ***

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Translated from the Seventh Edition of Leon Gautier,
Professor at the Ecole des Chartes, Paris.



Licencié en droit, Paris University, French Lecturer at
Johns Hopkins University.

New York
Henry Holt and Company

Copyright, 1885
Henry Holt & Co.
W. L. Mershon & Co.,
Printers and Electrotypers,
Rahway, N. J.


                 DANIEL C. GILMAN,

      _President of Johns Hopkins University_,

                _THIS TRANSLATION_



Several years ago, the maker of this version translated into French one
of the early works of H. W. Longfellow. This circumstance was not
forgotten by the American poet who kindly consented to listen to this
new attempt at rendering into English the "CHANSON DE ROLAND."

To his encouragement is due the present publication. The writer will
ever proudly treasure up the remembrance of his friendly welcome and

       *       *       *       *       *

The translator has followed, as literally as possible, the text of the
Oxford MS., as revised by Léon Gautier. The parts inclosed in
parentheses are interpolations of the learned Professor. This revised
text should be kept in hand by the English reader for comparison with
the original, which is nine centuries old. The translator may thus be
more likely to obtain the indulgence of the reader for the quaint
representation, in a modern language, of the coloring of this most
ancient poem.

The orthography of all the names, as well as their prosodic accent, has
been preserved in their ancient form; and accordingly, an index has been
appended to the work.

The seventh edition of Léon Gautier's "CHANSON DE ROLAND," contains a
vast amount of explanatory notes, grammatical and historical, to which
the reader is referred.


On the 15th of August, 778, in a little Pyrenean Valley, still known in
our days by the name of Ronceval, a terrible event took place.
Charlemagne, returning from his expedition to Spain, crossed that valley
and the Pyrenees, leaving his rear-guard in command of Roland, Prefect
of the Marches of Brittany. His main army had passed unmolested; but at
the moment when the rear-guard advanced into the defiles of the
mountain, thousands of Gascons rushed from their ambush, fell upon the
French army and slaughtered the whole guard to the last man. So perished

Eginhard, the historian of Charlemagne, terminates his narrative with
these words: "The House-intendant, (Regiæ mensæ præpositus), Eggihard,
Anselm, Count of the Palace, Roland, Prefect of the Marches of Brittany
(Hruolandus britannici limitis præfectus), with many more, perished in
the fight. It was not possible to take revenge on the spot. The
treacherous attempt once perpetrated, the enemy dispersed and left no
trace." (Eginhard's Life of Charlemagne, Vol. I., p. 31; edition of the
Société de l'histoire de France.)

From the moment of the defeat of Ronceval, legend commenced its labor
upon this truly epic event which, in its origin, is absolutely French,
but has found its echoes throughout Europe, from Iceland to Eastern

The commentators generally agree in dating the composition of the Poem
before the first crusade in the year 1096. The author, it is
ascertained, was Norman, the dialect used by him being Norman
throughout. Whether this author was really Turoldus, named in the last
line of the Poem, is a point which Léon Gautier refuses to affirm. We
refer the reader to the very interesting preface of _Genin_, and to the
learned introductions of Léon Gautier, for more complete information.

       *       *       *       *       *

The word "_Aoi_," which is placed at the end of every stanza, and found in
no other ancient French poems, is interpreted differently by the
commentators. M. Francisque Michel assimilated it at first to the
termination of an ecclesiastical chant--Preface, xxvii.--and later to
the Saxon _Abeg_, or the English _Away_, as a sort of refrain which the
"_jongleur_" repeated at the end of the couplets. M. Génin explains it by
_ad viam_, a vei, avoie, away! it is done, let us go on!

M. Gautier, with his skeptical honesty, declares the word unexplained.
See Note 9, p. 4, of his seventh edition.


The most complete and ancient is that of Oxford, in the Bodleian
Library, marked "Digby, 23," a copy of the XIIth. century. All others
are _Rifaccimenti_, Refashionings.

Two in Venice, in St. Mark Library, XIIIth. century; French MSS., No. 4
& 7.

In the National Library, Paris, No. 860, XIIIth. century.

The Versailles MS., now deposited in the Library of Chateauroux, a copy
of which is in Paris Nat. Library; 15, 108; XIIIth. century.

In the Lyons Library, 964; XIVth. century.

In Cambridge, Trinity Collage, R. 3-32; XVIth. century.

One called the Lorrain, a fragment found near Metz.

The Karlomagnus Saga, an Icelandic copy of the Oxford MS.; XIIIth.

       *       *       *       *       *

In M. Petit de Julleville's Introduction to his version can be found a
chronological list of the works which concern the "CHANSON DE ROLAND,"
the translations of it, and dissertations on the subject in France and

      *       *       *       *       *

There are twenty-one translations in different languages:

Four in German, by Th. Müller, Hertz, Boehmer, Eug. Kölbing.

One in Polish, by Mad. Duchinska.

One in Danish, by Unger.

One in Icelandish, Karlomagnus' Saga.

Twelve in French, by Francisque Michel, Bourdillon, Delécluze, Génin, P.
Paris, Vitet, Jônain, de Saint-Albin, d'Avril, Petit de Julleville,
Lehugeur and Léon Gautier, of whose translation seven editions were

Two in English, one in England by J. O'Hagan, and one in America, the
latest and present one.

Besides, a version from Vitet's French paraphrase, by Mrs. Marsh.

       *       *       *       *       *




  Carle our most noble Emperor and King,
  Hath tarried now full seven years in Spain,
  Conqu'ring the highland regions to the sea;
  No fortress stands before him unsubdued,
  Nor wall, nor city left, to be destroyed,
  Save Sarraguce, high on a mountain set.
  There rules the King Marsile who loves not God,
  Apollo worships and Mohammed serves;
  Nor can he from his evil doom escape.


  The King Marsile abides in Sarraguce
  Where underneath an orchard's leafy shade,
  Upon a terrace with blue marble paved
  He rests. Around him twenty thousand men
  And more are ranked. His Dukes and Counts he calls:
  "Oyez, _Seigneurs_, what gath'ring ills are ours:
  Great Carle, the Emperor who rules Sweet France
  Comes to this land to 'whelm us with his might.
  To give him battle I no army have,
  Nor people to array against his host:
  Your counsel give me, Lords, as my wise men,
  And so defend your King from death and shame;"
  But answer none a single Pagan gave,
  Save Blancandrin _del Castel Val-Fondé_.


  Blancandrin, 'midst the wisest Pagans wise,
  Who, in his vassalage a valiant knight,
  Most prudent counsels gave to help his lord,
  Said to the King:--"Be not by this dismayed!
  To Carle the proud, the fierce, send messengers
  With words of faith and love. Send to him gifts
  Of bears and lions, packs of dogs; present
  Seven hundred camels also, fifty score
  Of molted[1] falcons, and four hundred mules
  With heavy weight of gold and silver packed;
  Then fifty chariots with their burthens heaped:
  Well can this treasure all his soldiers pay.
  Within this land he long enough has camped.
  To France--to Aix let him at last return;
  There will you join him on Saint-Michael's feast,
  Accept the Christian law, and swear to be
  His man in faith and honor. Should he ask
  Hostages, ten or twenty grant, to lure
  His trust; let us send our wives' sons. Mine--although
  He die, I give. Far better that their heads
  Should fall than we lose honor and domain,
  Than we ourselves to beggary be brought."


  He further said:--"By this right hand of mine,
  And by the beard the air waves on my breast,
  Soon shall you see the host of Franks disperse;
  To France, their land, the Franks will take their way.
  When each has gained the shelter of his home,
  King Carle will in his chapel be at Aix,
  To celebrate Saint Michael's solemn feast.
  The day will come, the term allowed will pass,
  And from us shall he hear nor word nor news.
  The King is fierce, his soul is hard; and thus
  Each hostage head beneath his sword shall fall.
  'Twere better far that these should lose their heads
  Than we for aye lose glorious Spain the Fair,
  And suffer so great ills and doleful woes."
  Then say the Pagans:--"This may be the truth."


  Hereat the King Marsile the council closed.
  Then summon'd he Clarin de Balaguer,
  Estramarin and Eudropin his peer;
  With Priamon Guarlan the bearded knight,
  And Machiner together with Mahen
  His uncle, Joïmer and Malbien born
  Beyond the sea, and Blancandrin, to hear
  His words. These ten, the fiercest, he addressed:
  "Seigneurs Barons, ye shall go toward Carl'magne;
  He to Cordrès, the city, now lays siege.
  Bear in each hand a branch of olive-tree
  In token of humility and peace.
  If by your arts his favor you can gain,
  I give of gold and silver, lands and fiefs
  To each, whatever he may ask of me."
  The Pagans answer all:--["Well said our lord!"]


  Marsile his council closed:--"My Lords, ye shall
  Set forth;--an olive branch bear in each hand:
  And in my name adjure King Carlemagne
  That by his God he mercy have on me;
  And ere a month be past, he shall behold
  Me follow with a thousand faithful knights,
  There to submit myself to Christian law
  And be his man in love and faith; and if
  He hostages require, them shall he have."
  Quoth Blancandrin:--"Good treaty will be yours."


  Marsile then ordered forth the ten white mules
  The King of Sicily once sent to him;--
  Golden their bits--their saddles silver-wrought--
  And on them mounted his ambassadors.
  Thus holding each a branch of olive-tree,
  They rode away and came to Carle of France.
  Nor can he from the treacherous snare escape.



  Cheerful and blithe the Emp'ror, for Cordrès
  Has been subdued, its massy walls o'erthrown,
  Its towers by mighty catapults destroyed;
  And there his knights have found abundant spoils
  Of gold and silver, and rich garnitures.
  Nor was one Pagan in the city left
  Alive, who did not own the Christian Faith.
  Now is the Emperor within a wide
  And spreading orchard; there around him stand
  Rollánd and Olivier, Samsun the Duke,
  And Anseïs the bold, Gefrei d'Anjou,
  Gonfaloneer of Carle, and also there
  Gerin and Gerier. Where these were, came
  Of others many more. In all, from France
  Were gathered fully fifteen thousand knights.
  Upon white _pallies_[2] sit these chevaliers;
  They play at tables[3] to divert themselves;
  The wiser and the elder play at chess.
  In mimic sword-play strive the joyous youths.
  Under a pine-tree, near an eglantine,
  Is placed a faldstool of pure gold whereon
  Sits he, the King--great Ruler of Sweet France.
  White is his beard, his head all flowering white;
  Graceful his form and proud his countenance;
  None need to point him out to those who come
  The Pagan messengers, dismounting, stood
  Before him, proffering humble faith and love.


  Blancandrin was the first to speak, and said
  Unto the king:--"Hail! in the name of God,
  The Glorious One we must adore! To you
  I bring this message from Marsile the brave:
  Well has he studied your Salvation's Law;
  And would upon you lavish his great wealth.
  Bears--lions--packs of hounds enchained he gives,
  Seven hundred camels also--fifty score
  Of molted falcons--mules, four hundred, packed
  With gold and silver--fifty carts to carry
  These gifts, and _bezants_[4] of the purest gold
  He also sends, which will your soldiers pay.
  Too long within our land you have remained;
  To France--to Aix he wills you straight return.
  There will he follow you: so says my lord."
  To God the Emperor uplifts his hands;
  Bends low his head and counsel takes in thought.


  The Emperor sat silent with drooped head.
  Ne'er rash in words, he never speaks in haste.
  At last he rose. Proudly he looked and spake
  Unto the messengers:--"Ye have well said
  That King Marsile e'er stood my greatest foe!
  On these fair-seeming words how far can I
  Rely?" The crafty Saracen replied:
  "Would you have hostages? you shall have ten,
  Fifteen, yea, twenty. Though his fate be death
  My son shall go, and others nobler still,
  I deem. When to your lordly palace, home
  Returned--when comes Saint Michael del Peril,
  His feast, my Lord will follow to those springs,
  He says, brought forth by God for you, and there
  Baptized, a faithful Christian will become!"
  Carl'magne makes answer:--"He may yet be saved!"


  The eve was soft and fair, the sunset bright;
  The ten mules stabled by the King's command;
  In the great orchard a pavilion raised
  To house the messengers, his Pagan guests.
  Twelve sergeants to their service were assigned,
  And there they rested till the dawn repelled
  The night. With day the Emperor arose;
  Heard mass and matins first, then having gone
  Beneath a stately pine, he summons all
  His wisest barons, council grave to hold,
  Thus ever guided by the men of France.


  Beneath a pine the Monarch has repaired;
  His barons to the council called: the Duke
  Ogier--Archbishop Turpin--old Richard,
  Also his nephew Henri, and the brave
  Count Acelin of Gascuïgne--Tedbald
  De Reins--his cousin Milon--Gerier,
  Gerin, together with the Count Rollánd,
  And Olivier, the brave and noble knight.
  One thousand Franks of France and more were met--
  Then Ganelon came, who treason wrought; and now
  Was opened that ill-fated council thus:


  "Seigneurs Barons," began the Emp'ror Carle,
  "The King Marsile his messengers hath sent
  To offer me large store of his great wealth;
  Bears--lions--hounds in leash;--of camels he
  Gives seven hundred--falcons, fifty score--
  Four hundred mules packed high with Arab gold,
  And more than fifty chariots loaded full;
  But he demands that I return to France.
  There will he follow: then arrived at Aix,
  Will in my palace take Salvation's Faith,
  Will Christ obey, and hold his lands from me;
  But what is in his heart, I do not know."
  The French exclaim:--"Of him we must beware!"


  The Emp'ror ended thus. But Count Rollánd
  Approving not the terms, stands forth and speaks
  Unto the King with arguments adverse:
  "Trust never more Marsile. 'Tis full seven years
  Since we came into Spain. For you I took
  Both Noplés and Commiblés; gained Valterne
  And all the land of Pine, and Balaguer,
  And Tuele and Sebile--yet King Marsile
  Still plotting treachery, sent from his horde
  Of Pagans, fifteen men; each bore in hand
  Like these, a branch of olive-tree, and spake
  The self-same words. On that you counsel took
  From your too lightly flattering French; two Counts
  Of yours you to the Pagan sent, the one,
  Bazan, Bastile the other, and their heads
  He struck off near Haltoie. As you began,
  War on! To Sarraguce your army lead,
  Besiege her walls, though all your life it take,
  And thus avenge the knights the felon slew."


  At this the Emperor, bending low his head,
  Twists his mustache and plucks his hoary beard,
  Answering his nephew neither yea nor nay.
  The Franks keep silence--all save Ganelon
  Who rose and stood before the King, and spake
  Bold words and haughty:--"Put not faith in fools,
  Nor me nor others; follow your own rede!
  Since King Marsile makes offer to become
  Your man, with hands joined; furthermore will hold
  Spain as a fief from you; yea, will receive
  Our law as his law, he who counsel gives
  Such proffer to reject, cares not a whit
  What death we die. No counsel take of pride;
  Let pass the fools and listen to the wise."


  And now Duke Naimes arose: his beard and hair
  As white as drifted snow. In all the court
  No better vassal stood; and to the King:
  "Have you marked well the words Count Ganelon
  In answer spoke but now? His plan is wise;
  Follow it then. This King Marsile in war
  Is overcome, his strongholds all pulled down;
  By warlike engines are his walls destroyed,
  His cities burned, his men subdued;--when now
  He for your mercy prays, foul sin it were
  To press him harder. Since he, furthermore
  Will bind his word by gift of hostages,
  [One of your barons also send to him.]
  In truth no longer this great war should rage."
  The French all cry:--"Duke Naimes has spoken well."


  "Seigneurs Barons, which of you shall we send
  To meet the King Marsile in Sarraguce?"
  Duke Naimes responds:--"I, with your leave will go;
  Give me the glove and staff."--"Nay," quoth King Carle,
  "A sage you are in council, well I know:
  By this mustache and by this beard of mine,
  So far away from me you shall not go.
  Back to your seat, since none hath summoned you."


  "Seigneurs Barons, which of you shall we send
  As messengers to Sarraguce where rules
  Marsile?"--Rollánd responds:--"Behold me here!"
  "--You shall not, by my troth!" cries Olivier,
  "Your pride too fierce, and courage far too hot;
  I fear some misadventure from your zeal.
  Should our King grant me but his leave, 'tis I
  Will go!"--The King exclaimed:--"Be silent both--
  Nor you, nor he, shall yonder set your foot!
  Ay, by this hoary beard of mine, I swear,
  Not one of my twelve Peers shall thither go."
  The French are dumb---all silenced by these words.


  Turpin de Reins arises from the ranks
  And to the King he says: "Let your Franks stay,
  To this land seven years ago you came,
  And they have suffered much of toil and pain.
  Give me the glove and staff, and I will go
  And speak my mind to that proud Saracen."
  With anger great the Emperor replies:
  "Back to your seat on yonder _pallie_ white
  Nor speak another word, save by command!"


  Then said the Emperor:--"Chevaliers of France,
  Choose ye for me a baron of my realm,
  One who can bear my words to King Marsile!"
  Rollánd rejoins:--"Let my step-father go;
  If he remain, no wiser man is found."
  The French say:---"Well can he fulfill the task:
  [If the King wills, 'tis right he should be sent."]


  Thus spoke the King:--"Sire Ganelon, draw near:
  Receive the glove and staff--you heard the Franks
  Pass judgment, and on you their choice has fallen."
  Said Ganelon:--"All this Rollánd has done!
  My life-long, never will I love him more,
  Nor Olivier, his comrade and his friend,
  Nor the twelve Peers, for that they love him well.
  Here in your presence, I defy them all!"
  The King replied:--"Too wroth you are. At once
  You shall depart.--I spoke it."--"Sire, I go,
  Although for me there is nor shield nor guard:
  Basile had none, Bazan, his brother, none!


  "To Sarraguce I go, and know full well
  Who thither goes, may ne'er return. Nay more,
  Your sister is my wife, and I by her
  Have one fair son, Baldewin, the goodliest child
  Who [if he live] will be a noble knight.
  To him I leave my fiefs and honors: guard
  Him well, for him these eyes no more shall see."
  Carle answers:--"Much too tender is your heart;
  Since I command, your duty 'tis to go."


  Count Ganelon, at this, rose full of wrath,
  And, casting from his neck his zibelline
  Of fur, stood forth, clothed in his silk _blialt._[5]
  Gray were his eyes and very fierce his face;
  Graceful his form--his breast, of mighty mold.
  So fair was he, all eyes upon him rest.
  "Rollánd," he said, "wherefore this foolish wrath?
  Since thy step-father, 'tis well known, I am,
  For this thou choosest me to seek Marsile!
  'Tis well. If God but grant me safe return,
  I such ill fortune hurl on thee, shall smite
  Thy life from now and ever with a curse."
  Rollánd replies:--"Mad words and proud I hear.
  All know it well, I care for no man's threat;
  But since a wise man must this message bear,
  If the King wills it, in your place I go."


  "Thou shalt not take my place," said Ganelon;
  "My vassal art thou not, nor yet am I
  Thy lord; and since the King hath given me
  Command this service I should take, I shall
  Go to Marsile. But once in Sarraguce
  Will I with fuel feed my heart's fierce ire."
  Rollánd, on hearing this, began to laugh.


  When Ganelon saw the laughter of Rollánd,
  It seemed as though his breast would burst with wrath;
  His brain was well-nigh maddened by his rage.
  Unto the Count he cried:--"I love you not;
  This judgment have you caused on me to fall!
  Right Emp'ror, in your presence, lo! I stand,
  And I am ready to fulfill your word."


  The King presents to him his right hand glove;
  But Ganelon would well have ne'er stood there,
  For ere he touched the royal glove, it fell.
  The French exclaim:--"What bodes this omen? Shall
  This embassy not have a woeful end?--"
  "_Seigneurs_," said Ganelon, "you will hear of this!"


  Said Ganelon:--"Give me dismissal, Sire!
  Since I must go, my time is precious." Then
  Adjured the King:--"For Jesus' sake and mine!"
  With his right hand he Ganelon absolved
  And blessed, deliv'ring up the brief and staff.


  Count Ganelon his own house seeks, to make
  Equipment and prepare his arms: his choice
  The best that he can find. With golden spurs
  He clasps his heels; belts to his side his sword,
  Murgleis, and mounts his courser Tachebrun.
  His uncle Guinemer the stirrup held;
  There many a chevalier you might have seen
  In tears, who said: "Baron, such evil fate
  Was yours. You, in the King's Court so long, and there
  Revered as liege-man high!--The man who judged
  That you should go, not Carle himself shall cure
  Or save; the Count Rollánd bethought him not
  Of that high lineage whence you sprang!"--And they
  Entreat:--"My lord with you take us along!"
  But Ganelon replies:--"Lord God forbid!
  Better to die alone than with me fall
  So many brave!--Lords, to sweet France ye will go.
  Salute for me my wife, and Pinabel,
  My friend and peer, and my son Baldewin whom
  Ye all know--guard him--hold him for your lord."
  The Count departs and goes upon his way.



  The Count rides on beneath tall olive trees
  And joins the messengers of King Marsile.
  To meet him Blancandrin has checked his speed:
  With skillful words each to the other spake.
  Blancandrin said: "A wond'rous man is Carle
  Who conquered Pouille and overran Calabre,
  Crossed the salt-seas to England, and from thence
  Gained tribute for _Saint-Pierre_. In this our land
  What claims he?" "Such his might," said Ganelon,
  "No man shall ever match with him in arms."


  Said Blancandrin: "The Franks are noble, but
  Those Dukes, those Counts harm much their lord, who give
  To him such counsels, wronging him and all."
  Ganelon answered: "No man, save Rollánd,
  Know I, who should this blame incur; it was
  But yestermorn, the King sat in the shade,
  When Rollánd came before him, all encased
  In glittering arms, fresh from the siege and sack
  Of Carcasonne, holding an apple red;
  And thus his uncle greeted: 'Sire, behold!
  I lay the crowns of all Kings at your feet.'
  Swift punishment should overtake such pride,
  For ev'ry day he blindly runs to death.
  Were he but slain, all lands might rest in peace."


  Blancandrin said: "Most cruel is Rollánd
  Who makes all nations cry for mercy thus,
  And will o'er all the lands his power impose.
  Upon what people doth he then rely
  For such attempt?" Ganelon said: "The French!...
  They love him so, they fail him ne'er in aught.
  Lavish is he of gifts: Silver and gold,
  Mules, chargers, silken robes and garnitures,
  He gives the King himself all that he craves;
  From here to the far East, all lands must fall!"


  Blancandrin with Count Ganelon rode on,
  Until together had they pledged their faith
  To snare Rollánd and lead him to his death.
  Thus on they rode through vales and mountain-paths,
  Till Sarraguce was reached. Beneath a yew
  They lighted: a faldstool by shady pines
  O'erhung, was spread with Alexandrine silk.
  There sat the King who ruled all Spain, and stood
  Around him twenty thousand Saracens,
  Who neither spoke nor breathed, to hear the news;
  And lo! came Blancandrin with Ganelon.


  Blancandrin stepped before the Pagan King
  With Ganelon the Count held by the wrist.
  Thus to Marsile he said: "Mohammed save
  The King! Apollo, too, whose holy law
  We keep. We bore your message to Carl'magne;
  Both hands he lifted, praying to his God;
  No other answer gave.--He sends you here
  One of his noble Barons, a rich Frank.
  Learn from his lips if it be peace or war."
  Responds Marsile: "Then let him speak. We hear!"


  Then Ganelon, who well had weighed his thoughts,
  Begins to speak as one of knowledge vast,
  And says unto the King: "By God be saved,
  The Glorious God we must adore! Carl'magne
  The Baron, sends his message to Marsile:
  The holy Christian Faith if you receive,
  One half of Spain he grants to you in fief.
  These terms refuse, and your fair Sarraguce
  He will besiege, and drag you forth in chains
  To Aix, his royal city, there to meet
  A felon's doom."--Quivering with rage and fear,
  The King Marsile, who held a gold-winged dart,
  Aims it at him; but others stayed his hand.


  The King Marsile turned pale, and full of wrath,
  Brandished the shaft of his winged dart on high.
  Ganelon saw, laid hand upon his sword,
  And quick unsheathed two fingers' breadth of blade,
  Saying: "Sword of mine you are most fair and bright;
  As long as by me borne in this King's court,
  Never shall say the Emperor of France
  Ganelon died alone in foreign land,
  Ere a high price for you the best have paid!"
  The Pagans cry in haste: "Check this affray."


  The wisest Pagans urged the wrathful King,
  Till, yielding, on his throne he has resumed
  His seat. The Kalif said: "Great wrong you brought
  Upon us, menacing to strike the Frank.
  You should have hearkened to his words." "This wrong,"
  Said Ganelon, "I calmly will endure;
  But for the gold that God hath made all wealth
  Stored in this land, I would not leave untold,
  While I have power of speech, the message sent
  By Carle, the mighty Emperor, through me
  His messenger, to thee his mortal foe."
  Ganelon on the ground his mantle dropped
  Of Alexandrine silk, and richly lined
  With zibelline; Blancandrin took it up:
  But from his sword the Count would never part;
  And his right hand still grasps the golden hilt.
  The Pagans say:--"Behold a Baron true!"


  Then Ganelon strode nearer to the King
  And said:--"All idle is this wrath of yours.
  This is the message of King Carle of France;
  Hear his command:--"Receive the Christian law"--
  One half of Spain he grants to you in fief,
  And to Rollánd, his nephew, he will give
  The other half. (A haughty partner he
  Will prove.) To this agreement should you not
  Consent, 'gainst Sarraguce his host will lay
  The siege; by force you will be tak'n and bound,
  And brought to Aix, the royal seat. Hope not
  To ride on palfrey, nor on steed, on mule
  Female or male;--on a vile beast of burden
  You shall be thrown, and doomed to have your head
  Struck off.--Behold the Brief our Emp'ror sends!"
  With his right hand he gives it to the King.


  White with exceeding wrath, the King Marsile
  Has brok'n the seal, let fall the wax on earth,
  And, glancing on the Brief, has read the script:
  "I learn from Carle who holds France in his sway,
  That I should bear in mind his ire and grief:
  Bazan--Basile, his brother, they whose heads
  I took on Mount Haltoïe, his anger's cause.
  If I my body's life would save, to him
  The Kalif, my good uncle, I must send,
  Or else can he ne'er be my friend."--Then spake
  To King Marsile his son:--"This Ganelon,"
  Said he, "speaks madly, and such wrong hath done,
  That he should live no more. Now give him up
  To me, that I to him quick justice deal!"
  Ganelon, hearing this, unsheathed his sword,
  And set his back against a branching pine.


  Into his orchard King Marsile repaired,
  Attended only by his wisest men;
  Came thither too the gray-haired Blancandrin
  With Turfaleu his son and heir; with them
  The Kalif, brother and good friend of King
  Marsile.--Said Blancandrin:--"Recall the Frank;
  To serve us he has pledged his faith."--The King
  Replied:--"Go, bring him hither."--Then he took
  Ganelon's fingers into his right hand,
  And brought him to the grove before the King;
  And lo! was woven there the traitor's plot.


  The King Marsile said:--"Fair Sire Ganelon,
  Unwise and all too hasty was I, when
  In my great wrath I poised my lance to strike.
  This gift of sables take as your amends:
  More than five hundred marks their weight in gold.
  Before to-morrow-eve the boon is yours."
  Ganelon answers:--"I reject it not.
  May God, if 'tis his will, your grace reward."


  Marsile spake thus:--"Sire Ganelon, believe,
  Much I desire to love you, and of Carle
  I crave to hear. Is he not old, his prime
  Has he not passed? Men tell me he has lived
  More than two hundred years; his body dragged
  Throughout so many lands; so many blows
  Upon his shield!--So many mighty Kings
  To beggary reduced!--When will he cease
  To march on battle-fields?"--Then Ganelon
  Responded:--"Such is not King Carle; no man
  Alive who sees and knows him but will tell
  How our great Emperor is Baron true.
  I could not praise and honor him enough,
  For no man lives so valiant and so good.
  His valor ... who on earth could ever tell?
  His soul God with such virtue has illumed,
  I'd rather die than quit my noble lord!"


  The Pagan said:--"Amazed am I at Carle
  So old and so white-haired; his age, I know,
  Two hundred years and more. His limbs he toiled
  Across so many lands; so oft was struck
  By swords and spears; so many kings compelled
  To beg!--When will he cease to war?"--"Carle?--ne'er!"
  Ganelon answered, "while his nephew lives:
  No vassal like him 'neath the starry arch;
  And bold as he his comrade Olivier.
  The twelve Peers held by Carle so dear, behold!
  The vanguard form of twenty thousand knights;
  With them King Carle is safe, and fears no man."


  Again the Pagan:--"I am wonder-struck
  On knowing Carle so old and so white-haired!
  Methinks he passed two hundred years; by arms
  He won so many lands--so many wounds
  In battle he received from trenchant swords!
  So many powerful kings on battle-fields
  Conquered or slew!--When will he cease to war?"
  "--Never!"--said Ganelon, "while lives Rollánd:
  From here to farthest east no knight his peer
  E'er lived: his comrade too, Count Olivier,
  Is brave; and the twelve Peers, so dear to Carle,
  The van-guard make of twenty thousand knights.
  Carle may have peace, and fears no living man!"


  "Fair Sire," said King Marsile to Ganelon,
  "Than mine no fairer people can you see:
  Four hundred thousand knights I can array
  In combat 'gainst King Carle and 'gainst his Franks."--
  Ganelon says:--"The time has not yet come,
  Yea, and great loss your people then will have.
  But leave this folly, and to wisdom hold;
  Offer the King of treasures such a store
  That all the French will marvel at the gift.
  For twenty hostages that you will send,
  Back to Sweet France will Carle ere long repair.
  His rear-guard, notice well, will rest behind:
  There will Rollánd, his nephew, be, I trow,
  With Olivier the brave and courteous knight.
  Trust to my counsel and both Counts are doomed,
  Nay, Carle shall see his lofty pride cast down
  And never more shall covet war with you."


  [Thus King Marsile] said:--"Fair sire Ganelon,
  What means have I to kill the Count Rollànd?"
  Ganelon answered:--"This can I well say:
  The King will reach the wider pass of Sizre
  And leave his rear behind, where great Rollànd
  Eke Olivier, whom both he greatly trusts,
  Will be the chiefs of twenty thousand Franks.
  On these your hundred thousand Pagans throw,
  And let them straightway make an onset fierce:
  Stricken and slain shall be the men of France;
  I say not that of yours none shall be slain,
  But follow up this fight with like attack,
  And Count Rollánd cannot escape them both,
  Then will you deeds of chivalry achieve,
  And free your life from war for evermore."


  "Who could contrive that there Rollánd should die,
  Would strike off Carle's right arm. Then on the field
  That wond'rous host in death shall lie. No more
  Thereafter could King Carle such forces raise,
  And the Great Land at last would rest in peace."
  Marsile, this hearing, kissed him on the neck,
  And then began his treasures to display.


  Exclaimed Marsile:--"What further [shall I say?]
  No good adviser he of faith unsure.
  Swear if Rollánd be there that he shall die!"
  Thus answered Ganelon:--"Your will be done."
  Upon the relics of his sword Murgleis
  The treason swore; thus forfeited himself.


  An ivory-faldstool there was set. Marsile
  The order gives to bring a book before it,
  Mohammed's law and that of Tervagant,
  The Spanish Saracen thus took his oath:
  "If in the rear-guard Count Rollánd be found,
  He will attack him there with all his men;
  And, if it may be, there Rollánd shall die."
  Ganelon answers:--"May [our treaty thrive!]"


  Behold a Pagan, Valdabrun, who armed
  Marsile a Knight; with cheerful smile he said
  To Ganelon:--"Take this my sword; no man
  E'er drew its peer; the hilt alone is worth
  More than a thousand marks.--For love I give it,
  But lend us help against the Count Rollánd,
  And show us how to find him in the rear."
  "--So shall it be," replies Count Ganelon;
  Whereon they kissed each other's chin and face.


  Another Pagan came. 'Twas Climorin
  Who gayly smiling, said to Ganelon:
  "My helmet take--None better have I seen,
  But help us now against _Marchis_ Rollánd
  That we may throw dishonor on his name."
  "--Well shall it be," responded Ganelon,
  And then they kissed each other's lips and cheek.


  And now behold, comes Bramimunde the Queen;
  "Sire Ganelon," said she, "I love you much,
  You, by my sire and all our men esteemed.
  Two necklaces unto your wife I send,
  With jacinths and with amethysts and gold
  Adorned, worth more than all the wealth of Rome;
  Jewels so rich your Emp'ror never had."
  The Count receives and puts them in his hose.


  The King calls up Malduit, his treasurer:
  "Hast thou prepared my gifts for Carle the King?"
  Malduit responds:--"Yea sire, the whole are there:
  Seven hundred camels with their loads of gold
  And silver; then of hostages a score,
  The noblest ever lived beneath the stars."


  Marsile took by the shoulder Ganelon
  And told him:--"Thou hast wisdom and art brave.
  By that great law ye hold the best, beware
  Thy heart fails not. Rich treasures will I give
  To thee: ten mules laden with purest gold
  From Araby; each year shall bring the like.
  Meantime of this great city take the keys,
  And in my name present this wealth to Carle.
  But let Rollánd be ordered to the rear.
  If in the pass or mount I find the knight,
  I swear to give him combat to the death."
  Says Ganelon:--"Methinks too long I stay."--
  He mounts his horse and goes upon his way.


  The Emperor nears his realm, and reaching now
  The city of Valterne sacked by Rollànd
  And left in ruins, which thereafter lay
  A hundred years a desert; there he waits
  For news of Ganelon, and tribute due
  By the great land of Spain. One morning when
  The early dawn was brightening into day,
  Count Ganelon drew nigh unto the camp.


  In early morn the Emperor arose.
  Having attended mass and matins both,
  Upon the verdant grass, before his tent
  He stood, surrounded by the Count Rollánd,
  The valorous Olivier, and the Duke Naimes,
  With many more besides. There also came
  The perjurer, the treacherous Ganelon,
  Who, stepping forth, with most perfidious tongue
  Began to speak:--"Hail! God save Carle the King!--
  I bring you here the keys of Sarraguce:
  Great treasures follow through my care conveyed
  With hostages a score. So, guard them well.
  The King Marsile the brave bears not the blame
  If I bring not the Kalif unto you.
  Myself three hundred thousand men in arms
  Beheld, with hauberks clad, and helmets clasped,
  Swords by their sides, hilts bright with gold inlaid,
  Who with him crossed the sea, not to submit
  To Christ's law which they will not hold nor keep.
  But scarce five leagues had they sailed on the main,
  When wind and tempest rising, down they sank.
  All perished!... Never shall you see them more.
  Had but the Kalif lived, I would have brought
  Him hither. For the Pagan King, know well,
  Ere you shall see this first month pass away,
  Your vassal will he be, with joinèd hands,
  And hold the realm of Spain a fief from you."
  Thus said the King:--"Thanks be to God for this!
  Well have you done, and great your recompense
  Shall be."--He bids a thousand trumpets sound...
  The camp is struck:--the Franks then load their mules
  And set forth on their journey to Sweet France.




  King Carle the Great has made a waste of Spain,
  The cities violated, the castles seized.
  Now saith the King his war is at an end,
  And toward Sweet France the Emperor directs
  His steed.... The Count Rollánd the pennon white
  Has planted on a hill, high 'gainst the sky.
  In all the country round the Franks their tents
  Are pitching, while the Pagans ride along
  The mighty vales. In hauberk clad--their backs
  In armor cased; with helmets clasped--sword girt
  On thigh--shields on their necks--each lance in rest,
  Within a thicket on the mount they halt.
  Four hundred thousand men there wait the dawn.
  The French yet know it not. Ah God! what woe!


  Passes the day; the shades of night have fallen.
  Carle the great Emp'ror sleeps; and in a dream
  He marches through the deep defiles of Sizre.
  In his right hand his ashen spear he holds,
  Which suddenly Count Ganelon has snatched
  From him, and shook and brandished in such wise
  That, breaking, high tow'rd Heav'n the splinters flew.
  Carle sleeps--naught from his slumber can arouse him.


  Another vision followed hereupon:
  He is in France, in his _Chapelle_, at Aix.
  A bear his right arm caught with such sharp fangs
  [That from the bone the flesh is torn away.]
  From toward Ardennes he saw a leopard come,
  Which in his dream, made on him fierce attack;
  But then a greyhound dashes from the hall
  Unto Carle's rescue, swift of leap and bound;
  First from the treach'rous bear the hound tears off
  An ear, then with the leopard combat makes.
  "See!" cry the French, "what battle fierce is here."
  But they know not which of the two will win
  The field--Carle still asleep naught can awake.


  Vanished the night, and the clear dawn appeared.
  With noble mien the Emperor mounts his steed,
  And 'mid the host one thousand trumpets sound:
  "_Barons_," said Carle:--"You see those deep defiles
  And narrow passes--judge who in the rear
  Will take command." Said Ganelon:--"Rollánd,
  My step-son, whom among your valiant knights
  You prize the most." Carle hearing this, upon
  Him sternly looked:--"Thou art the devil's self,"
  Said he, "or else a mortal rage has stung
  Thy heart! Say, who before me in the van
  Will march? 'Twill be Ogier de Dannemarche!
  You have no better Baron for the post."


  When hears the Count Rollánd the lot has fallen
  Upon himself, as loyal knight he speaks:--
  "You, sire step-father, dear and well beloved
  Must be, since you have named me for the rear;
  Nor shall Carl'magne, the King of France, lose aught,
  Nor palfrey, nor fleet steed, if knowledge true
  I have, nor male nor female mule that man
  Can ride, nor beast of burden, horse or ass,
  Unreckoned for with these good swords of ours."
  Said Ganelon:--"The truth you speak, I know."


  When hears Rollánd the rear shall be his lot,
  To his step-father thus in wrath he speaks:--
  "Ah! traitor, evil man of race impure,
  Thou thought'st to see me here let fall the glove
  As thou erst dropped the staff before the King!"


  The Count Rollánd [addressing thus Carl'magne:]
  "Give me the bow that now your hand doth hold,
  For, to my knowledge, none will e'er throw blame
  On me for dropping it, as fell on earth
  Your right hand glove, when he received the staff."
  With head declined the Emperor remains:
  Oft plucks and twists the beard on lip and cheek,
  Nor can his eyes restrain their falling tears.


  Naimes after came--no better ever was
  A vassal in the court. He said to Carle:
  "You hear him; greatly wroth is Count Rollánd;
  The rear guard is assigned to his command;
  No baron have you that with him would make
  Exchange. Give him the bow and your hand has bent,
  And look for those who best may lend him help."
  Carle gives the bow which Count Rollánd receives.


  The Emperor calls to Rollánd and says:--
  "Fair sire, my nephew, truly you must know
  Half of my army will I leave with you;
  Keep them; in their good help your safety lies."
  Then said the Count:--"Of this will I do naught!
  May God confound me, ere my race I shame;
  But twenty thousand valiant knights I keep!
  Through the defiles you can in safety pass
  And fear no harm from man while yet I live."


  Rollánd sits on his steed, and nigh him rides
  His comrade Olivier. There came Gerin,
  Gerier the brave, Othon and Berengier;
  There came Sansun, Anseïs the fierce; there came
  Also Gerard de Roussillon the old,
  Together with the _Gascuin_ Engelier.
  The Archbishop said:--"I, by my head, will go!"
  "--And I with you," exclaimed the Count Gualtier;
  "Rollánd's own man am I, and follow him!"
  From all are chosen twenty thousand knights.


  The Count Rollánd calls up Gualtier de l'Hum:
  "One thousand Franks of France, our land, array,
  And with them cover heights and passes, that
  The Emperor may lose none of his host."
  Responds Gualtier:--"This am I bound to do
  For you."--Forthwith one thousand Franks of France
  O'errun each height and pass.--None shall descend
  Despite ill news, ere seven hundred swords
  Unsheathe. That very day King Almaris
  Who rules Belferne, met them with battle fierce.


  High are the mounts, the valleys murky-dark--
  The rocks are black, the gorges terrible.
  The French toiled through them painfully; their march
  Was heard for fifteen leagues; then the Great land
  Reaching, they viewed Gascuigne, their lord's estate,
  And sweet remembrance felt of honors, fiefs,
  Of lovely maidens and of noble wives:
  Not one is there but weeps from tenderness;
  But more than all is Carle distressed; he mourns
  His nephew left in the defiles of Spain....
  By pity moved he cannot choose but weep.


  The twelve Peers staid in Spain. A thousand score
  Of Franks are under their command, to whom
  Unknown is wavering fear or dread of death.
  Carl'magne to France returns--within his cloak
  He hides his face--Naimes, riding near, inquired:
  "What thought, O King, weighs now upon your heart?"--
  "Who questions me doth wrong. So sad am I
  I can but mourn. Sweet France by Ganelon
  Shall be destroyed. An angel in my sleep
  Appeared, and, dreaming, I beheld my lance
  Broken up within my hand by him who named
  My nephew for the rear guard ... and I left
  Him in a foreign land;--O mighty God,
  Should I lose him, I ne'er should find his peer!"


  Carle the great King, no more restrains his tears:
  One hundred thousand Franks great sympathy
  Give him, with strangest fear for Count Rollánd.
  Vile Ganelon, the wretch, this treason wrought!
  He, from the Pagan King received rich gifts
  Of gold and silver, silk and ciclatons,
  Lions and camels, horses, mules. Behold,
  King Marsile summons all his Counts from Spain,
  His Viscounts, Dukes and Almazours; with these
  The Emirs, and the sons of noble Counts;
  Four hundred thousand gathered in three days,
  In Sarraguce are beaten all the drums;
  Mohammed's image to the loftiest tower
  Is raised on high.--No Pagan but adores
  And prays before him.--They then madly ride
  Throughout the land, o'er mountain and o'er vale.
  At last they see the gonfalons of France;
  It is the rear-guard of the twelve compeers:
  Nor will they fail to give them battle now.


  Hastes to the front the nephew of Marsile,
  Goading the mule that bears him, with a staff.
  Says to his uncle, gayly laughing loud:
  "Fair King, till now I served you well; for you
  Endured hard pain and grief.--The only fee
  I ask is this:--To strike Rollánd! I swear
  To give him death with my good trenchant sword,
  And if his help Mohammed will bestow,
  On me, forever shall all Spain be free,
  From the defiles of Aspre to Durestant.
  Carle then will yield,--the Franks, surrender all;
  No more in all your life will you have war."
  The King Marsile bestows on him the glove.


  The nephew of Marsile holds in his grasp
  The glove, and to the King with haughty pride
  Speaks:--"Fair Sire King, your gift I dearly prize;
  Choose you for me eleven of your Knights,
  And I will go and combat the twelve Peers."
  The first response was that of Falsaun:
  He was the brother of the King Marsile.--
  "Fair nephew, we shall go, both you and I;
  In battle side by side, we shall engage.
  The rear of Carle's great host is doomed to die!"


  King Corsalis stands on the other side;
  He comes from Barbary; a soul of guile.
  Still speaks he there not unlike vassal true
  Who would not for the gold of heav'n be base:
  "If there I find Rollànd, we meet in fight.
  I am the third; now choose ye out the fourth."
  See you the spurring Malprimis de Brigal,
  Faster on foot than runs the fastest steed?
  Before Marsile in a loud voice he cries:
  "I shall my body take to Ronceval;
  If there I find Rollànd, by me he dies."


  An Emir now is there, from Balaguer.
  Of handsome form, with proud and cheerful face,
  When on his steed he vaults, well doth he show
  With what great pride his armor's mail is borne.
  For truest vassalage he is renowned;
  Were he but Christian, 'twere a baron true.
  Before Marsile he stands and loudly cries:
  "My body I will take to Ronceval;
  If there I face Rollànd his doom is sure,
  Eke Olivier and the twelve peers, all die.
  The Franks shall perish in despair and shame.
  Carl'magne is old and dotes. O'erwhelmed, at last
  He will give up this waging war, and Spain
  Forever shall be kept beneath our sway."
  The King Marsile on him bestows great thanks.


  Then from the Moorish land an Almazour
  Steps forth. All Spain can show no greater wretch.
  Before Marsile he makes a boastful vaunt:
  "To Ronceval will I my people lead--
  Full twenty thousand men with lance and shield.
  If I Rollànd find there, I pledge his death;
  No after-day shall dawn but Carle shall weep."


  From elsewhere comes Turgis de Turteluse.
  He is a count, and o'er this city wields
  His sway; hate unto Christians has he vowed,
  And stands with all the rest before Marsile.
  He thus addressed the king: "Ne'er be dismayed!
  More worth Mohammed than Saint Pierre of Rome;
  But serve him well, the honor of the field
  [Is ours]. I'll meet Rollánd at Ronceval
  Where none can guard him. Mark this sword of mine;
  Its blade, so good and long, in desperate fight
  Will cross with Durendal; and you will hear
  Which of the two shall win the victory.
  Abandoned unto us the French must die.
  The old King Carle will have both grief and shame,
  And never more on earth will wear a crown."


  Comes up besides Escremiz de Valterne,
  A Saracen, and of that country lord.
  Before Marsile among the throng he cries:
  "To Ronceval I go, to crush the proud;
  Nor shall Rollánd, if there, bear off his head,
  Nor Olivier, chief of the other knights;
  The twelve peers, all are doomed to perish there.
  The French shall die, and France become a waste.
  Of such good vassals Carle will see the loss."


  And came with Esturgant, Estramaris,
  His friend; both wretches, traitors, villains are....
  Thus spake Marsile: "Come forth, Seigneurs; ye both
  To Ronceval's defiles shall go and help
  Me there to lead my host." Both answer: "King,
  At your command, Rollánd and Olivier
  Will we assault. No power can the twelve peers
  From death defend against our trenchant swords
  Whose blades shall redden with hot blood. The French
  Are doomed to death and Carle to doleful life.
  France, the Great Land, shall through our arms become
  Your realm. Come, King, to see this verified;
  The Emperor's self a captive we'll present."


  There hastens Margariz de Sibilie
  Who holds the country toward the distant sea.
  His beauty such, all ladies are his friends;
  Not one looks on him but to smile, nor can
  Restrain her laughing joy. No Pagan else
  More glorious deeds of chivalry achieved;
  Pressed through the crowd, he cries above the rest
  Unto the king: "Be not dismayed, for I
  To Ronceval will go to kill Rollánd,
  And Olivier shall not escape alive;
  To martyrdom the twelve Peers are condemned.
  See my good sword with gold-embossèd hilt,
  Given me by the _Amiralz_ of Prime;
  I pledge my faith it will be dyed in blood.
  The French shall perish, France be steeped in shame,
  And Carle the old, with beard all blossom-white,
  Shall see no day uncursed by grief and wrath.
  Before one year we shall have conquered France
  And slept beneath the roofs of Saint-Denis."
  At this, the Pagan king bowed low his head.


  Next you can see Chernubles de [Val-neire].
  His hair so long, it sweeps the earth, and he
  Can, for his sport, lift greater weight than bear
  Four hundred loaded mules.--In his [far-land]
  They say--the sun ne'er shines, corn cannot grow,
  The rain falls not, the dew wets not the soil;
  No stone there but is black, and it is said
  By some that in that land the demons dwell.
  Thus said Chernubles:--"My sword hangs at my belt;
  At Ronceval I will dye it crimson! should
  I find Rollánd the brave upon my path,
  Nor strike him down, then trust to me no more;
  This my good sword shall conquer Durendal,
  The French shall die, and France must be destroyed."
  At these words, rally King Marsile's twelve Peers,
  And lead one hundred thousand Saracens
  Who for the battle hasten and prepare,
  Arming themselves beneath a grove of pines.


  The Pagans put their Moorish hauberks on;
  The greater part are triply lined; they lace
  Their helms of Sarraguce, gird to their thighs
  Swords of Vienna steel; bright are their shields;
  Their lances from Valence; their banners white
  And blue and crimson. Mules and sumpter-beasts
  Are left behind. They mount their battle steeds,
  And forward press in closely serried lines.
  Clear was the day, and brilliant was the sun;
  No armor but reflected back the light.
  A thousand clarions sound their cheering blasts
  So loud, the French can hear--. Says Olivier:
  "Rollànd, companion, hearken! Soon, methinks,
  We shall have battle with the Saracens!"
  To which Rollánd: "God grant it may be so.
  Here must we do our duty to our King;
  A man should for his Lord and for his cause
  Distress endure, and bear great heat and cold,
  Lose all, even to his very hair and skin!
  'Tis each man's part to strike with mighty blows,
  That evil songs of us may ne'er be sung.
  The wrong cause have the Pagans, we the right.
  No ill example e'er shall come from me."



  Olivier from the summit of a hill
  On his right hand looks o'er a grassy vale,
  And views the Pagans' onward marching hordes;
  Then straight he called his faithful friend Rollánd:
  "From Spain a distant rumbling noise I hear,
  So many hauberks white and flashing helms
  I see!--This will inflame our French men's hearts.
  The treason is the work of Ganelon
  Who named us for this post before the King."
  "Hush! Olivier!"--the Count Rollánd replies,
  "'Tis my step-father, speak no other word."


  Count Olivier is posted on a hill
  From whence Spain's Kingdom he descries, and all
  The swarming host of Saracens; their helms
  So bright bedecked with gold, and their great shields,
  Their 'broidered hauberks, and their waving flags,
  He cannot count the squadrons; in such crowds
  They come, his sight reached not unto their end.
  Then all bewildered he descends the hill,
  Rejoins the French, and all to them relates.


  Said Olivier: "I have seen Pagans more
  Than eyes e'er saw upon the earth; at least
  One hundred thousand warriors armed with shields,
  In their white hauberks clad, with helmets laced,
  Lances in rest, and burnished brazen spears.
  Battle ye will have, such as ne'er was before.
  French Lords, may God inspire you with his strength!
  Stand firm your ground, that we may not succumb."
  The French say: "Cursed be those who fly the field!
  Ready to die, not one shall fail you here."



  Olivier said: "So strong the Pagan host;
  Our French, methinks, in number are too few;
  Companion Rollánd, sound your horn, that Carle
  May hear and send his army back to help."
  Rollánd replies:--"Great folly would be mine,
  And all my glory in sweet France be lost.
  No, I shall strike great blows with Durendal;
  To the golden hilt the blade shall reek with blood.
  In evil hour the felon Pagans came
  Unto the Pass, for all are doomed to die!"


  "Rollànd, companion, sound your olifant,
  That Carle may hear and soon bring back the host.
  With all his Baronage the king will give
  Us held!"--Replied Rollánd:--"May God fore-fend
  That for my cause my kindred e'er be blamed,
  Or that dishonor fall upon sweet France.
  Nay, I will deal hard blows with Durendal,
  This my good sword now girt unto my side
  Whose blade you'll see all reeking with red blood.
  Those felon Pagans have for their ill fate
  Together met--yea, death awaits them all."


  "Companion Rollánd, sound your olifant!
  If Carle who passes through the mounts shall hear,
  To you I pledge my word, the French return."
  Answered Rollánd:--"May God forbid!--Ne'er be
  It said by living man that Pagans could
  Cause me to blow my horn, to bring disgrace
  Upon my kin!--When on the battle field,
  I'll strike one thousand seven hundred blows,
  And Durendal all bleeding shall you see.
  [The French are brave and bravely will they strike.]
  Those Spanish Moors are doomed to certain death."


  Olivier said:--"To me there seems no shame;
  I have beheld the Moors of Spain; they swarm
  O'er mountains, vales and lands, hide all the plains;
  Great is this stranger host; our number small."
  Rollánd replies:--"The more my ardor grows.
  God and his [blessed] angels grant that France
  Lose naught of her renown through my default.
  Better to die than in dishonor [live.]
  The more we strike the more Carle's love we gain!"


  Rollánd is brave and Olivier is wise;
  Both knights of wond'rous courage--and in arms
  And mounted on their steeds, they both will die
  Ere they will shun the fight. Good are the Counts
  And proud their words.--The Pagan felons ride
  In fury on!--"Rollánd," said Olivier,
  "One moment, look! Our foes so close, and Carle
  Afar from us--you have not deigned to blow
  Your horn! If came the king, no hurt were ours.
  Cast your eyes toward the great defiles of Aspre;
  There see this most unhappy rear-guard. [Those
  Who here fight, ne'er shall fight on other fields."]
  Rollànd retorts:--"Speak not such shameful words.
  Woe unto him who bears a coward's heart
  Within his breast. There firm shall we remain;
  The combat and the blows from us shall come."


  Now when Rollánd the battle sees at hand,
  More than a leopard's or a lion's pride
  He shows. He calls the French and Olivier:
  "Companion, friend, pray, speak of this no more.
  The Emperor who left his French in trust
  To us, has chos'n those twenty thousand men.
  Right well he knows none has a coward's soul.
  A man should suffer hurt for his good lord,
  Endure great cold or scorching heat, and give
  Even to his flesh and blood--Strike with your lance,
  And I with Durendal, my trusty sword,
  Carle's gift. If here I die, may he who wins
  It, say:--'Twas once the sword of a brave knight."


  Turpin the Archbishop from another side,
  Spurring his courser, mounts a hill and calls
  The French around. This sermon to them speaks:
  "_Seigneurs Barons_, Carle left us here: for him,
  Our King, our duty is to die, to aid
  In saving Christendom, the Faith of Christ
  Uphold. There, battle will ye have, for there
  Before your eyes behold the Saracens.
  Confess your sins, and for God's mercy pray!
  For your soul's cure I absolution give....
  If you should die, as holy martyrs ye
  Will fall, and places find in Paradise!"
  The French alight and fall upon their knees;
  The Godly Archbishop grants them benison,
  Giving for penance his command to strike.


  The French arise. They stand assoiled and quit
  Of all sins, blessed by Turpin in God's name.
  On swift destriers they mount, armed cap-a-pie
  As Knights arrayed for battle. Count Rollánd
  Calls Olivier:--"Companion, sire, full well
  You know, it is Count Ganelon who has
  Betrayed us all, and guerdon rich received
  In gold and silver; well the Emp'ror should
  Avenge us! King Marsile a bargain made
  Of us, but swords will make the reck'ning good."


  Through the defiles of Spain hath passed Rollánd
  Mounted on Veillantif, his charger swift
  And strong, bearing his bright and glitt'ring arms.
  On goes the brave Rollánd, his lance borne up
  Skyward, beneath its point a pennon bound,
  Snow-white, whose fringes flap his hand.
  Fair is his form, his visage bright with smiles.
  Behind him follows Olivier his friend;
  The French with joy, him as their champion, hail.
  He on the Heathens throws a haughty glance,
  But casts a sweet and humble look upon
  His French, and to them speaks with courteous tone:
  "_Seigneurs Barons_, march steadily and close.
  These Pagans hither came to find a grave;
  We here shall conquer such great spoil to-day
  As never yet was gained by Kings of France."
  Even as he spoke the word, the armies met.


  Said Olivier:--"No care have I to speak,
  Since you deigned not to blow your olifant,
  All hope of help from Carle for you is lost.
  He knows no word of this; the fault lies not
  In him, nor are yon Knights to blame--ride on
  And gallop to the charge as best you can.
  _Seigneurs Barons_, recoil not from the foe,
  In God's name! bearing ever this in mind,
  Hard blows to deal and hard blows to endure
  Forget we not the war-cry of King Carle!"
  At this word all the French together shout.
  Who then had heard the cry, "Montjoie!" had known
  What courage is. Then all together rush
  Right onward; God! with what an onset fierce!
  Deeply they spur their steeds for greater speed;
  They burn to fight. What else can they desire?
  The Saracens stand firm and nothing fear....
  Behold the Franks and Pagans hand to hand....



  The nephew of Marsile--his name Aëlroth,
  Forward the first of all spurs on his horse
  Against our French, hurling forth insulting words:
  "To-day, French villains, ye will joust with us;
  Who was to guard you, has betrayed you; mad
  Must be the King who left you in the pass.
  So now the honor of sweet France is lost,
  And Carle the great shall lose his right arm here."
  Rollànd heard.--God! what pain to him! He drives
  His golden spurs into his courser's flanks,
  And rushes at full speed against Aëlroth;
  His shield he breaks, dismails the hauberk linked;
  Cleaving his breast, he severs all the bones,
  And from the spine the ribs disjoint. The lance
  Forth from his body thrusts the Pagan's soul;
  The Heathen's corse reels from his horse, falls down
  Upon the earth, the neck cloven in two halves.
  Rollánd still taunts him:--"Go thou, wretch, and know
  Carle was not mad. Ne'er did he treason love,
  And he did well to leave us in the pass.
  To-day sweet France will not her honor lose!
  Strike, Frenchmen, strike; the first sword-stroke is ours;
  We have the right, these gluttons have the wrong!"


  Then comes a Duke whose name is Falsarun;
  He is the brother of the King Marsile.
  The lands of Dathan and of Abirun
  He holds: no viler wretch lives under Heaven.
  Vast is his forehead, and the space between
  His deeply sunken eyes is half a foot.
  Seeing his nephew dead, in grief he bounds
  Forth from the serried ranks, and shouts aloud
  The Pagan war-cry, furious 'gainst the French.
  "To-day," he cries, "at last sweet France shall lose
  Her fame!"--When Olivier heard this, in wrath
  He pricks with golden spurs his charger's flanks,
  And, like true baron, lifts his arm to strike,
  Shivers the Pagan's shield, his hauberk tears
  Apart. The pennon's folds pass through his breast
  As with the shaft he hurls him from the selle,
  A mangled corpse;--here lies he on the ground.
  Unto the prostrate body Olivier
  Says proudly:--"Wretch, to me thy threats are vain!
  Strike boldly, Franks! The victory shall be ours!
  Montjoie!" he shouts, the battle-cry of Carle.


  A king, named Corsablis, from Barbarie,
  A distant land, is there.--The Pagan host
  He calls;--"The field is ours with ease: the French
  So few in numbers we may well disdain,
  Nor Carle shall rescue one; all perish here.
  To-day, they all are doomed to death!" Turpin
  The Archbishop heard him; lived no man on earth
  He hated more than Corsablis; he pricks
  His horse with both his spurs of purest gold,
  And 'gainst him rushes with tremendous force.
  The shield and hauberk split; and with a stroke
  Of the long lance into his body driven,
  Corsablis lifeless drops across the path;
  Him, though a corpse, Turpin addresses thus:
  "Thou, coward Pagan, thou hast lied! Great Carl
  My lord, was ever and will ever be
  Our help; and Frenchmen know not how to fly.
  As for thy fellows, we can keep them here;
  I tell you, each this day shall die.--Strike, Franks,
  Yourselves forget not. This first blow, thank God,
  Is ours! Montjoie!" cries he, to hold the field.


  Gerin attacks Malprimis de Brigal
  Whose good shield now was not a denier worth:
  The crystal boss all broken, and one half
  Fall'n on the ground. Down to the flesh Gerin
  His hauberk cleaves, and passes through his heart
  The brazen point of a stout lance. Then falls
  The Pagan chief and dies by that good blow;
  And Sathanas bears off the wretched soul.


  Gerier, his comrade, strikes the Amurafle,
  Breaks his good shield, his hauberk white unmails,
  Plants in his heart a spear's steel point with such
  Good aim, one blow has pierced the body through;
  And his strong lance-thrust hurls him dead to earth.--
  Said Olivier: "A noble combat ours!"


  Duke Sansun rushes on the Almazour;
  He splits the shield with painted flowers and gold
  Embossed. The strong-mailed hauberk shelters not,
  As he is pierced through liver, heart and lungs.
  For him may mourn who will--death-struck he falls:
  "That is a Baron's stroke!" the Archbishop cries.


  Anseïs gives his steed the rein, and charges
  Fierce on Turgis de Turteluse; beneath
  The golden boss asunder breaks the shield,
  Rips up the hauberk double-linked; so true
  The thrust, that all the steel passed through his breast.
  With this one blow the shaft has struck him dead.
  Rollánd exclaimed: "The stroke is of a Knight!"


  Then Engelier, the Gascuin of Burdele,
  Spurs deep his horse, and casting loose the rein,
  Rushes upon Escremiz de Valterne;
  Breaks down the buckler fastened to his throat
  And rends his gorget-mail; full in the breast
  The lance strikes deep and passes in between
  The collar bones; dead from the saddle struck
  He falls.--And Turpin says: "Ye all are lost!"


  Othon assails a Pagan, Estorgant,
  His thrust hits hard the leather of the shield,
  Effacing its bright colors red and white,
  Breaks in his hauberk's sides, and plunges deep
  Within his heart a strong and trenchant spear,
  From off the flying steed striking him dead.
  This done, he says:--"No hope for you remains!"


  And Berengier smites now Estramaris,
  Splits down his shield, shivers his coat of mail
  In shreds and through his bosom drives a lance.
  Dead 'midst one thousand Saracens he drops.
  Of their twelve Peers now ten have breathed their last:
  Chernuble--Margariz, the Count, survive.


  Most valiant Knight is Margariz. 'Mid all
  Beauteous, strong, slender, quick of hand. He spurs
  His horse and charges Olivier; beneath
  The boss of purest gold his shield breaks down,
  Then at his side a pointed lance he aims;
  But God protects him, for the blow ne'er reached
  The flesh. The point grazed only, wounding not.
  Then Margariz unhindered rides away
  And sounds his horn to rally his own men.


  The battle rages fierce. All men engage.
  Rollánd, the dauntless, combats with his lance
  As long as holds the shaft. Fifteen good blows
  It dealt, then broke and fell; now his good sword,
  Loved Durendal, he draws, spurs on his steed
  'Gainst Chernubles, splits his bright helm adorned
  With gems; one blow cleaves through mail-cap and skull,
  Cutting both eyes and visage in two parts,
  And the white hauberk with its close-linked mail;
  Down to the body's fork, the saddle all
  Of beaten gold, still deeper goes the sword,
  Cuts through the courser's chine, nor seeks the joint.
  Upon the verdant grass fall dead both knight
  And steed. And then he cries: "Wretch! ill inspired
  To venture here! Mohammed helped thee not....
  Wretches like you this battle shall not win."


  The Count Rollànd rides through the battle-field
  And makes, with Durendal's keen blade in hand,
  A mighty carnage of the Saracens.
  Ah! had you then beheld the valiant Knight
  Heap corse on corse; blood drenching all the ground;
  His own arms, hauberk, all besmeared with gore,
  And his good steed from neck to shoulder bleed!
  Still Olivier halts not in his career.
  Of the twelve Peers not one deserves reproach,
  And all the French strike well and massacre
  The foe. The Pagans dead or dying fall.
  Cries the Archbishop: "Well done, Knights of France!
  Montjoie! Montjoie! It is Carle's battle cry!"


  Olivier grasps the truncheon of his lance,
  Spurs through the storm and fury of the fight,
  And rushes on the Pagan Malsarun,
  Breaks down his shield with flowers and gold embossed,
  Thrusts from their orbs his eyes; his brains dashed out
  Are crushed and trampled 'neath the victor's feet;
  With seven hundred men of theirs he fell.
  The Count next slew Turgis and Estorgus;
  But now the shaft breaks short off by his hand.
  Then said Rollánd: "What mean you, _Compagnon_?
  In such a fight as this 'tis not a staff
  We need, but steel and iron, as I deem.
  Where now that sword called Halteclere, with hilt
  Of gold and crystal pommel?" "I lack time
  To draw it," valiant Olivier replies,
  "So busy is my hand in dealing blows!"


  Lord Olivier then his good sword unsheathed,
  For which Rollánd entreated him so much,
  And showed it to his friend with knightly pride;
  Strikes down a Pagan, Justin de Val-Ferrée,
  Whose head is severed by the blow; cuts through
  Th' embroider'd hauberk, through the body, through
  The saddle all with studs and gold embossed,
  And through the back-bone of the steed. Both man
  And steed fall on the grass before him, dead.
  Rollánd exclaims: "Henceforth, you are indeed
  My brother! These, the strokes loved by King Carle!"
  And echoes round the cry: "Montjoie! Montjoie!"


  The Count Gerin sits on his horse, Sorel,
  And his companion Gerier, on Passe-Cerf,
  They loose the reins, and both spur on against
  A Pagan, Timozel. One strikes the shield,
  The other strikes the hauberk;--in his heart
  The two spears meet and hurl him lifeless down.
  I never heard it said nor can I know
  By which of them the swifter blow was struck.--
  Esperveris, son to Borel, was next
  By Engelier de Burdele slain. Turpin
  With his own hand gave death to Siglorel
  Th' Enchanter who once entered hell, led there
  By Jupiter's craft. Turpin said:--"Forfeit paid
  For crime!"--"The wretch is vanquished," cried Rollánd,
  "My brother Olivier, such blows I love!"


  The combat paused not. Franks and Pagans vie
  In dealing blows; attacking now, and now
  Defending. Splintered spears, dripping with blood
  So many; o'er the field such numbers strewn:
  Of banners torn and shattered gonfalons!
  So many valiant French mowed in their prime,
  Whom mothers and sweet wives will never see
  Again, nor those of France who in the Pass
  Await them! Carle for these shall weep and mourn.
  But what avails? Naught can he help them now.
  Ill service rendered Ganelon to them
  The day when he to Sarraguce repaired
  To sell his kin. Ere long for this he lost
  Both limb and life, judged and condemned at Aix,
  There to be hanged with thirty of his race
  Who were not spared the punishment of death.


  The battle rages. Wonders all perform;
  Rollánd and Olivier strike hard; Turpin
  Th' Archbishop, deals more than a thousand blows;
  The twelve Peers dally not upon the field,
  While all the French together fight as if
  One man. By hundreds and by thousands fall
  The Pagans: none scapes death, save those who fly
  Whether they will or no, all lose their lives.
  And yet the French have lost their strongest arms,
  Their fathers and their kin they will ne'er see
  Again, nor Carle who waits them in the Pass.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Meantime in France an awful scourge prevails:
  Wind, storm, rain, hail and flashing lightning bolts
  Conflict confusedly, and naught more true,
  The earth shook from Saint Michiel-del-Peril
  As far as to the Saints, from Besançon
  Unto the [sea-port] of Guitzand; no house
  Whose walls unshaken stood; darkness at noon
  Shrouded the sky. No beam of light above
  Save when a flash rips up the clouds. Dismayed
  Beholders cry:--"The world's last day has come,
  The destined end of all things is at hand!"
  Unwitting of the truth, their speech is vain....
  'Tis dolour for the death of Count Rollánd!


  The French [strike] hard; they strike with all their force.
  In multitudes--by thousands die their foes;
  Not two out of one hundred thousand now
  Survive. [Turpin] says:--"Brave are all our men;--
  None braver under Heaven--In the Geste
  Of France 'tis writ true vassals have our Kings."
  Seeking their friends, they overrun the field.
  Their eyes are filled with tenderness and tears
  For their dear kindred they so fondly loved....
  Now King Marsile with his great host appears....


  Marsile advances 'midst a valley deep,
  Surrounded by the mighty host he brought,
  In twenty squadrons mustered and arrayed.
  Bright shine the helmets strewn with gold and gems,
  And shields and hauberks graved. They sound a charge
  With seven hundred clarions sending forth
  Loud blasts throughout the land--Thus said Rollánd:
  "Companion Olivier, my brother, friend,
  The traitor, Ganelon, has sworn our death....
  His treason is too sure; the Emp'ror Carle
  For this vile crime will take a vengeance deep.
  A long and cruel battle we shall have,
  Ere this unknown to man. There, I will fight
  With my good Durendal; you, friend, will strike
  With Halteclere--Those noble swords we bore
  Throughout so many lands; such combats won
  By them, vile strains must never chant their deeds."


  When the French see the Pagan cohorts swarm
  The country o'er, they call on Olivier,
  Rollánd and the twelve Peers to guard their lives.
  Unto them now the Archbishop speaks his mind:
  "Barons, be not unworthy of yourselves!
  Fly not the field, for God's sake, that brave men
  Sing not ill songs of you! Far better die
  In battle. Doomed, I know, we are to death,
  And ere this day has passed, our lives are o'er.
  But for one thing ye can believe my word:
  For you God's Paradise stands open wide,
  And seats await you 'mid the blessèd Saints."
  These words of comfort reassure the French;
  All in one voice cry out:--"Montjoie! Montjoie!"


  There was a Saracen from Sarraguce
  Lord of one half the city--Climorin,
  Unlike a Baron; he received the faith
  Of Ganelon, and sealed the treacherous bond
  By pressing on his lip a kiss--Besides
  Unto him gave his sword and carbuncle.
  "I will," said he, "put your great France to shame
  And from the Emperor's head shake off the crown!"
  Mounted on Barbamouche that faster flies
  Than hawk or swallow on the wing, he spurs
  His courser hard, and dropping on its neck
  The rein, he strikes Engelier de Gascuigne;
  Hauberk nor shield is for him a defense:
  Deep in the core the Pagan thrusts his spear
  So mightily, its point comes out behind,
  And with the shaft o'erturns him on the field
  A corse;--he cries. "Fit for destruction these!
  Strike, Pagans, strike, and let us break their lines!"
  The French cry: "God! to lose so brave a Knight!"....


  The Count Rollánd calls Olivier: "You know,
  Companion, sire, Engelier is no more....
  No better Knight had we"--The Count replies:
  "God grant that I avenge him well!" He drives
  His golden spurs into his charger's flanks;
  And waving Halteclere's blood dripping blade,
  The Pagan he assails, and deals a blow....
  O'erthrown is Climorin. The fiends of hell
  Bear off his soul. The Knight then slays the Duke
  Alphaïen, beheads Escababi,
  Unhorses seven Arabs with such skill
  They rise no more to fight. Then said Rollánd:
  "Wroth is my sire, and by my side achieves
  Renown! by such good blows Carl's love is gained.
  Strike, Chevaliers! strike on!"--he cries aloud.


  From otherwhere is Valdabrun who armed
  Marsile a Knight; lord of four hundred ships.
  There is no sailor but swears by his name;
  'Twas he by treason took Jerusalem,
  Who there the shrine of Solomon profaned,
  And slew before the Fonts the Patriarch;
  'Twas he, received Count Ganelon's vile oath
  And gave him with his sword a thousand marks;
  Faster than falcon in its flight his steed
  Named Graminond. He sharply spurs his flanks
  And rushes 'gainst the mighty Duke Sansun,
  Breaks down his shield--the hauberk rends, and thrusts
  Within his breast the pennon of the flag;
  The shaft o'erthrows him from the saddle, dead.
  "Strike Pagans! strike, for we shall conquer them!"
  The French say:--"God! what Baron true we lose!"


  When Count Rollánd sees Sansun lifeless fall,
  You may well know what grief was his. He spurs
  His horse down on the Pagan. Durendal
  More worth than precious gold he lifts to strike
  With all his might; gold studded helm, head, trunk,
  Hauberk asunder cleaves; the blow, e'en through
  The gold boss'd saddle, strikes the courser's back,
  Killing both horse and man. Blame or approve
  Who may. The Pagans say:--"Hard is this blow!"
  Retorts Rollánd:--"For yours no pity can
  I feel--With you the vaunting and the wrong!"


  An African fresh from the desert land
  Was there, Malquidant, son of king Malcud;
  His armor highly wrought in beaten gold
  Outshines all others in the sun's bright rays.
  Mounted upon his horse named Salt-Perdut,
  He aims a blow at Anseïs' shield, and cuts
  The azure and vermillion all away.
  His hauberk rives asunder, side from side,
  And through his body pass both point and shaft.
  The Count is dead.--His last breath spent and flown.
  The French say:--"Baron, such great woe for you!"


  The Archbishop Turpin rides across the fields;
  No shaven priest sang ever mass so well
  As he, and showed such prowess in his deeds.
  He to the Pagan:--"May God send all ills
  To thee, who slew the knight my heart bewails!"
  Turpin spurs hard his good steed 'gainst the wretch;
  One blow strikes down his strong Toledo shield:
  The miscreant dead upon the green sward falls.


  Elsewhere stands Grandomie who is the son
  Of Capuel king of Cappadoce. He sits
  A steed named Marmorie, than flying bird
  More swift. Loosening the rein, and spurring deep,
  To smite Gerin with all his force he rides;
  Torn from the neck which bears it, shattered falls
  The purple shield, through the rent mail he drives
  The whole blue pennon in his breast. Gerin
  Drops lifeless by this blow, against a rock.
  The Pagan also slays Gerier, his friend,
  And Berengier, and Gui de Saint-Antoine;
  Assailing then the noble Duke Austoire
  Who holds Valence and fiefs along the Rosne,
  He strikes him dead. The Saracens extol
  Their triumph, but how many fall of ours!


  Hearing the Frenchmen's sobs, the Count Rollánd
  Grasps in his hand his sword, all reeking blood.
  His mighty heart nigh breaking with his grief,
  Cries to the foe:--"May God all evils send
  On thee! him hast thou slain for whom thou shalt
  Most dearly pay!--" He spurs his flying steed....
  Conquer who may--these two fight hand to hand.


  A wise and valiant knight was Grandonie,
  Virtuous and fearless vassal. 'Mid his way
  Encountering Count Rollánd, though never seen
  Before, at once he knew 'twas he, as well
  By his proud mien and noble beauty, as
  By his fair countenance and lofty look.
  Awe-struck, despite himself, he vainly tries
  To fly, but rooted to the spot he stays.
  The Count Rollánd smites him so skillfully,
  He splits in two the nazal, helm, nose, mouth,
  And teeth, the body and mailed-armor, then
  Hews through the golden selle, both silver-flaps;
  With a still deeper stroke the courser's back
  Is gashed. So both are slain past remedy.
  The men of Spain cry out all sorrowful;
  But say the French:--"Well our defender strikes."


  Marv'lous the battle, and the tumult fierce;
  The French of strength and fury full, raise high
  Their swords: backs, ribs and wrists are slashed; the flesh
  Cut through rent garments to the quick; along
  The verdant soil the red blood runs in streams.
  The Pagans cry:--"We cannot more endure!
  Great land, Mohammed curse thee!--More than all
  This people bold."--Not one who does not cry
  "Marsile! ride on, O King, thy aid we need!"


  A battle fierce and wonderful!--Hard strike
  The French with glittering lance, and there you might
  Have seen what miseries man can suffer: Mowed
  And heaped in bloody mounds, all gasping out
  Their lives, some on their backs, some on their teeth--
  The Saracens give way, willing or not;
  By the French lances forced, they fly the field.


  Marsile his warriors massacred beholds,
  And, bidding all his horns and trumpets blow,
  Rides forward, and his whole van rides with him.
  In the van rode a Saracen, Abisme,
  The vilest wretch among his men, sunk deep
  In crimes and shame, who has no faith in God,
  Sainte Marie's son; as black as melted pitch
  His face; more fond of blood and treason foul
  Than of the gold of all Galice. None saw
  Him laugh or play; for courage and rash deeds
  He pleased the vile Marsile whose dragon flag
  He bears. No pity can the Archbishop feel
  For him, and at his sight he craves to try
  His arm, all softly saying to himself:
  "This Saracen is but a heretic;
  Far better die than not to give him death.
  Ne'er cowardice nor coward I endured!"


  The Archbishop gives the signal for the fight;
  He rides the horse he captured from Grossaille,
  A King he slew among the Danes: a horse
  Of wondrous fleetness, light-hoofed, slender-limbed;
  Thigh short; with broad and mighty haunch; the flanks
  Are long, and very high his spine; pure white
  His tail, and yellow is his mane--his ears
  Are small--light brown his head. This paragon
  Of all the beasts of earth has not his peer.
  The Archbishop, baron-like, spurs on the horse,
  Full bent upon the encounter with Abisme;
  He gains his side and hard he strikes his shield
  Glittering with gems, topaz and amethyst,
  Crystals and carbuncles, which to him gave
  The Emir Galafés--a demon's gift
  To this in Val-Metas. Him Turpin smites
  Nor mercy shows; 'gainst such a blow avails
  The shield but little; sheer from side to side
  Passes the blade ... dead on the place he falls.
  At such exploit amazed, the French exclaim:
  "The archbishop's crosier in his hand is safe!"


  The Count Rollánd calls Olivier: "With me,
  Companion, sire, confess that 'mong brave knights
  The archbishop upon earth or under Heav'n
  Has not his peer in casting spear or lance."
  Olivier answers:--"To his rescue on!"
  At this the French once more resume the fight.
  Hard are the blows, rough is the strife--Meantime
  The Christian host in greatest sorrow mourn.


  Whoever could this fight describe? Rollánd
  And Olivier vie with Turpin in skill
  And glorious deeds--The slain can counted be;
  In charts and briefs their numbers are enrolled:
  More than four thousand fell, so says the Geste.
  Four times the French arms were victorious,
  But on the fifth, a cruel fate they met;
  The knights of France found there a grave, except
  Three more whose lives God saved; yet those brave knights,
  Ere falling, their last breath will dearly sell.



  Seeing so many warriors fall'n around,
  Rollánd unto his comrade Olivier
  Spoke thus: "Companion fair and dear, for God
  Whose blessing rest on you, those vassals true
  And brave lie corses on the battle-field:
  Look! We must mourn for France so sweet and fair,
  From henceforth widowed of such valiant knights.
  Carle, 'would you were amongst us, King and friend!
  What can we do, say, brother Olivier,
  To bring him news of this sore strait of ours!"
  Olivier answers:--"I know not; but this
  I know; for us is better death than shame."


  Rollánd says;--"I will blow mine olifant,
  And Carle will hear it from the pass. I pledge
  My word the French at once retrace their steps."
  Said Olivier:--"This a great shame would be,
  One which to all your kindred would bequeathe
  A lifetime's stain. When this I asked of you,
  You answered nay, and would do naught. Well, now
  With my consent you shall not;--if you blow
  Your horn, of valor true you show no proof.
  Already, both your arms are drenched with blood."
  Responds the Count:--"These arms have nobly struck."


  "The strife is rude," Rollánd says--"I will blow
  My horn, that Carle may hear."--Said Olivier:--
  "This would not courage be. What I desired,
  Companion, you disdained. Were the king here,
  Safe would we be, but yon brave men are not
  To blame"--"By this my beard," said Olivier,
  "I swear, if e'er I see again sweet Aude,
  My sister, in her arms you ne'er shall lie."


  Rollánd asked Olivier--"Why show to me
  Your anger, friend!"--"Companion, yours the fault;
  True courage means not folly. Better far
  Is prudence than your valiant rage. Our French
  Their lives have lost, your rashness is the cause.
  And now our arms can never more give Carle
  Their service good. Had you believed your friend,
  Amongst us would he be, and ours the field,
  The King Marsile, a captive or a corse.
  Rollànd, your valor brought ill fortune, nor
  Shall Carle the great e'er more our help receive,
  A man unequaled till God's judgment-day.
  Here you shall die, and dying, humble France, ...
  This day our loyal friendship ends--ere falls
  The Vesper-eve, dolorously we part!"


  The Archbishop heard their strife. In haste he drives
  Into his horse his spurs of purest gold,
  And quick beside them rides. Then chiding them,
  Says:--"Sire Rollánd, and you, Sire Olivier,
  In God's name be no feud between you two;
  No more your horn shall save us; nathless 'twere
  Far better Carle should come and soon avenge
  Our deaths. So joyous then these Spanish foes
  Would not return. But as our Franks alight,
  Find us or slain or mangled on the field,
  They will our bodies on their chargers' backs
  Lift in their shrouds with grief and pity, all
  In tears, and bury us in holy ground:
  And neither wolves, nor swine, nor curs shall feed
  On us--" Replies Rollánd:--"Well have you said."


  Rollánd raised to his lips the olifant,
  Drew a deep breath, and blew with all his force.
  High are the mountains, and from peak to peak
  The sound re-echoes; thirty leagues away
  'Twas heard by Carle and all his brave compeers.
  Cried the king:--"Our men make battle!--" Ganelon
  Retorts in haste:--"If thus another dared
  To speak, we should denounce it as a lie."


  The Count Rollánd in his great anguish blows
  His olifant so mightily, with such
  Despairing agony, his mouth pours forth
  The crimson blood, and his swoll'n temples burst.
  Yea, but so far the ringing blast resounds;
  Carle hears it, marching through the pass, Naimes harks,
  The French all listen with attentive ear.
  "That is Rollánd's horn!--" Carle cried, "which ne'er yet
  Was, save in battle, blown!--" But Ganelon
  Replies:--"No fight is there!--you, sire, are old,
  Your hair and beard are all bestrewn with gray,
  And as a child your speech. Well do you know
  Rollánd's great pride. 'Tis marvelous God bears
  With him so long. Already took he Noble
  Without your leave. The Pagans left their walls
  And fought Rollánd, your brave Knight, in the field;
  With his good blade he slew them all, and then
  Washed all the plain with water, that no trace
  Of blood was left--yea, oftentimes he runs
  After a hare all day and blows his horn.
  Doubtless he takes his sport now with his peers;
  And who 'neath Heav'n would dare attack Rollánd?
  None, as I deem. Nay, sire, ride on apace;
  Why do you halt? Still far is the Great Land."


  Rollánd with bleeding mouth and temples burst,
  Still in his anguish, blows his olifant;
  Carle hears it, and his Franks. The king exclaims:
  "That horn has a long breath!" Duke Naimes replies:
  "Rollánd it is, and in a sore distress,
  Upon my faith, a battle rages there!
  A traitor he who would deceive you now.
  To arms! Your war-cry shout, your kinsman save!
  Plainly enough you hear his call for help."


  Carle orders all the trumpeters to sound
  The march. The French alight. They arm themselves
  With helmets, hauberks and gold hilted swords,
  Bright bucklers, long sharp spears, with pennons white
  And red and blue. The barons of the host
  Leap on their steeds, all spurring on; while through
  The pass they march, each to the other says:
  "Could we but reach Rollánd before he dies,
  What deadly blows, with his, our swords would strike!"
  But what avails?--Too late they will arrive.


  The ev'n is clear, the sun its radiant beams
  Reflects upon the marching legions. Spears,
  Hauberks and helms, shields painted with bright flowers,
  Gold pennons all ablaze with glitt'ring hues.
  Burning with wrath the Emperor rides on;
  The French with sad and angered looks. None there
  But weeps aloud. All tremble for Rollánd.

         *       *       *       *       *

  The King commands Count Ganelon be seized
  And given to the scullions of his house.
  Their chief, named Bègue, he calls and bids: "Guard well
  This man as one who all my kin betrayed."
  Him Bègue received, and set upon the Count
  One hundred of his kitchen comrades--best
  And worst;--they pluck his beard on lip and cheek;
  Each deals him with his fist four blows, and falls
  On him with lash and stick; they chain his neck
  As they would chain a bear, and he is thrown
  For more dishonor on a sumpter mule,
  There guarded so until to Carle brought back.


  High are the mountains, gloomy, terrible,
  The valleys deep, and swift the rushing streams.
  In van, in rear, the brazen trumpets blow,
  Answ'ring the olifant. With angry look
  Rides on the Emp'ror; filled with wrath and grief,
  Follow the French, each sobbing, each in tears,
  Praying that God may guard Rollánd, until
  They reach the battle-field. With him what blows
  Will they not strike? Alas! what boots it now?
  Too late they are and can not come in time.


  Carle in great anger rides--his snow-white beard
  O'erspreads his breast-plate. Hard the Barons spur,
  For never one but inwardly doth rage
  That he is far from their great chief, Rollánd,
  Who combats now the Saracens of Spain:
  If wounded he, will one of his survive?
  O God! What Knights those sixty left by him!
  Nor King nor captain better ever had....



  The Count Rollánd casts o'er the mounts and vales
  A glance: French corses strew the plains in heaps;
  He for them mourns as gentle chevalier.
  At such a sight the noble hero weeps:
  "Seigneurs, to you may God be merciful!
  To all your souls may He grant Paradise,
  And there may they on beds of heavenly flowers
  Repose!--No better vassals lived! so long
  Have ye served me! So many lands for Carle
  Ye won!--The Emperor for this ill fate
  Has nurtured you!--O land of France, most sweet
  Art thou, but now forsaken and a waste.
  Barons of France, to-day I see you die
  For me; nor can I save or e'en defend
  Your lives. Be God your aid, who ne'er played false!
  Olivier, brother, I must not fail thee!
  If other death comes not, of grief I die.
  Come, sire companion ... come to fight again!"


  Soon to the field returns the Count Rollánd
  With Durendal in hand; as a true knight
  He fights. Faldrun del Pin he cleaves in half
  With twenty-four among the bravest foes.
  Never was man so bent upon revenge.
  As run wild deer before the chasing hounds,
  Before Rollánd the Pagans flee.--"Well done!"
  The Archbishop cries, "Such valor a true Knight
  Should have, when mounted, armed, on his good steed!
  Else, not four deniers is he worth: a monk
  In cloister should he be, and spend his life
  In praying for our sins!...." "Strike," said Rollànd,
  "No quarter!"--At the word the French renew
  The combat ... yet the Christian loss was great.


  When soldiers on the battle-field expect
  No quarter--desperate they fight; and thus
  The French, like lions, fiercely stand at bay.
  Like a true baron King Marsile rides forth
  Upon his steed Gaignon, and spurs him on
  Against Bevum, of Belne and Digun lord,
  His buckler cleaves, his hauberk with a blow
  Shatters, and lays him dead upon the field.
  Then fall beneath the Pagan King, Ivoire
  And Ivun; then Gerard de Roussillon.--
  The Count Rollánd is nigh and cries aloud:
  "God give damnation unto thee who thus
  So foully slay'st my friends! But ere we part,
  Dearly shalt thou abye it, and to-day
  Shalt learn the name my good sword bears."--He strikes
  The King a true Knight's stroke, and his right hand
  Lops at the wrist; then Turfaleu the fair,
  Marsile's own son, beheads. The Pagans say:
  "Aid us, Mahum! Avenge us, Gods of ours,
  On Carle, who brought such villains to our land,
  As rather than depart will die."--And each
  To each cries: "Let us fly!"--Upon the word,
  A hundred thousand turn in sudden flight.
  Whoever calls them, ne'er will they return.


  Alas, it not avails! If Marsile flies,
  His uncle Marganice unhurt remained.
  'Tis he who held Carthage, Alferne, Garnaille,
  And Ethiopia, a land accursed;
  Chief of the Blacks, a thick-nosed, large-eared race.
  Of these he more than fifty thousand leads,
  Who ride on proudly, full of wrath, and shout
  The Pagan war-cry.--"Here," said Count Rollànd,
  "Here shall we fall as martyrs. Well I know
  Our end is nigh; but dastard I count him
  Who sells not dear his life. Barons, strike well,
  Strike with your burnished swords, and set such price
  On death and life, that naught of shame shall fall
  On our sweet France. When Carle, my lord, shall come
  Upon this field, and see such slaughter here
  Of Saracens, fifteen to one of ours,
  Then will he breathe a blessing on his Knights."



  When sees Rollánd this tribe accursed, more black
  Than ink, with glist'ning teeth, their only gleam
  Of white, he said:--"Truly I know to-day
  We die! Strike, Frenchmen, that is my command."
  And Olivier, "Woe to the laggards," cries.
  These words the French hearts fired to meet the fray.


  The Pagans, when they mark how few the French,
  Are filled with pride and comfort, and they say
  One to the other:--"Their King Carle is wrong!"--
  Upon his sorrel steed sits Marganice;
  Urging him hard with pricking spurs of gold,
  Encounters Olivier--strikes him behind,
  Drives his white hauberk-links into his heart,
  And through in front came forth the pointed lance.
  The Kalif cries:--"That blow struck home! Carlmagne,
  For thy mishap, left you to guard the Pass!
  That he has wronged us, little may he boast.
  Your death alone for us a vengeance full!"


  Olivier knows his death-wound. In his hand
  He grasps Halteclere's bright steel, and strikes a blow
  Well aimed upon the Kalif's pointed helm;
  He scatters golden flow'rs and gems in dust.
  His head the trenchant blade cleaves to the teeth,
  And dead the Kalif falls.--"Pagan accursed,"
  He cries, "not here shalt thou say Carle lost aught;
  To wife nor lady shalt thou ever boast
  In thine own land, that thou hast reft from Carle
  One denier's worth, or me or others harmed!"
  And then he called Rollànd unto his aid.


  Olivier feels that he is hurt to death.
  No vengeance can suffice him; Baron-like
  He strikes amid the press, cuts shields embossed
  And ashen shafts, and spears, feet, shoulders, wrists
  And breasts of horsemen. He who saw him thus
  Dismember Saracens, corse over corse
  Heap on the ground, would of a vassal true
  Remembrance keep. Nor does he now forget
  The rallying cry of Carle:--"Montjoie!" he cries
  Loudly and clear; then calls Rollánd, his friend
  And compeer:--"Sire companion, stand by me!
  This day our breaking hearts forever part!"


  Rollánd looks Olivier full in the face;
  Pale, livid, colorless; pure crimson blood
  Drips from his body, and streams on the earth.
  "God!" cried Rollánd, "I know not what to do,
  Companion, friend, thy courage was betrayed
  To-day; nor will such courage e'er be seen
  In human heart. Sweet France, oh! how shalt thou,
  As widow, wail thy vassals true and brave,
  Humbled and wrecked! The great heart of King Carle
  Will break!" He spake and on his saddle swooned.


  Behold Rollánd, there, fainting on his steed,
  While Olivier stands wounded to the death.
  So great the loss of blood, his troubled eyes
  See naught afar or near, nor mortal man
  Can recognize. Encount'ring there Rollánd,
  Upon his golden-studded helm he struck
  A dreadful blow, which to the nose-plate cleft,
  And split the crest in twain, but left the head
  Untouched. Rollánd at this, upon him looks,
  And softly, sweetly asks:--"Sire _compagnon_!
  Was that blow meant for me? I am Rollánd
  By whom you are beloved so well; to me
  Could you by any chance, defiance give?"
  Said Olivier:--"I hear your speech, but see
  You now no more. May God behold you, friend!
  I struck the blow; beseech you, pardon me."
  Rollánd responds:--"I am not wounded--here
  And before God I pardon you." At this,
  Each to the other bends in courtesy.
  With such great tenderness and love they part.


  Olivier feels the agony of death;
  His vacant eyes roll wildly in his head,
  And all his hearing and his sight are lost.
  Dismounting, on the ground he lies, and smites
  His breast, aloud confessing all his sins;
  With joined hands tow'rd Heaven lifted up
  He prays to God to give him Paradise,
  To bless Carl'magne, sweet France, and far beyond
  All other men, Rollánd, his _compagnon_.
  His heart fails--forward droops his helmet--prone
  Upon the earth he lies--'tis over now....
  The Count is dead. Rollánd, the Baron, mourns
  And weeps as never mortal mourned before.


  When sees the Count Rollánd the breath of life
  Gone from his friend, his body stretched on earth,
  His face low in the dust, his tears gush out
  With heavy sobs. Then tenderly he speaks:
  "Alas! for all thy valor, comrade dear!
  Year after year, day after day, a life
  Of love we led; ne'er didst thou wrong to me,
  Nor I to thee. If death takes thee away,
  My life is but a pain." While speaking thus,
  The _Marchis_ faints on Veillantif, his steed.
  But still firm in his stirrups of pure gold:
  Where'er Rollánd may ride, he cannot fall.


  Scarce hath the Count recovered from his swoon,
  When all the great disaster meets his sight;
  The French lie on the field; all lost to him
  Save the Archbishop and Gualtier de l'Hum,
  Who had descended from the mountain height
  Where he the men of Spain all day withstood
  Till all his own fell 'neath the Pagan swords.
  Willed he or not, he fled into the vale,
  And now upon Rollánd he calls for aid;
  "Most gentle Count, most valiant, where art thou?
  Ne'er had I fear where'er thou wert!--'tis I,
  Gualtier, who conquered Maëlgut, who am
  Old gray-haired Droün's nephew; till this day
  My courage won thy love. So well I fought
  Against the Saracens, my spear was broke,
  My shield was pierced, my hauberk torn and wrung,
  And in my body eight steel darts I bear.
  Done are my days, but dear the last I sold!"
  The words of that brave knight Rollánd has heard,
  Spurs on his steed and gallops to his help.


  With grief and rage Rollánd's great heart is full;
  Amidst the thick ranks of a swarming foe
  He rides. He fights--and twenty Pagans fall
  Slain by his hand; by Gualtier's six, and five
  By the Archbishop's. Loud the Pagans cry:
  "Vile wretches these! Let none escape alive!
  Eternal shame to them who dare not make
  Attack; foul recreants those who let their flight
  Avail."--Renewing then their hues and cries,
  The Pagans rush from all parts 'gainst the knights.



  The Count Rollánd was ever great in war;
  Most valiant is Gualtier de l'Hum; Turpin
  The Archbishop, of a valor proved: each leaves
  The other naught to do, and 'mid the throng
  Strikes Pagans down, who though one thousand foot
  And forty thousand horsemen mustering, yet
  Dare not approach, forsooth; but from afar
  Against them hurl their jav'lins, spears and darts,
  Their lances and winged arrows. First of all
  Is slain Gualtier; Turpin de Reins' good shield
  Is pierced, his helmet broken, and his head
  Wounded, his hauberk shattered and dislinked;
  Four spears have pierced his body; his good steed
  Dies under him. Alas! the Archbishop falls.


  Hardly had Turpin fallen on the earth,
  By four spear-shafts transfixed, when the brave knight
  Sprang quickly to his feet once more. His look
  Sought for Rollánd to whom he ran in haste.
  One word he said:--"Unconquered yet am I!
  While life doth last, a true knight yields it not!"
  He draws Almace, his sword of burnished steel,
  And rushing 'mid the throng, one thousand blows
  And more he deals.--Carle said in after days,
  Turpin spared none, as dead upon the field
  He saw four hundred men, some cut in twain,
  Some with lopped heads: so says the Geste of France,
  And one who saw the field, the brave Saint-Gille
  For whom God showed his might; who in the cloister
  Of Loüm wrote the record of these deeds.
  Who knows not this, he knows not any thing.


  As hero fights the Count Rollánd; but all
  His body burns with heat and drips with sweat;
  His head is torn by pain; his temple burst
  By that strong blast he gave the olifant.
  Still would he know if Carle returns; once more
  He blows his horn--Alas, with feeble blast.
  Carle caught the distant sound, and, list'ning, waits:
  "Seigneurs," cried he, "great evils fall apace;
  I hear his dying blast upon his horn.
  If we would find him yet alive, we need
  Urge on our steeds. Let all our trumpets blow!"
  Then sixty thousand trumps rang forth their peals;
  The hills reëcho, and the vales respond.
  The Pagans hear--and stay their gabbling mirth.
  One to the other says:--"'Tis Carle who comes!"


  The Pagans say:--"The Emperor returns;
  These are the clarions of the French we hear.
  If Carle should come, 'twill be our doom; if lives
  Rollánd, the war begins anew, and Spain
  Our land is lost to us for evermore."
  Four hundred warriors well armed cap-a-pie,
  The bravest of the host, then closed their ranks
  And dashed in fierce attack against Rollánd.
  Mighty the deeds the Count must now achieve!


  As they draw near, Rollánd calls up his pride
  And summons all his strength to meet the charge.
  No foot of ground he yields while life remains.
  Firm on his courser Veillantif he sits
  And gores his flanks with spurs of purest gold.
  Into the thickest ranks he and Turpin
  The Archbishop rush. And now the Pagans all
  Unto each other cry: "Hence, friends, away!
  The horns of those of France we now have heard,
  Carlemagne the mighty Emperor returns!"


  Ne'er could the Count Rollánd a coward love,
  Nor proud, nor wicked men, nor faithless knights.
  He calls to the Archbishop: "You, on foot,
  And I on horseback, sire! For love of you
  I by your side will stand; together we
  Will share or good or ill; I leave you not
  For aught of human mold. This day we shall
  Hurl back the Pagan charge, and Durendal
  Shall deal his mightiest blows!"--To this replies
  The Archbishop: "Traitor he who strikes not well!
  King Carle returns--Great shall his vengeance be!"


  The Pagans say: "For such ill were we born!
  What fatal morn this day for us has ris'n!
  Dead lie our lords and Peers! With his great host
  King Carle returns, the mighty Baron--Hark!
  His clarions sound, and loud the cry 'Montjoie;'
  Rollánd has so great pride, no man of flesh
  Can make him yield, or vanquished fall. 'Twere best
  We pierced him from afar, and left him lying
  Upon the field!"----'Twas done: darts, lances, spears,
  Javelins, winged arrows flew so thick,
  That his good shield was pierced, his hauberk rent
  And torn apart--his body yet unharmed.
  Veillantif, pierced with thirty wounds, falls dead
  Beneath the Count.--The affrighted Pagans fly.
  The Count Rollánd stands on the field, alone.



  Raging in wrath the Pagans fly, and toward
  The land of Spain they haste. The Count Rollánd
  Pursues them not, for Veillantif lies dead.
  On foot he stands whether he will or not.
  To help Turpin, the Archbishop, fast he ran,
  His helm unclasped, removed the hauberk white
  And light, then ripped the sides of his _blialt_
  To find his gaping wounds; then tenderly
  Pressing him in his arms, on the green sward
  He laid him gently down, and fondly prayed:
  "O noble man, grant me your leave in this;
  Our brave compeers, so dear to us, have breathed
  Their last--we should not leave them on the field;
  I will their bodies seek and gather here,
  To lay them out before you."--"Go, and soon
  Return," the Archbishop said; "the field is yours
  And also mine, thanks to Almighty God!"


  Alone the Count Rollánd retraced his steps
  Throughout the field. Vales, mounts, he searched, and found
  Gerin and his companion Gerier, then
  Berengier and Otun; here Anseïs,
  There Sansun, then beyond, Gerard the old
  De Roussillon he found--one after one
  He bore each knight within his arms, and placed
  Them gently, side by side, before the knees
  Of Turpin who cannot restrain his tears;
  With lifted hands he blesses them and says:
  "Most hapless Knights!--May God the Glorious
  Receive your souls, and in his Paradise
  'Mid holy flowers place them!--In this hour
  Of death, my deepest grief is that no more
  The mighty Emperor I shall behold!"


  Rollánd turns back, and searching through the field,
  Has found, alas! his comrade Olivier....
  He pressed him 'gainst his bosom tenderly,
  And, as he could, returning to Turpin,
  Stretched on a shield he lays him down among
  The other knights. The Archbishop then assoils
  And signs him with the holy cross. The grief
  And pity were more sore than heart can bear....
  Then said Rollánd:--"Fair comrade Olivier,
  Son of the good Count Renier, he who held
  The marches to the distant shores of Gennes;
  To break a lance, to pierce a shield, the brave
  To counsel, traitors to dismay and foil,
  No land e'er saw a better _chevalier_."


  When Count Rollánd beheld his Peers lie dead,
  And Olivier, that friend so tenderly
  Beloved, his soul by pity was o'erflowed;
  Tears from his eyes gush out, his countenance
  Turns pale; distressed, he can no longer stand.
  Would he or not, he swooned and fell to earth.
  The Archbishop said: "Baron, what woe is yours!"


  The Archbishop, when he saw Count Rollánd swoon,
  Felt keener grief than e'er he felt before;
  Stretched forth his hand, and took the olifant.--
  Ronceval there is a running stream;
  Thence will he water bring to Count Rollánd.
  Staggering, with feeble steps, thither he goes,
  But loss of blood has made him all too weak:
  Ere he has gone an acre's length, his heart
  Fails, and he sinks in mortal agony.


  Meantime the Count Rollánd revives.--Erect
  He stands, but with great pain; then downward looks
  And upward. Then he sees the noble lord
  The Archbishop, holy minister of God,
  Beyond his comrades lying on the sward
  Stretched out.--He lifts his eyes to Heav'n, recalls
  His sins, and raising both his joinèd hands,
  He prays Our God to grant him paradise.--
  Turpin, Carle's Knight, is dead, who all his life,
  With doughty blows and sermons erudite,
  Ne'er ceased to fight the Pagans. May the Lord
  Grant him His holy blessing evermore!


  The Count Rollánd sees lifeless on the field
  The Archbishop lie; gush from the gaping wounds
  His entrails in the dust, and through his skull
  The oozing brain pours o'er his brow.--In form
  Of holy Cross upon his breast Rollánd
  Disposes both his hands so fair and white,
  And mourned him in the fashion of his land:
  "O noble man! O knight of lineage pure!
  To the Glorious One of Heav'n I thee commend;
  For ne'er was man who Him more truly served,
  Nor since the Apostles' days, such prophet, strong,
  To keep God's law and draw the hearts of men.
  From ev'ry pain your soul be freed, and wide
  Before it ope the Gates of Paradise!"



  Rollánd now feels his death is drawing nigh:
  From both his ears the brain is oozing fast.
  For all his peers he prays that God may call
  Their souls to Him; to the Angel Gabriel
  He recommends his spirit. In one hand
  He takes the olifant, that no reproach
  May rest upon him; in the other grasps
  Durendal, his good sword. Forward he goes,
  Far as an arblast sends a shaft, across
  A new-tilled ground and toward the land of Spain.
  Upon a hill, beneath two lofty trees,
  Four terraces of marble spread:--he falls
  Prone fainting on the green, for death draws near.


  High are the mounts, and lofty are the trees.
  Four terraces are there, of marble bright:
  There Count Rollánd lies senseless on the grass.
  Him at this moment spies a Saracen
  Who lies among the corpses, feigning death,
  His face and body all besmeared with blood.
  Sudden he rises to his feet, and bounds
  Upon the Baron.--Handsome, brave and strong
  He was, but from his pride sprang mortal rage.
  He seized the body of Rollánd, and grasped
  His arms, exclaiming thus:--"Here vanquished Carle's
  Great nephew lies!"--"This sword to Araby
  I'll bear."--He drew it;--this aroused the Count.


  Rollánd perceived an alien hand would rob
  Him of his sword; his eyes he oped; one word
  He spoke:--"I trow, not one of us art thou!"
  Then with his olifant from which he parts
  Never, he smites the golden studded helm,
  Crushing the steel, the head, the bones; both eyes
  Are from their sockets beaten out--o'erthrown
  Dead at the Baron's feet he falls:--"O wretch,"
  He cries, "how durst thou, or for good or ill,
  Lay hands upon Rollánd? Who hears of this
  Will call thee fool. Mine olifant is cleft,
  Its gems and gold all scattered by the blow."


  Now feels Rollánd that death is near at hand
  And struggles up with all his force; his face
  Grows livid;--[Durendal, his naked sword]
  He holds;--beside him rises a gray rock
  On which he strikes ten mighty blows through grief
  And rage--The steel but grinds; it breaks not, nor
  Is notched; then cries the Count:--"Saint Mary, help!
  O Durendal! Good sword! ill starred art thou!
  Though we two part, I care not less for thee.
  What victories together thou and I,
  Have gained, what kingdoms conquered, which now holds
  White-bearded Carle! No coward's hand shall grasp
  Thy hilt: a valiant knight has borne thee long,
  Such as none shall e'er bear in France the Free!"


  Rollánd smites hard the rock of Sardonix;
  The steel but grinds, it breaks not, nor grows blunt;
  Then seeing that he can not break his sword,
  Thus to himself he mourns for Durendal:
  "O good my sword, how bright and pure! Against
  The sun what flashing light thy blade reflects!
  When Carle passed through the valley of Moriane,
  The God of Heaven by his Angel sent
  Command that he should give thee to a Count,
  A valiant captain; it was then the great
  And gentle King did gird thee to my side.--
  With thee I won for him Anjou--Bretaigne;
  For him with thee I won Poitou, le Maine
  And Normandie the free; I won Provence
  And Aquitaine, and Lumbardie, and all
  The Romanie; I won for him Bavière,
  All Flandre--Buguerie--all Puillanie,
  Costentinnoble which allegiance paid,
  And Saxonie submitted to his power;
  For him I won Escoce and Galle, Irlande
  And Engleterre he made his royal seat;
  With thee I conquered all the lands and realms
  Which Carle, the hoary-bearded monarch, rules.
  Now for this sword I mourn.... Far better die
  Than in the hands of Pagans let it fall!
  May God, Our Father, save sweet France this shame!"


  Upon the grey rock mightily he smites,
  Shattering it more than I can tell; the sword
  But grinds.--It breaks not--nor receives a notch,
  And upwards springs more dazzling in the air.
  When sees the Count Rollánd his sword can never break,
  Softly within himself its fate he mourns:
  "O Durendal, how fair and holy thou!
  In thy gold-hilt are relics rare; a tooth
  Of great saint Pierre--some blood of Saint Basile,
  A lock of hair of Monseigneur Saint Denis,
  A fragment of the robe of Sainte-Marie.
  It is not right that Pagans should own thee;
  By Christian hand alone be held. Vast realms
  I shall have conquered once that now are ruled
  By Carle, the King with beard all blossom-white,
  And by them made great emperor and Lord.
  May thou ne'er fall into a cowardly hand."


  The Count Rollánd feels through his limbs the grasp
  Of death, and from his head ev'n to his heart
  A mortal chill descends. Unto a pine
  He hastens, and falls stretched upon the grass.
  Beneath him lie his sword and olifant,
  And toward the Heathen land he turns his head,
  That Carle and all his knightly host may say:
  "The gentle Count a conqueror has died...."
  Then asking pardon for his sins, or great
  Or small, he offers up his glove to God.


  The Count Rollánd feels now his end approach.
  Against a pointed rock, and facing Spain,
  He lies. Three times he beats his breast, and says:
  "Mea culpa! Oh, my God, may through thy grace,
  Be pardoned all my sins, or great or small,
  Until this hour committed since my birth!"
  Then his right glove he offers up to God,
  And toward him angels from high Heav'n descend.


  Beneath a pine Rollánd doth lie, and looks
  Toward Spain--He broods on many things of yore:
  On all the lands he conquered, on sweet France,
  On all his kinsmen, on great Carle his lord
  Who nurtured him;--he sighs--nor can restrain
  His tears, but can not yet himself forget;
  Recalls his sins, and for the grace of God
  He prays:--"Our Father, never yet untrue,
  Who Saint-Lazare raised from the dead, and saved
  Thy Daniel from the lions' claws--Oh, free
  My soul from peril, from my whole life's sins!"
  His right hand glove he offered up to God;
  Saint Gabriel took the glove.--With head reclined
  Upon his arm, with hands devoutly joined
  He breathed his last. God sent his Cherubim,
  Saint-Raphaël, _Saint Michiel del Peril_.
  Together with them Gabriel came.--All bring
  The soul of Count Rollánd to Paradise....



  Rollánd is dead: God has his soul in heaven.
  To Ronceval the Emperor has come.
  There, neither road nor any path is seen,
  Nor vacant space, nor ell, nor foot of land
  That mounds of mangled bodies cover not,
  Pagans or French.--The Emperor exclaims:
  "Fair nephew, where art thou? The Archbishop, where?
  And Olivier, alas, where are they all?
  Gerin, Gerier, the two companions, where
  Are they? And where is Otes and Berengier,
  Ives and Ivoire both to my heart so dear?
  The Gascuin Engelier, Sansun the Duke,
  Anseïs the rash, Gerard de Roussillon
  The old, and my twelve Peers I left behind,
  What fate is theirs?"--What boots it? None replies.--
  "God," cries the King, "what grief is mine to think
  I stood not here the battle to begin."
  He tears his beard with anger; all his knights
  And barons weep great tears; dizzy with woe
  And swooning, twenty thousand fall to earth.
  Duke Naimes feels pity overflow his heart.


  No baron is there now, no chevalier
  Who, in his pity, sheds not tears for sons,
  For brothers--nephews--friends--and for liege-lords.
  Many have fallen swooning on the earth,
  But Duke Naimes bore himself as valorous knight:
  He foremost said to Carle:--"Behold two leagues
  Away!--The roads are dark with clouds of dust.
  There swarm the Pagan tribes.... Ride on them now,
  Avenge this bitter woe."--"O God," said Carle,
  "Are they already flown so far?--our rights
  And honor shield! Those Pagans took from me
  The flower of my Sweet France!"--The King commands
  Gebuin, Otun, Tedbalt de Reins and Count
  Milun:--"Watch ye the field, the vales, the mounts;
  The slain, leave to their rest; see that no beast
  Nor lion, squire nor page approach. I charge
  You, let no man upon them lay his hand
  Until, with God's assistance, we return."
  They lovingly and with sweet tone reply:
  "Thus shall we do, just Emperor, dear sire!"
  Upon the field they keep one thousand knights.


  Now bids the Emperor his trumpets blow,
  Then forward at the head of his great host
  He rides, that Baron true. Of those of Spain
  He finds the tracks, points out the road; in quick
  Pursuit all follow Carle.... When sees the King
  The eve decline, he on the verdant grass
  Dismounts, and prostrate prays to God our Lord
  The sun to stay, the shades of night hold back
  And longer make the day. To him appears
  A Counselor-Angel with the swift command;
  "Ride on, O King, nor fear that night shall fall!
  God knows that thou hast lost the flower of France;
  But vengeance canst have now upon that horde
  Of unbelievers." Thus the Angel spake.
  The Emp'ror rises and remounts his steed.


  To Carlemagne Our Lord now showed his might;
  The sun stays in its course. The Pagans fly,
  And fast the French pursuing, overtake
  Them in the Val-Tenebre. They drive them on
  Toward Sarraguce, while close behind them fall
  The upraised swords, and strew the ground with dead.
  No issue, no escape, by road or pass!
  In front deep Ebro rolls its mighty waves:
  No boat, no barge, no raft. They call for help
  On Tervagant, then plunge into the flood.
  Vain was their trust: some, weighted with their arms,
  Sink in a moment; others are swept down,
  And those most favored swallow monstrous draughts.
  All drown most cruelly. The French cry out:
  "For your own woe wished ye to see Rollánd!"


  When Carle sees all the Pagans dead--some slain,
  The others drowned, his chevaliers enriched
  With spoils, the noble King dismounts, on earth
  Prostrates himself and offers thanks to God.
  When he arose, the sun had set. "'Tis time,"
  He said, "to think of camping now. Too late
  It is for our advance to Ronceval.
  Our horses are all weary and foredone:
  Unsaddle them and take the bridles off;
  And let them roam at large about these meads."
  The French reply: "Sire, you have spoken well."


  The Emperor makes here his harborage.
  The French dismount, take off the golden curbs
  And saddles from their steeds, and turn them loose
  In the green mead, amid the plenteous grass:
  No other care they need. Upon the ground
  The over-wearied cast themselves and sleep.
  No watch was set in all the host that night.


  The Emperor reposes on the field,
  His mighty lance hard by his pillow planted,
  For he, on such a night will not disarm.
  His hauberk white, with orfreyed-marge he wears,
  His helmet, rich with gold and gems is laced,
  Girded Joyeuse, the sword without a peer,
  Who thirty times a day can change his hue.
  Many a time you all heard of the lance
  Wherewith Our Lord was pierced upon the cross,
  The steel whereof Carle has, thanks be to God,
  Closed in the golden pommel of his sword.
  For this great glory and exceeding worth
  The brand was called _Joyeuse_. This all French Knights
  Should bear in mind, for it was hence they took
  Their war-cry of _Montjoie_, and for this cause
  No other people can resist their arms.


  Clear is the night, bright shines the moon; at rest
  Lies Carle; but grief is with him for Rollánd,
  And Olivier is heavy on his heart;
  The twelve Peers, too, and all the men of France,
  Left stark and bloody there at Ronceval.
  He cannot help but weep, and sob, and pray
  That mighty God be keeper of their souls.
  Tired is the King, his toils being very great;
  Deeply asleep he falls, and can no more.
  Through all the fields the scattered French sleep sound,
  Nor there a horse has strength enough to stand;
  If one need grass, he bites it as he lies.
  Right wise is he that's wise in lore of woe.


  Carle sleeps as man by toil outdone. God sends
  Saint Gabriel down, the Emperor to guard.
  All night beside his head the Angel stands,
  And in a dream forebodes that 'gainst the French
  A battle is prepared, and its portent
  Explains; then glancing up tow'rd Heav'n, King Carle
  Sees thunder-clouds and winds, hail, raging storms
  And wond'rous tempests--smould'ring fire and flames
  Ready to burst forth. Suddenly on all
  His people falls the blast. Their spears with shafts
  Of apple-tree or ash--those shields ablaze
  Unto their golden rings--shafts from their points
  Break off--Steel helms and hauberks clash and clang.
  He sees his Knights in dire distress. Meantime
  Devouring pards and bears rush on them; snakes
  And vipers--dragons, fiends--and with them more
  Than thirty thousand griffons. 'Mong the French
  None can escape this hideous horde.--"Carlemagne,
  Come to our help!" they cry. With pity seized,
  Fain would he thither, but his steps are stayed:
  Deep from a wood a lion huge comes on.
  The beast is haughty, fierce and terrible,
  And, springing, seeks his very body out.
  Each wrestles with the other in his arms;
  But which shall fall, which stand, this no man knows.
  Never a jot the Emperor awakes.


  Another vision follows this: in France
  At Aix he is:--Upon a marble step
  He stands, and holds in two-fold chains a bear.
  From towards Ardennes he sees rush forth a pack
  Of thirty other bears which speak as men.
  They say:--"To us restore him, Sire! Not right
  It were that you should keep him longer; help
  Our kin we must."--Then from his palace runs
  A greyhound fair which on the verdant grass
  Assails the fiercer of the other beasts
  Before them all. The King a wond'rous fight
  Beholds: but who shall win or lose, none knows.
  This is a dream God's Angel showed to Carle,
  Who sleeps until the morrow's morn appeared.


  By rapid flight Marsile reached Sarraguce.--
  Dismounting 'neath a shady olive-tree,
  He strips himself of breast-plate, helmet, sword,
  And sinks upon the sward with ghastly look.
  His right hand severed from the wrist whence blood
  Is gushing forth, has made him swoon with pain.
  Before Marsile, his spouse, Queen Bramimunde,
  Bursts into tears, and cries, and woeful moans.
  Around stand more than twenty thousand men
  Who with one voice accuse Sweet France and Carle;
  Apollo's grotto seek they, and with taunts,
  Profane, insulting words, their God revile:
  "What ails thee, evil God, to shame us thus,
  And to confusion bring our Lord the King?
  Who serves thee well vile guerdon gains from thee!"
  Despoiled of crown and scepter, by the hands
  They hang him on a column--neath their feet
  They roll him down.--They with great clubs deface
  And beat him; then from Tervagant they snatch
  His carbuncle; Mohamed in a ditch
  Throw down--there bitt'n, trampled on, by swine and dogs.


  Recov'ring from his swoon, the King Marsile
  Commands they lead him to his vaulted room
  All bright with color and inscribed with verse.
  There weeping bitterly, Queen Bramimunde
  Tearing her hair, aloud proclaims her grief:
  "O hapless Sarraguce, thou art bereft
  Of the most gentle King that was thy Lord!
  Our gods betrayed our trust, they who this morn
  In battle failed us;--the Emir coward were
  Would he not fight these people bold who are
  So proud they care not for their lives. Carl'magne,
  The Emperor, whose beard is strewn with gray,
  Among his men has dauntless Knights; if e'er
  He fight, no step he yields. Great woe it is
  That there is no man who can give him death."


  By his great power the Emperor in Spain
  Full seven years remained; he castles took
  And many cities, bringing sore distress
  To King Marsile. The year had scarce begun
  Before his word went forth to seal the briefs
  Which summoned Baligant from Babylone,
  (The aged Emir, he whose life outlived
  Homer and Virgil). Now the King Marsile
  Had begged the Baron's help for Sarraguce.
  Should he not come, gods, idols, once adored
  He will renounce, the holy Faith of Christ
  Embrace, and join in friendship with King Carle.
  Afar was Baligant, and tarried long;
  From forty realms his people had he called
  And ordered to prepare his _dromonds_ vast,
  Barks, galleys, ev'ry vessel. In the port
  Of Alexandria the fleet had met;
  In May it was, the first of summer-days,
  A mighty host he launched upon the deep.


  Great are the forces of their hostile horde;
  They swiftly skim the waves, and steer, and sail;
  Their masts and yards so blazing with the light
  Of carbuncles and lanterns, night gives up
  Its darkness and still fairer shows the sea.
  As they approached the shores of Spain, the land
  Was all aglow, and tidings reached Marsile.


  The Pagans halt no moment; soon they leave
  The deep, and in fresh water steer; Marbreise
  And then Marbruse is passed; along the shores
  Of winding Ebro glides the armament,
  Setting the night aflame with carbuncles
  And lights: the same day reached they Sarraguce.


  Clear is the day and bright the sun; descends
  The Emir from his ship. Espaneliz
  Walks forth upon his right; a train of Kings
  In number seventeen, with Dukes and Counts
  Innumerable, follow. 'Mid the plain
  Grows a great laurel, and beneath its shade
  They spread a _pallie_ of white silk upon
  The verdant grass, and place a faldstool there
  Of ivory. In this sits Baligant
  The Pagan. All the others stand. First spake
  The chief:--"Oyez, all ye, most valiant Knights!
  King Carle, the Emperor, who leads the Franks,
  Shall eat not, save by my command. Throughout
  All Spain, 'gainst me a cruel war he waged:
  Now I will seek him in sweet France, nor, while
  My life lasts, cease until he dies the death,
  Or, living, yields, and mercy begs." He spake
  And struck his right-hand glove upon his knee.


  His word once spoken was to him a law:
  Though it cost all the gold beneath the sky,
  Yet would he march to Aix, where Carle was wont
  To hold his court. Some praise him, even give
  Him counsel. Two from out his host of Knights
  He summons, Clarien, and Clarifan:
  "Ye are the sons of King Maltraïen,
  A willing message bearer: 'tis my will
  Ye go to Sarraguce; there in my name
  Give ye this message to the King Marsile:
  I have come to succor him against the French,
  And if I find them, great the fight will be.
  Give him this gold-embroidered glove, and place it
  On his right hand; give him this staff of gold;
  And when he comes to pay me homage, as
  A vassal to his lord, I then will lead
  My force to France to fight with Carlemagne.
  If he fall not before my feet to pray
  For mercy, and abjure the Christian law,
  I from his head will tear away the crown."
  The Pagans answer all:--"Well spoken, Sire."


  "Barons! to horse!" said Baligant. "Bear thou
  The glove, and thou the staff." The two reply:
  "Dear Sire, thus shall we do." So fast they rode
  They soon reached Sarraguce. Beneath ten gates
  They pass, four bridges cross, ride through the streets
  Where stand the burghers. But on drawing near
  The lofty citadel, they heard great noise
  About the palace, where were thronging crowds
  Of Pagans with loud wails and shrieks of woe,
  Crying out against their gods, on Tervagan,
  Mahum, Apollo, who avail them naught.
  Each says to each, "Ah, caitiffs, what shall now
  Befall us, miserable? for we have lost
  The King Marsile whose hand Rollánd struck off;
  For aye we are bereft of Turfaleu
  The Fair, his son. This day the land of Spain
  Into the Christian hands will fall enslaved!"
  The message-bearers reach the royal gates.


  Beneath an olive tree they halt, and soon
  Two Pagans take their curbed steeds in charge.
  The messengers, each holding by the cloak
  The other, hasten to the highest tower.
  Entering the vaulted hall where lay Marsile,
  An evil greeting offer with good will:
  "May Tervagan, Apollo, he who holds
  Us in his service, and our Sire Mahum,
  Preserve our king and guard the queen!"
  Whereat cried Bramimunde:--"What folly this!
  Our gods are false; too well in Ronceval
  They showed their evil power, and let our knights
  Be slain--amid the battle-field forsook
  My lord the king with his right hand struck off
  By mighty Count Rollánd. The realm of Spain
  Will fall enslaved beneath the sway of Carle.
  What shall become of me, most miserable?
  Alas! is there no man to give me death!"


  Said Clarien:--"Lady, speak not thus--Behold,
  Messengers we, from Baligant, who swears
  To free Marsile, and to him sends his glove
  And staff as tokens--on the Ebro float
  Four thousand galleys, skiffs and swiftest boats;
  More sails than can be numbered! Rich and great
  The Emir.--Carle, pursued to France, shall be
  Per force, or still, or dead, or penitent."
  Said Bramimunde:--"Yea, greater ills will come.
  To meet the Franks you need not go so far;
  Carle seven years in Spain has tarried. Brave
  Is he in battle, and a Baron true;
  Ready to die ere he will quit the field;
  No king on earth but is to him a child.
  Carle's spirit yields before no living man."


  "Let all that be!" cried to the messengers
  The King Marsile--"Seigneurs, speak but to me,
  You see me now crushed unto death. No son
  Nor daughter have I left, nor other heir;
  One son I had, who yestereve was slain.
  Say to my Lord his coming I beseech.
  Some rights to Spain the Emir has; to him
  I grant the realm in full, if he accept.
  Let him defend this land against the French,
  To meet Carlemagne good counsel I will give,
  And victor he will be before this day
  A month. Bear him the keys of Sarraguce;
  Thence, if he trust my words, he ne'er will be
  Expelled." They answer:--"Sire, you speak the truth."


  "The Emperor Carle," said King Marsile, "has slain
  My men, ravaged my land, shattered and stormed
  My cities; now on Ebro's banks he camps,
  But seven counted leagues away. Bid ye
  The Emir march up all his force. Bear him
  My order for the fight." With this he gives
  Into their hands the keys of Sarraguce.
  Upon these words the messengers bent low
  In last salute, took leave, and went their way.


  The messengers upon their horses mount
  And gallop from the city in hot haste.
  With terror struck, both to the Emir come,
  Deliv'ring up the keys of Sarraguce.
  Said Baligant:--"What found ye there? Where is
  The King Marsile whom I commanded forth?"
  Clarien makes answer:--"He is hurt to death;
  The Emp'ror yesterday marched through the pass
  Upon his homeward way into sweet France.
  For greater honor, in the rear, Rollánd,
  His nephew, had a post with Olivier,
  All the twelve Peers and twenty thousand knights.
  The King Marsile, the valiant Baron, fought
  And fierce encounter had with Count Rollánd,
  Who dealt with Durendal so dire a blow,
  The king's right hand was severed from his arm.
  Slain was the son he loved so tenderly,
  With all the Barons he had brought with him;
  Unable to resist, he took to flight,
  And Carle, the Emperor, followed close behind.
  Now give your help to King Marsile, who craves
  Your aid, and as your guerdon all the realm
  Of Spain receive." But Baligant remains
  Deep sunk in thought, nigh maddened by his grief.


  "Sire Emir," Clarien said, "on yesterday
  A battle raged in Ronceval; Rollánd
  And Olivier are dead, and the twelve Peers
  To Carle so dear, with twenty thousand Franks
  Have perished; King Marsile lost his right hand,
  And fled in hottest speed pursued by Carle.
  In all the land no Knight remains but slain
  Or in the waters of the Ebro drowned.
  Upon its banks the French encamp--So nigh--
  Had you the will, unsafe would be their flight."
  Then Baligant looks at him full of pride;
  And his heart swells with courage and fierce joy.
  Sudden from his footstool he springs, and loud
  He cries:--"Delay not--disembark! To horse!
  And forward! Now, unless Carlemagne the old
  By flight escape, the King Marsile shall be
  Avenged. For his right hand Carle's head shall pay."


  Out of their skiffs the Arab Pagans spring,
  And mounting mules and horses, march; what else
  But this for them to do? When forward moves
  The host in serried lines, the Emir calls
  On Genalfin, his chosen friend: "To thee
  Command of all my armies I confide."--
  He said--and straight on his bay destrier mounts;
  Four Dukes rode with him, and so fast he sped,
  Ere long they entered into Sarraguce.
  Before a marble terrace he dismounts,
  Four Counts his stirrup held, and by the steps
  Which led up to the palace he ascends.
  To him runs Bramimunde:--"What cruel dole
  Is mine, oh, woe! How shamefully," she cried,
  "Have I now lost my lord!"--And at his feet
  Prostrate she fell. The Emir raised her up,
  And, grieving, both into the chamber went.


  The King Marsile, on seeing Baligant,
  Summoned two Spanish Saracens, and bade
  His body to be raised that he might sit.
  With his left hand he took a glove, and thus
  He spoke:--"Sir King and Emir, all my lands
  And kingdoms, Sarraguce, domains and fiefs
  But wreck and ruin--Subjects, wealth--all lost."
  Answered the Emir:--"I, so much the more,
  Grieve for thy sorrow; but for longer speech
  I can not stay; for Carle, I know, will not
  Be still. But, nathless, I receive the glove."
  O'erwhelmed with sorrow, weeping he departs;
  The palace steps descending, mounts his horse
  And spurs him towards the waiting hosts so fast,
  That of the foremost ranks he takes the lead;
  And cries aloud, going from man to man:
  "Haste, Pagans! On!--Already flee the Franks."


  At earliest morn, just as the dawn appeared,
  From sleep awakes the Emp'ror Carlemagne;
  Saint-Gabriel, his guardian, sent by God,
  With hands uplifted signed him with the cross.
  The King arises, takes his armor off,
  And all the host disarm.--The mounted knights
  Then ran at speed back o'er the trampled ways,
  The weary roads, to view the woeful loss
  Once more, on Ronceval's bloody battle-field.


  Arrived upon the field of Ronceval,
  Where lay so many slain, Carle wept, and said
  Unto the French:--"Seigneurs, move slowly here;
  For I alone, will forward go in search
  Of my fair nephew lost among the dead.
  Erst when at Aix on Christmas' solemn feast,
  My valiant bachelors, in warlike deeds
  Their exploits vaunting, I could hear Rollánd
  Say, should he ever die on foreign soil,
  Before his peers and men he should be found
  Facing the foe, true Baron, conqu'ror still."
  A few steps further than a staff's throw, Carle
  Far in advance of all, ascends a hill.


  When sought the Emperor his nephew there,
  Amid the field, and found so many plants
  With blossoms crimsoned by our Barons' blood,
  By pity moved he can not choose but weep.
  Mounting the hill, beneath two trees, he knew
  The blow upon the three rocks Rollánd struck,
  And saw his nephew lying on the sward,
  A mangled corse--No wonder Carle is wroth;
  Alights in haste and lifting in his arms
  The Count, broken by grief upon him faints.


  From his deep swoon the Emperor revives.
  Duke Naimes, Count Acelin, Geffrei d'Anjou
  His brother Tierri raise the King, and place
  Him resting 'gainst a pine. There on the earth
  He sees his nephew lying dead, and mourns
  O'er him with gentle words and tender looks,
  "Sweet friend, Rollánd, God's mercy unto thee!
  Such peerless knight none ever yet has seen,
  For noble combats ordered and achieved!
  Mine honor turns to its decline!--" Once more
  Carle's will and strength succumb.... He faints away.


  Again King Carle recovers from his swoon....
  Four of his Barons, with their hands support
  His form. His downcast looks see stretched on earth
  His nephew's corpse. Discolored was the brow,
  Yet proud the look; the dimmed and sightless eyes
  Turned up.... In faith and love King Carle laments.
  "Sweet friend Rollánd, may God enshrine thy soul
  Among the Glorified, amidst the flowers
  Of Paradise! For thy mishap, Seigneur,
  Camest thou to Spain.... No future day shall dawn
  For me, on which I mourn thee not.... Now fall'n
  My strength and power! Who now will e'er support
  My royal fiefs? Thou wast for me 'neath Heav'n
  The one true friend! though other kindred mine,
  Was none so brave and wise."--He tore his hair
  In handfuls from his brow. So great the grief
  Of those one hundred thousand Franks, that none
  There was, of all, who wept not bitter tears.


  "Beloved Rollánd, to France I now return.
  When in my chamber I shall be at Loün,
  And foreign men come from afar to ask
  Where lives Rollánd the Captain, I shall say
  'He lieth dead in Spain;' and I henceforth
  Shall hold my realm in bitter pain. No day
  Shall dawn for me unmarked by tears and moans."


  "Sweet friend Rollánd, brave Knight and beauteous youth,
  When I return to Aix, in my Chapelle,
  And men shall come to hear me speak of thee,
  What strange and cruel news I then shall have
  To greet them with! 'My nephew who for me
  Such conquests made ... is dead.' And Saxons now
  Will rise against my power, and Hungres, and Bugres
  With other foes--the men of Rome, of Pouille,
  And all those of Palerne; and those who hold
  Affrike and Califerne. Day after day
  My pain will grow--Who then shall lead my host
  With such an arm of might, since he is dead,
  Who was our chief and head so long. Alas!
  Sweet France, bereft art thou! So great my grief
  I would not live!"--he plucks out his white beard
  And tears his hair with both hands from his head.
  Swoon on the earth one hundred thousand Franks--


  "Sweet friend," he cried, "Rollánd, thou art no more:
  Oh! may thy soul have place in Paradise!
  Who gave thee death brought grievous shame to France.
  Such is my grief, I would not longer live.
  My kinsmen died for me! I pray Our Lord,
  The Blessed Mary's son, before I reach
  Cizra's defiles, from mortal life to take
  My soul away, and let it rest with theirs.
  I would my body lay beside their own!"
  And, weeping sore, he tears his hoary beard....
  Then said Duke Naimes:--"What cruel pain is Carle's!"


  "Sire Emperor," spoke forth Geffrei d'Anjou,
  "Yield not so much to sorrow--Orders give
  To seek our men throughout the battle-field,
  In combat killed by those of Spain, and lay
  Them in one grave"--Carle said: "Then sound your horn."


  Geffrei d'Anjou obeyed and blew his horn;
  The French dismount, such was the king's command,
  And all their friends found slain upon the field
  Together in one charnel wide inter:
  A crowd of bishops, abbots, canons, monks
  And tonsured priests there gathered, in the name
  Of God assoil and bless; incense and myrrh
  Are burned in reverence and love before
  The dead who, buried there with honors great,
  Are left alone--what more was there to do?


  The Emp'ror Carle gives order that a watch
  Be kept around Rollánd, Count Olivier
  And the Archbishop Turpin; bade their breasts
  Be oped before him, and their hearts enwrapped
  In silken cloths--in tombs of marble white
  Inurned; the bodies of the Barons then
  Perfumed with wine and fragrant herbs; the three
  Seigneurs in wrappings of stag's hide were cased;
  By Carle's decree Tedbald and Gebuin,
  _Marchis_ Othon and Count Milon escort
  Them on their way, upon three chariots borne,
  And covered well with palls of glazèd silk.


  King Carle about to start, sees suddenly
  Emerge the Pagan van. From Baligant,
  The battle to declare, two messengers
  Advance:--"Proud king, from here thou must not go;
  Behold, the Emir to thine encounter comes
  And brings a mighty host from Araby.
  This day will prove if truly valiant knight
  Thou art." Carl'magne, the king, plucks his gray beard;
  So cruel is the memory of all
  His grief and wrong, proudly he casts a look
  Upon his knightly host, and with loud voice
  Exclaims:--"Seigneurs Barons! To horse! To arms!"


  First of them all the Emperor is armed.
  Quick donned his hauberk,--laced his helm--Joyeuse,
  Whose brightness vies with the sun's dazzling rays,
  Is girded on--a shield of Girunde hangs
  Upon his neck,--his lance, forged in Blandune
  He wields, and mounts his good steed Tencendur
  Which nigh the ford below Marsune he won,
  When he struck dead Malpalin de Nerbune.
  Quick to a gallop spurred, rein loosed, the steed
  Sped on, before one hundred thousand men.
  Carle calls on Rome's Apostle and on God.


  Spread o'er the field the men of France dismount.
  More than one hundred thousand arm themselves
  Together--Brilliant their array! Their steeds
  Are fleet, arms gleaming; bright the pennons float
  Above their helms: The foe once found, they give
  Them certain battle. Mounted thus, how brave
  Their show! When Carle beholds their faces bright,
  Joseran de Provence he calls, the brave
  Duke Naimes, also Anselme de Maience:
  "In knights so good behooves men to have faith,
  And mad indeed who doubts of the event.
  Should not the Arabs their approach repent,
  Rollánd's death I to them will dearly sell."
  Responds Duke Naimes:--"May God vouchsafe your prayer."


  Carl calls Rabel and Guineman:--"Seigneurs,
  I will that ye should take the place of Counts
  Rollánd and Olivier--One bear the sword;
  The olifant, the other--Be the chiefs
  Of fifteen thousand bachelors of France,
  In youth and valor famous among all--
  As many more will follow after these,
  Conducted by Gebuin and by Laurant."
  Duke Naimes and Joseran the Count with speed
  And care these hosts in full array dispose.
  Let them encounter, great will be the fight.


  These first two cohorts were from out the French
  Composed; and after those a third was formed:
  The vassals of Baviere--Their numbers mount
  To thirty thousand knights who ne'er would blench
  Before the foe. Beneath the sky live not
  A people dearer to the heart of Carle,
  Save those of France, the conquerors of realms.
  The Count Ogier de Danemarche, the brave,
  Will lead--What beauty sits upon their brows!


  Now has the Emp'ror Carle three squadrons; Naimes
  The Duke, then forms the fourth with truly brave
  Barons from Allemagne, who left La Marche.
  These, twenty thousand count, so all report;
  Well furnished with good steeds and arms; for dread
  Of death in battle they will never yield.
  Herman the Duke of Thrace, their chief, will die
  Before he guilty proves of cowardice.


  Duke Naimes and Joseran the Count, have formed
  The fifth of Normans, twenty thousand men,
  Say all the Franks. Their arms are bright, and fleet
  Their steeds. These welcome death ere they succumb.
  None under Heav'n more valiant in the fight.
  Richard the old will lead them on the field,--
  And with his trenchant lance will bravely strike.


  Composed of Bretons the sixth squadron was:
  Full forty thousand chevaliers are they;
  Barons in mien when mounted thus, each lance
  In rest, its pennon rolled. Their lord is named
  Oedun: These led by Nevelon the Count,
  Tedbald de Reins and the Marchis Othon--
  "My people guide," said Carle; "in ye my trust."


  King Carle has now six squadrons on the field.
  Barons d'Alverne and Peitevins Duke Naimes
  Has mustered in the seventh. They may count
  Full forty thousand knights. How good their steeds,
  How finely wrought their arms! They stand aloof
  Within a shady vale. With his right hand
  He gives to these his blessing. Joseran
  And Godselmes their appointed leaders are.


  Barons of Frise and Flamengs Naimes enrolled
  For the eighth legion. Knights in number more
  Than fifty thousand, men who never yield
  In battle. Thus the king: "My service these
  Will do, Rembalt and Hamon de Galice
  Shall lead them forward in all chivalry."


  Duke Naimes and Joseran the Count equip
  The ninth battalion,--brave among the brave.
  Those warriors from Lorraine and Burgundy:
  In number fifty thousand knights; close helmed,
  In hauberk mailed--a stout short-handled lance
  Each wields. Should Arabs not from combat shrink,
  Lorrains and Bourguignons will deal hard blows;
  Tierri Duke of Argonne will be their chief.


  Barons of France make up the tenth. They are
  One hundred thousand captains 'mong the best;
  Hardy and stout, of features proud, hair flecked
  With gray, and beard all white; in hauberk clad
  And linèd coat of mails, girt with their swords
  Of Spain and France; for shelter, brilliant shields
  With various blazons decked, among them known.
  They mount their steeds and clamor for the fight:
  "Montjoie!" they cry.--Comes now Carlemagne the king!
  Geffrei d'Anjou bears up the oriflamme
  Called Roman once, but since the day Saint Pierre
  Made it a standard, it is named Montjoie.


  The Emperor Carle dismounts, prostrates himself
  Upon the verdant grass, invoking God
  With eyes uplifted toward the rising sun:
  "O father true, this day be my defense!
  Thy hand it was saved Jonas from the whale
  Within whose body he was swallowed up;
  Thou sparedst too the king of Niniva;
  And Daniel didst thou save from cruel pain
  When thrown among the lions. By thy might
  Stood the three children safe in burning flames,
  This day grant also unto me thy love,
  Merciful God! List to my prayer; vouchsafe
  That I avenge my nephew, dear Rollánd!"
  Thus having prayed, he stands erect and marks
  His forehead with the sign of might: Then mounts
  A fleet-hoofed courser. Naimes and Joseran
  Carle's stirrup hold--With buckler on his arm
  And trenchant lance in rest; strength, beauty, grace
  Sat on his countenance and visage fair.
  Then firmly seated on his horse he rides....
  Clarions in rear and front reëcho 'round....
  But above all rings out the olifant.
  Meantime the French weep ... mourning for Rollánd.


  Most nobly on the Emp'ror Carle proceeds.
  His long beard flowing o'er his coat of mail,
  And so, for love of him, the knights, whereby,
  Are surely known the hundred thousand Franks;
  They march through mountains and o'ertopping peaks,
  Deep vales, defiles of frightful look. At last
  Leaving the narrow pass and wasted land,
  They reach the Spanish bourne and make a halt
  Amid a plain. Meanwhile to Baligant
  Return his vanguard scouts; a Syrian spy
  Heralds the news,--"We saw the proud King Carle.
  His warriors fierce will never fail their King.
  To arms--Within a moment look for fight!"
  Baligant cried:--"Good news for our brave hearts!
  Sound all your trumps and let my Pagans know!"


  Throughout the camp the drums sonorous beat,
  With bellowing horns and blasts of trumpet clear.
  The Pagans arm themselves, and least of all
  The Emir would th' advance delay--He wears
  A hauberk saffron--'broidered round the sides,
  And clasps his helm with gold and gems inlaid.
  On his left side a sword whereto, in pride,
  He gave a name, as Carle had named his sword,
  And called the blade his Precieuse. This name
  Shall be the battle-cry his warriors shout----
  Hangs from his neck a large and spreading shield
  Whose golden boss shines with a crystal ring;
  The strap of silk with rosy 'broidery;
  The lance he bears is named Mallet, the shaft
  Of which so huge, more than a beam it looks,
  And steel so strong, beneath its weight a mule
  Would groan. Upon his steed mounts Baligant;
  His stirrup held by Marcule d'Ultremer.
  Mighty the Emir's stride across the selle;
  Thin-loined, wide-flanked, deep-chested, all his form
  Well molded; broad his shoulders; clear his eye,
  His visage haughty, curls around his brow.
  White as a summer blossom he appears;
  His valor proved by many feats of war.
  God! what a Baron, had he Christian faith!
  He spurs his horse until the crimson blood
  Reddens its flanks, and lightly bounds across
  A mighty chasm full fifty feet in width.
  The Pagans cry:--"He can defend his marche.
  With him none 'mong the French can cross a lance;
  Will they or not, their lives are forfeit now.
  Yea Carle was mad who did not shun the field."


  The Emir, Baron-like, wears on his chin
  A beard as white as summer flower, and gained
  Among the wisest of his creed a fame;
  In battle fierce and proud. His son Malprime
  Of knightly soul, and from his noble race
  Holding a valiant heart and strength of arm,
  Addressed his father:--"Sire, to horse! to horse!
  Against them! I much wonder whether Carle
  We e'er shall meet."--"Yea," answered Baligant,
  "Carle is a valorous knight; his glorious deeds
  Are writt'n, but now his nephew is no more;
  Against our strength no other man's can stand."


  "Fair son, Malprime," said th' Emir Baligant,
  "Yesterday fell in death the noble knight
  Rollánd, and Olivier the wise and brave,
  And the twelve Peers by Carle so dearly loved,
  With twenty thousand combatants of France;
  Not at a glove's worth hold I all the rest.
  Anon my Syrian messenger reports
  The emperor's approach; ten armies Carle
  Has called in close array; the knight who bears
  The olifant, with clear resounding blast
  Leads his companions, riding in the front;
  Together with them fifteen thousand men
  Of France, all bachelors, whom Carle is wont
  To call his children. These as many follow
  Who for the fiercest combat seem prepared."
  Thus said Malprime: "The first stroke I demand!"


  "Fair son," said Baligant, "to you I grant
  Your full request. Against the French at once
  Engage. Let your companions be Torleu
  The Persian King, and Dapamort who rules
  Leutis. If you subdue the vaunting Carle,
  A portion of my kingdom shall you have
  In fief from the Orient to Val-Marchis."
  Responds Malprime: "To you, O sire, all thanks!"
  And stepping forward, he receives the boon.
  This land had once been swayed by King Fleuri,
  But by Malprime was neither ruled nor seen.


  The Emir Baligant rides through the ranks
  Of all his host, escorted by his son
  Of giant stature, and the Kings Torleu
  And Dapamort. In line of battle soon
  Stand thirty legions ranked. Countless the knights,
  And fifteen thousand strong the weakest band
  Can number. First are those of Butentrot,
  The next of Misnia: enormous heads
  O'ertop the spine enrooted in their backs,
  Their shaggy bodies bristling with coarse hair
  Like boars; the third, of Nubles and of Blos;
  The legion fourth of Bruns and Esclavos;
  The fifth of Sorbres and Sorz; from the Ermines
  And Mors is formed the sixth; from Jericho
  The seventh, and the eighth from those of Nigre.
  Of Gros the ninth, and from Balide-la-Fort,
  The legion tenth, men never good for aught.
  With strongest oaths the Emir swears aloud
  By all Mohammed's might and body, "Carle
  Of France rides like a madman to his doom,
  For combat we shall have; recoils he not,
  His brow shall never more wear golden crown."


  Ten other legions are arrayed: the first
  Of Canelieux--ill-visaged people, come
  Athwart, from Valfuit; Turks the next; the third
  Persians; the fourth, Persians and Pinceneis;
  The fifth from Soltras come and from Avers;
  Englez and Ormaleis make up the sixth;
  The seventh scions are of Samuel's race;
  The eighth from Braise; Esclavers form the ninth;
  As for the tenth, a horde perverse that came
  From Ociant's deserted land--a race
  Not loving God the Lord; ne'er shall you hear
  Of viler breed: their heathen skin as hard
  As iron, whence it is they need no helms
  Nor hauberks mailed--in battle treach'rous fiends.


  The Emir has himself ten legions armed.
  To form the first the giants of Malpruse
  Were summoned; to the second came the Huns;
  The Hungres made the third; Baldise-la-Lungue
  The fourth, and Val-Penuse the fifth; the sixth
  Maruse; the seventh Leuz and Astrimonies;
  The eighth Argoilles; Clarbone the ninth; the tenth
  Formed of the bearded men of Val-Fondé,
  A tribe that never would love God. The songs
  Of Geste of France thus thirty legions count:
  A mighty host where many a trumpet blasts.
  Forward, like valiant knights, the Pagans ride.


  The Emir, rich and mighty lord, commands
  Before him to display his dragon-flag,
  The standard of Mahum and Tervagant;
  With it Apollo's image, evil god.
  Ten Canelieus about him ride, and cry
  This sermon with loud voice: "Who by our Gods
  Craves to be saved, with the most contrite heart
  Must pray!" And then the Pagans low incline
  Their heads and chins, with brilliant helms bent down
  To earth.--"Now, gluttons, comes your hour to die!"
  Cry out the French; "Confusion be your lot.
  This day, O God of ours, defend King Carle,
  Turn Thou the scale of battle to his side!"


  The Emir, great in wisdom, called his son
  And the two kings:--"Seigneurs Barons, in front
  Ride ye, and all my legions you shall lead;
  Among them only three will I retain,
  But of the best: The first shall be the Turks,
  The second of the Ormaleis composed,
  And third shall be the Giants of Malpruse,
  While those of Occiant shall near me stand
  To set them on King Carle and on his French.
  Should then the Emperor dare measure arms
  With me, struck from its trunk his head shall fall--
  No right has he to other fate than this."


  Both armies are immense; their squadrons bright.
  Between the combatants nor height, nor hill,
  Nor vale, nor wood that shelter could afford;
  Foe looks on foe across the open field.--
  Said Baligant: "My Saracens, to horse!
  Ride forward to the fight!" The battle flag
  Is borne on high by Amboire d'Oliferne,
  And all shout "Precieuse!" The French exclaim:
  "May ye confounded be this day!" Aloud
  Rises their cry "Montjoie!" The Emperor Carle
  His trumpets bid resound, and the olifant
  Whose blast 'whelms all. The Pagans say: "Carle's host
  Is fair! Fierce battle shall we have and dire."


  Vast is the plain and broad the field. Behold
  Those dazzling helms inlaid with gold and gems,
  Those shields, those coats of mail with saffron edged,
  Those spears and pennons rolled; hearken ye the voice
  Of trumpets blowing clear and strong, and hark
  The olifant's shrill blast, which sounds the charge.
  The Emir calls his brother, Canabeu,
  The King of Floredée, who rules the land
  As far as Val-Sevrée, and points to Carle's
  Ten must'ring legions: "See the pride of France
  The praised; amid his bearded knights how proud
  The Emperor rides! O'er their hauberks stream
  Their beards as white as snow upon the frost.
  Forsooth! These valiant warriors will strike hard
  With lance and sword, and such a fight be ours
  As never man has fought." Then Baligant,
  Urging his courser further than a man
  Can hurl a staff, gave reasons and their proof:
  "Come forward, Pagans; follow where I go!"
  Brandishing high the shaft of his own lance,
  At Carle he levels fair its trenchant steel.


  When Carle the Emir sees, and with him borne
  The dragon-standard, all the land o'erswarmed
  By Arab warriors, save that space alone
  Held by his host, he cries with loudest voice:
  "Barons of France, in valor great, we know,
  Upon how many fields ye battled! See
  The Pagans! Traitors vile and cowards all;
  Yea, all their law I count no denier worth.
  What care ye, lords, how vast their numbers are?
  Let those who wish to combat follow me!"
  With pointed spurs he pricks his courser's flanks
  And Tecendur four times leaped in the air.
  Cry out the French:--"A valiant King is this!
  Ride forward, Sire, not one will fail you here."


  Clear was the day and bright the sun. Both hosts
  Resplendent, their battalions numberless;
  The legions in the van already meet
  In fight. Both Counts Rabel and Guineman
  On their fleet coursers' necks have loosed the rein!
  Sharply they spur, and all the Franks dash on
  To deal with trenchant lance their valiant blows.


  A daring Knight is Count Rabel. With spurs
  Of purest gold he pricks his courser's flanks,
  Rushing to smite Torleu the Persian King.
  No shield, no hauberk can such blow withstand.
  The golden spear went through the Pagan's heart
  And mid the brambles of the road has struck
  Him dead. The French cry out: "Aid us, O God!
  With Carle the right; ne'er shall we fail our King!"


  Guineman 'gainst the King of Leutice tilts;
  The Pagan's shield with painted flowers bedecked
  Is shattered and his hauberk torn away.
  Through his heart's core the pennon of the Knight
  Is driven, bearing death,--or laugh or weep
  Who may. At such a blow the French exclaim:
  "Barons, strike ever! Strike and be not slack
  Against the Pagan hordes; to Carle belongs
  The right. With us the justice true of God!"


  Malprime upon a steed of purest white
  Leads 'gainst the serried legions of the Franks
  His men. Abating not his mighty blows,
  Corse over corse he heaps. Cries Baligant
  In front: "Ye whom my kindness nurtured long,
  Barons of mine, see how my son seeks Carle
  And with so many knights he measured arms;
  A better vassal I shall never claim;
  Give him the succor of your trenchant spears."
  On rush the Pagans at these words, and deal
  Their mortal blows around. Rude is the fight!
  The battle marvelous and stern. None such
  Was ever seen before or since that hour.


  The hosts are numberless, the warriors fierce--
  The encount'ring legions fighting hand to hand
  Noblest exploits achieved. How many a lance
  Asunder broken; God! How many shields
  In pieces split, how many hauberks wrenched!
  Splinters of shivered armor you might see
  Strew all the field, and verdant tender grass
  Vermillioned o'er by streams of human gore!
  The Emir to his people calls anew:
  "Barons strike down these Christian people!"--Hard
  And long the fight embittered by revenge
  And rage. Ne'er seen before nor will be seen
  Again such combat.--To the death they fight.


  The Emir to his men:--"Strike, Pagans, ye
  For this alone have come. Dames sweet and fair
  Shall be your guerdon; honors, and domains
  I promise all."--The Saracens respond:
  "To serve you all we ought."--So hard they fight
  That in the hot affray they lose their spears:
  Anon a thousand flashing swords and more,
  Are drawn, a bloody slaughter to achieve.
  He who stood on that field, true battle saw.


  The King exhorts his French: "Beloved Seigneurs
  And trusty Knights, ye many battles fought
  For me, won many a realm, defeated Kings!
  Full well I know, rich guerdons have ye earned;
  My wealth, lands, blood I owe you. Now to-day
  Your sons, your brothers and your kin avenge
  Who fell in Ronceval but yesternight!
  Well know ye mine the right, with them the wrong."
  The French reply:--"Yea, sire, you speak the truth."
  The twenty thousand knights who march with Carle
  Pledge with one soul their fealty. Dire distress,
  E'en death, shall cause not one of these to fail
  The Emperor; not on lances they rely,
  But with the sword in hand wage doughty strife.
  Wondrous the raging battle. Stern the fight.


  The brave Malprime has pressed his steed across
  The field, and carried death among the French.
  Duke Naimes glanced proudly toward him, and as knight
  In battle fearless met him in career;
  He strikes ... tears off his buckler's leathern top,
  The hauberk cuts in twain, drives through the heart
  The yellow pennon of the spear, and strikes
  Him dead mid seven hundred other knights.


  King Canabeus, the Emir's brother, spurs
  His courser on; his crystal-hilted sword
  Unsheathes, and deals Naimes' princely helm a blow
  Which splits the crest in twain; the trenchant blade
  Severs the five strong bands which to his head
  Fast bound it; now not worth a denier was
  The steel-mailed hood; down to the flesh the casque
  Sheer cleft--a fragment falls upon the earth.
  The blow was great; the Duke, astounded, reeled,
  And would have fallen but for God's help. He clasps
  His courser's neck, and should the Pagan deal
  Another stroke, the noble Duke has breathed
  His last; but to his help comes Carle of France.


  In the Duke Naimes' brave heart what agony!
  Once more the Pagan raised his arm to strike,
  But now King Carle cries:--"Coward, wretch! This blow
  Brings thee ill luck!"--And valiantly the King
  Rushed on, crushed 'gainst his heart the buckler, rent
  The hauberk's top; dead-struck the heathen King
  Falls on the ground ... empty the saddle rests.


  Deep grief the Emperor felt when there he saw
  Duke Naimes sore-wounded and the verdant grass
  Streamed o'er by his clear blood, and thereupon
  This counsel spoke:--"Fair Naimes, ride close by me;
  The wretch who brought you to this cruel fight
  Has breathed his last, his body by my lance
  Transfixed."--The Duke:--"In you my trust, O sire!
  If e'er I live, with knightly service shall
  My arm requite this deed!"--Then side by side
  In faith and love, with twenty thousand knights
  They march. And none of these or flinch or yield.


  The Emir rides across the field, in haste
  To deal a blow against Count Guineman.
  Athwart his heart he breaks the buckler white
  And tears the hauberk's sides apart, disjoints
  Two ribs and hurls him from his courser, dead;
  Then takes the life of Gebain and Lorant,
  And of Richard the old, a Norman Lord.
  The Pagans cry: "_Precieuse_ deserves its name!
  Barons! strike on, Precieuse will save us all!"


  A noble sight, those knights of Araby,
  Of Occiant, of Argoille and of Bascle!
  Spears intermix, death to repel or give.
  Nathless the French recoil not from the strife.
  On either side they fall heaped high. Till eve
  The storm of battle raged. Meanwhile the knights
  Of France upon that day bore rueful loss;
  Nor stayed the carnage till the day was done.


  French and Arabian warriors emulate
  In valor each the other. Ashen shafts
  Break from their brazen heads. Whoso then saw
  Those shields defaced, who heard those hauberks white
  Resound with blows, this dinning clash of shields
  'Gainst helmets grinding, saw those knights and men
  Fall and with dying shrieks roll on the earth,
  Of greatest anguish could the memory keep;
  So fierce this battle raged. The Emir calls
  Upon Apollo, Tervagan, upon
  Mahum: "Till now I served you well, O Gods!
  And I will have an image made for each,
  Molten of purest gold [if ye but help]!"
  Before him then his favorite Gemalfin
  Appears. He brings ill news. "Sire Baligant
  This day brings you mishap; Malprime, your son
  Has fall'n! Your brother Canabeus is dead.
  Two Franks the glory have of their defeat,
  One, Carle the Emperor, I deem, so vast
  His fame, his air as _Marchis_ grand, his beard
  As white as April blossom!" At these words
  The Emir's helm declines, his visage sinks
  Low on his breast. Such is his grief, he thinks
  Death nears him. Calling Jangleu d'ultremer,


  The Emir said:--"Jangleu, step forth; most wise
  Art thou, thy knowledge great; thy counsel e'er
  I followed; what the chance of victory
  For Franks or Arabs deemest thou?" Jangleu
  Responds:--"Death, Baligant, hangs o'er your head.
  Ne'ermore your gods can save you; Carle is proud,
  And valiant are his men. Ne'er lived a race
  So strong in battle; yet call up your knights
  Of Occiant, Enfruns and Arabs, Turks
  And Giants. Do your duty with all speed."


  The Emir spreads out to the breeze his beard
  As hawthorn blossom white; betide what may,
  Escape he will not seek, puts to his lips
  A trumpet clear, whose blast the Pagans hark,
  And fast their cohorts rally on the field.
  They bray and neigh, the men of Occiant,
  While those of Arguile yelp as curs, and charge
  The Franks so rashly, they mow down and break
  Their thickest ranks, and by this blow
  Throw seven thousand dead upon the field.


  To Count Ogier is dastardy unknown;
  No better vassal buckled hauberk on.
  When the French legions broken thus he saw,
  He called Tierri Duke of Argonne, Geffrei
  D'Anjou and Jozeran the Count, and spoke
  These haughty words to Carle:--"Behold our men
  By Pagans slaughtered! May God ne'er permit
  Your brow to wear its crown if unrevenged
  Your shame remains!" None dared reply a word,
  But spurring hard their steeds, with loosened reins
  They rush in fury 'gainst the Pagan ranks
  And strike the foes where'er they can be met.


  Hard strikes Carlemagne the king, hard strikes Duke Naimes,
  Ogier de Dannemark, Geffrei d'Anjou,
  Who bears the royal pennon. But o'er all
  Ogier de Dannemark puts forth his might;
  He pricks his courser, drops the rein and falls
  Upon the Pagan who the Dragon holds,
  So fiercely, that both Dragon and the King's
  Own flag is crushed before him on the spot.
  When Baligant beholds his gonfalon fall
  And Mahum's flag defenseless, in his heart
  Springs quick the thought, wrong may be on his side
  And right on Carle's. The Pagans [waver now].
  The Emperor Carle around him calls his (Franks):
  "Barons, in God's name, do you stand by me?"
  Respond the French:--"To ask is an offense.
  Accurst be he who deals not glorious strokes!"


  The day wears on and vesper draweth nigh.
  Christians and Pagans, sword in hand, engage;
  And valiant are their chiefs, nor mindless they
  Of battle cries:--"Precieuse!" the Emir shouts,
  And Carle:--"Montjoie!" the glorious sign. Each knows
  The other by the clear sonorous voice,
  And 'mid the field encountering, gives and takes
  Fierce blows. Each massy shield receives the shock,
  And each beneath the boss is cloven in twain
  By the strong lance; each hauberk's sides are rent,
  But the keen steel in neither reached the flesh;
  The horse-girths burst and let the saddles fall.
  Dropped to the earth both kings, both to their feet
  Quick springing, dauntlessly unsheathed their swords.
  And now the mortal combat will not cease
  Till Carle or Baligant has fallen in death.


  Carle of sweet France is brave, but the Emir feels
  Before him neither fear nor dread. Both wield
  Their naked swords and mighty thrusts exchange.
  The shields, of wood and leather multifold,
  Are rent, the nails torn out, the bosses split;
  Each at the other's hauberk aims his blows.
  Both combat breast to breast; the showering sparks
  Wrap both their helms in fire: no end can be
  Till one or other, vanquished, owns his wrong.


  The Emir said: "King Carle, bethink thee yet;
  Take better counsel with thy heart, and show
  Remorse. Full well I know, by thee my son
  Was slain, thou broughtest ruin through my land.
  Become my man, I will restore [in fief]
  This land [to thee], and to the East, but serve
  Me well." And Carle: "Great shame were that to me!
  To Heathens I can give no peace nor love....
  Receive the law our God revealed; accept
  The faith of Christ.... For e'er my love is thine,
  If thou believe in God, the Almighty King."
  Said Baligant: "Ill words are these of thine:
  [Far better die by the keen edge of sword."]


  The mighty Emir with a giant's strength
  Smites Carle upon the helm of burnished steel,
  Which splits in twain beneath the ponderous blow,
  Cuts through the silky hair, shears from the scalp
  Fully the breadth of a man's palm and more,
  Baring the skull. Carle staggers, nearly falls,
  But God willed not that he should die or yield.
  Saint Gabriel, with eager flight once more
  Descends, demanding:--"What ails thee, great King?"


  When Carle the Angel's heavenly accent hears,
  All thought or dread of death forsakes his soul,
  And in him springs again his former strength.
  The Emir by the royal sword of France
  Is struck, his helm all bright with gems is rent,
  His cloven skull pours out the brain, his face
  Is cleft to the very roots of his white beard:
  Dead falls the Pagan past recovery.
  Then shouts the King his rallying cry, "Montjoie!"
  Hearing his shout, Duke Naimes hastes up, and brings
  The charger Tecendur for Carle the great
  To mount. The Pagans turn their backs--God wills
  They should not stay. The Franks have their desires.


  The Pagans fly--such is the will of God;
  Carle leads the French in the pursuit. Thus spake
  The King:--"Seigneurs, the time is come to give
  Vent to just hatred, and your anguished hearts
  Assuage. This very morn I saw your eyes
  Streaming with tears." They cry:--"Our vengeance now!"
  And vying with each other in exploits,
  They deal their mighty blows. But few escape.


  Amidst the sultry heat and clouds of dust
  The Pagans rousèd, by their foes harassed,
  Flee far for Sarraguce. To her high tower
  Ascends Queen Bramimunde, where, seeing thus
  The routed Arabs fly, she calls her priests
  And canons, subjects to false law, by God
  Ne'er loved: their crowns no holy tonsure wear.
  She cries aloud:--"Aid us, Mahum! Oh aid!
  O gentle King! Already vanquished are
  Our men, the Emir slain in shameful death!"
  On hearing this, Marsile turned to the wall
  His covered face, and amid bitter tears
  His life departed. Soon the eager fiends
  Bore off to judgment his sin-burthened soul.


  The Pagans all are slain [or put to flight];
  Carle wins the day. The gates of Sarraguce
  Are stormed, and well he knows, defense is vain.
  He takes the city. All the Christian host
  Pour in, and there repose their limbs this night.
  The King with snow-white beard is filled with pride:
  Queen Bramimunde gives up the citadels;
  Ten of these forts are large, and fifty small.
  Well helped are they whom God Almighty aids.


  The sunny day had passed, the shades of night
  Had fallen; bright the moonlight; all the stars
  In heaven shone. Carle ruled in Sarraguce.
  Unto one thousand men he gave command
  To search throughout the city's synagogues
  And mosques for all their idols and graved signs
  Of gods--these to be broken up and crushed
  By ax and iron mallet he ordains.
  Nor sorcery nor falsehood left. King Carle
  Believes in God and serves him faithfully.
  Then bishops bless the fountains, leading up
  The Heathens to the blest baptismal Font.
  If one perchance resist the King, condemned
  Is he to die, or hanged, or burnt, or slain.
  More than one hundred thousand are baptized
  True Christians; but not so Queen Bramimunde:
  A captive shall she go unto sweet France
  And be converted by the King through love.


  Night passes; dawn appears. Carle fortifies
  The towers of Sarraguce. One thousand Knights
  Of valor proved are left to guard the town
  In the Emperor's name. With escort strong he rides,
  Followed by Bramimunde a captive, yet
  Commands that naught but kindness she receive.
  In proud and joyous triumph they return;
  Through Nerbune passes the victorious host,
  Unto Burdele, the city great and fair.
  There on the altar of the Baron Saint
  Sevrin, Carle lays the olifant filled full
  Of marks and gold, where pilgrims view it still.
  Passing upon broad skiffs across Girunde,
  To Blaive, he bears the bodies of Rollánd
  And Olivier, his noble _Compagnon_,
  With the Archbishop good and brave. Beneath
  White monuments he hath the lords entombed
  At Saint-Romain. Here those three Barons lie....
  The French to God and to his saints, once more
  Commend them. Carle anew through mounts and vales
  Proceeds, nor will he stop until in Aix.
  Fast rides he till he nears the marble steps
  Of his great palace; and as soon as reached
  Its tower, by messengers he summons up
  Baiviers and Saisnes, Loherencs and Frisons,
  Allemans, Burguignons, Normans, Poitevins,
  Bretons, of France the wisest men; for now
  Ganelon's trial shall have no delay.



  From Spain at last the Emperor has returned
  To Aix, the noblest seat of France; ascends
  His palace, enters in the stately hall.--
  Now comes to greet him the fair [lady] Aude,
  And asks the King:--"Where is Rollánd the chief
  Who pledged his faith to take me for his wife?"
  Sore-pained, heart-broken, Carle, with weeping eyes,
  Tears his white beard.--"Ah! sister well beloved,
  Thou askest me of one who is no more.
  A worthier match I give thee in exchange;
  Loewis it is. I can not better say.
  He is my son, and will protect my realms."
  Aude answers:--"To my ear these words are strange.
  May God, His saints, His angels, all forfend
  That, if Rollánd lives not, I still should live."
  Her color fades, she falls prone at the feet
  Of Carlemagne--dead ... God's mercy on her soul!
  Barons of France mourn her with pitying tears.


  Such was the end of Aude the beautiful.
  The King, in hope 'tis but a swoon, with tears
  And pity taking both her hands, uplifts
  Her form; the head upon the shoulders sinks.
  As soon as Carle knows it is death indeed,
  Four countesses he summons, bids them bear
  In haste the Lady to a nunnery.----
  All night they watched the body, and at morn
  Beside a shrine gently she was entombed
  With highest honors by the King's command.


  The Emperor is once more at Aix. There stands
  Amid the city 'fore the palace gate,
  In iron chains, the traitor Ganelon.
  His hands are fastened to a stake with thongs
  Of deer-skin by the sergeants who then beat
  His body well with staves and heavy cords.
  Such treatment was his true desert. He waits
  His coming doom, in agony of soul.


  Written it is in ancient Geste of France
  That Carle then summoned men from all his lands,
  Who met at Aix's Chapelle. A solemn feast
  It was; some say the Baron Saint Silvestre's.
  This day began the plea and history
  Of Ganelon who wove the treason's plot.
  The Emperor bade them drag him to his bar.


  "Seigneurs Barons," said to them Carle the King,
  "Judge Ganelon according to the law.--
  Among my host with me to Spain he came;
  His craft lost twenty thousand of my Franks;
  My nephew, whom ye nevermore shall see,
  And Olivier, the brave and courteous Knight.
  The traitor sold my brave twelve Peers for gain."
  Then Ganelon:--"May I be cursed ere I
  Deny. Of wealth and honors had [Rollánd]
  Deprived me, and for this, his loss and death
  I wrought, but treason none I will confess."
  Respond the French:--"On this we counsel take."


  In presence of the King stands Ganelon
  With bearing hardy, florid countenance;
  Were he but loyal, as a Baron true
  His mien. Upon the French and judges he
  Has cast a glance, and on his thirty kin
  Who 'round him stand; then with firm voice exclaims:
  "Barons! Now hear me all, for love of God!
  I to the Emperor's host belonged, and served
  Him ever in all faith and love. Rollánd,
  His nephew, hatred bore to me, and fain
  Had doomed my days to torture and to death.
  As message-bearer I to King Marsile
  Was sent, wisdom alone my shield and guard;
  I gave defiance to Rollánd the bold,
  To Olivier and to their comrades all:
  By Carle and all his Barons this was heard.
  Revenge this was, but treason it was none."
  Reply the French:--"All this we well shall weigh."


  On seeing the great plea was to commence,
  Thirty good Knights were called by Ganelon
  Out of his kin, and one among them makes
  A speech all others hark: 'tis Pinabel
  Of Castel de Sorence, of greatest skill
  In words, and apt with reason plausible;
  Withal, a vassal brave to guard his arms.
  Thus to him Ganelon:--"In you my trust
  I place; my life from death, my name from shame
  Preserve!"--Said Pinabel:--"Thou shalt be saved.
  Dare one French Knight condemn thee to be hanged,
  And would the Emperor make us both to meet
  In combat, my good sword will his rash word
  Believe."--And at his feet falls Ganelon.


  Baiviers, Saines, Poitevins, Normans and French
  In council met;--Allemans, Tiedeis in great
  Array. Those from Alverne most courteous prove
  And show more kindness unto Pinabel.
  One to the others said:--"To leave this plea
  Right would it be, and pray Carl'magne, this once
  To pardon Ganelon who, from this day,
  Will serve his lord with truer faith and love.
  Rollánd lies in his grave; nor wealth, nor gold
  Restores him to your eyes. This cruel fight
  Is folly."--All the Knights approve, save one,
  Tierri, a brother of the Lord Geffrei.


  To Carle his Barons come again, and say:
  "We pray you, sire, acquit Count Ganelon;
  Then will he serve you with true faith and love.
  Grant him his life which springs from noble race.
  Rollánd lies in his grave; ne'er shall we see
  Him more, nor treasures e'er can bring him back."
  Exclaimed the King: "Vile traitors are ye all!"


  Now, seeing all will fail him, o'er Carle's eyes
  And features gloom descends; by grief o'erwhelmed
  He cries: "Unhappy that I am!" Then stood
  [Tierri], the brother of Geffrei, the Duke
  D'Anjou, before the King. Thin, light of frame,
  Hair raven-black, [face] somewhat brown of hue,
  In height nor tall nor short; with courtesy
  He spake thus to the Emp'ror: "Fair sire King,
  Be not cast down. That I have served you well
  Ere this, you know. 'Tis my ancestral right
  To sit among the judges of the plea.
  However guilty was Rollánd against
  Count Ganelon, his duty to the King
  Should have restrained his hate. A treason foul
  Ganelon wrought against Rollánd; forsworn
  In perjury tow'rd you, he lost himself.
  For all his crimes his death I here demand,
  Death by the cord; his body to the dogs
  Be thrown away--the perjurer's just doom.
  Should any of his kin deny the words
  I speak, this sword of mine girt to my side
  Will make them good."--All cry: "Well have you said."


  Then toward the King advances Pinabel;
  Tall, strong and swift, and brave. Strike he but once,
  No second blow need follow; to the King
  He said: "Sire, unto you belongs this plea.
  Command these clamors to be hushed. There stands
  Tierri who now his judgment has pronounced.
  The lie I give him and to fight defy!"
  With this his right hand glove of deer-skin gave
  Unto the King who said: "I must receive
  Good pledges." Of his kin then thirty knights
  Were given as legal sureties of his pledge.
  "I also give my pledge," the Emperor said,
  "And have them guarded safe till judgment pass."


  When Tierri sees that now the fight is near,
  He gives the Emperor his right hand glove.
  To him the sureties Carle himself provides,
  Bids that they bring four benches to the place
  Whereon the combatants shall sit. The terms
  Are judged by all the others as most fair.
  Ogier de Dannemarche was chosen to rule
  The lists. Then for their steeds and arms both called.


  Both knights now made them ready for the fight,
  Were shriven, assoiled, and blessed; a mass have heard,
  Communion have received, and richest alms
  Bequeathed to monasteries.--Before striking
  They both appear.--Gold spurs their heels adorn;
  They wear white hauberks light and strong; bright helms
  Clasp on their heads, and gold hilt swords are girt
  Upon their thighs, and to their necks are bound
  Strong quartered shields; they wield in each right hand
  A trenchant sword, and on fleet steeds they mount;
  Then melt in tears one hundred thousand knights
  Who for Rollánd's sake wish Tierri well.
  Yea--but God knows what way the thing will end.


  Beyond the town of Aix a plain extends:
  And here our Barons will the combat try.
  Most valiant knights are both; the steeds they ride
  Are swift and stout; with spurs in flanks, and freed
  Of rein, they dash.--The warriors all their might
  And skill unite to strike the surest blow.
  Bucklers beneath the shock are torn and crushed,
  White hauberks rent in shreds, asunder bursts
  Each courser's girth, the saddles, turning, fall.
  One hundred thousand men look weeping on....


  Both knights leap on the earth, and, quick as light,
  Stand face to face.--Strong, fiery Pinabel
  And Tierri for each other seek. Their steeds
  Are fled.--But their gold-hilted swords they wield;
  And on the helms of steel they shower such blows
  As rashed the thongs. Loudly the knights lament,
  And Carle exclaims:--"Show thou the right, O God!"


  Cried Pinabel:--"Tierri, surrender thou!
  Thy vassal I will be in faith and love,
  And to thy pleasure will I yield my wealth;
  But let the King forgive Count Ganelon!"
  Tierri replied:--"Thy offers all are vain;
  Vile treason were it such a pact to make;
  But God shall judge us and make plain the right."


  Then Tierri spake:--"I hold thee, Pinabel,
  As Baron true, great, strong, of handsome mold;
  Thy peers acknowledge thee as valiant knight;
  Well, let this combat cease, between the King
  And thee a covenant I will strive to make.
  On Ganelon such justice shall be done
  That future ages shall record the doom."
  They grasp again their swords and hew
  Each other's gold-encrusted helm with rage
  So rash that sparkling fires spurt through the air.
  No power will now disjoint the combatants:
  The death of one can only close the strife.


  No braver man than Pinabel.--Such blows
  He deals on Tierri's helmet of Provence,
  That the sparks fly in showers, and, falling, set
  The grass ablaze. Then aiming at his foe
  His keen-edged brand, down to the brow cuts through
  His helm; the blade glides down across his face,
  And plows his right cheek with a deep red gash;
  Unto his stomach is the haubert rent,
  But God protects him, and averts his death.


  Tierri, on seeing blood gush from his brow
  And tinge the grassy field, strikes Pinabel
  On his steel-burnished helmet, and cuts through
  To the nose-plate. His head is cleft in twain
  And gushes forth the brain. This fatal blow
  Gives Pinabel his death, and ends the fight.
  The French exclaim:--"O wondrous work of God!
  Full right it is that Ganelon be hanged
  With all his kin who sureties were for him!"


  Tierri had won, and on the battle-field
  The Emperor Carle arrived with an escort
  Of forty Barons,--Naimes the Duke, Ogier
  De Dannemarche, Geffrei d'Anjou, Willalmes
  De Blaive.--In close embrace the King has pressed
  Tierri, and with his mantle's sables wiped
  The warrior's face; then lays his furs aside
  And on his shoulders others are arrayed.
  Meanwhile the knight, by friendly hands disarmed,
  On an Arabian mule is placed, and so
  This valorous Baron full of joy returns
  To Aix.--Amid the place they all dismount,
  And now the sureties must abide their doom.


  Carlemagne around him calls his counts and dukes:
  "What counsel give ye touching those I kept,
  Unto this plea who came for Ganelon
  Themselves sworn hostages for Pinabel?"
  Respond the French:--"Let none of them survive!"--
  Carle then commands a road-keeper, Basbrun:
  "Hang them all up on yon accursed tree!
  By this gray beard of mine, I swear, if one
  Escape, thou diest but a villain's death!"--
  Answered the man:--"What else but to obey?"--
  Then by a hundred sergeants roughly seized,
  Those thirty men are hanged.--Who man betrays
  Destroys himself and others drags to death.


  And now have turned away Baiviers, Allemans,
  Poitevins, Bretons and Normans; but more
  Than all, the French advise that Ganelon
  Should die a death of torture. Then they tie
  With cords his hands and feet. Four sergeants bring
  Four wild and fiery destriers, made mad
  By a mare 'mid the field. A fearful end
  For Ganelon; bound between them, limb from limb
  Is rent away, each nerve and muscle stretched
  And torn. The clear blood streams upon the green.
  Thus perished Ganelon by a felon's death....
  Traitors of evil deeds must never boast.


  When the Emperor Carle had wreaked his full revenge,
  He called the bishops from the realms of France,
  And from Baviere, and those of Alemaigne:
  "Now in my [court] have I a captive, sprung
  From noble race. Such sermons has she heard,
  So good examples seen, she will believe
  In the true God, and Christian faith embrace.
  Baptize her so that He may save her soul;
  God-mothers choose her of our noblest dames."
  With a great company the Baths at Aix
  Were thronged, and soon before the holy Fonts
  The Queen received the name of Juliane:
  Henceforth a Christian holding fast the Truth.



  But when the Emperor had made complete
  His justice and his heavy wrath assuaged,
  And brought Queen Bramimunde to Christian faith,
  The day was over and the night had fall'n.
  The King sought rest within his vaulted room.
  Saint Gabriel brought him word from God and said:
  "Carle, of thy empire summon all the hosts
  For swiftest marching to the land of Bire;
  So shalt thou succor King Vivien in Imphe,
  The city compassed by the Pagan foe.
  The Christians look to thee and cry for help."--
  Will has he none to go, the King, but moans:--
  "O, God," quoth he, "so troublous is my life!"--
  Whereat he weeps, and tears his hoary beard.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Thus endeth here the Geste Turoldus sang.

         *       *       *       *       *


[1] Molted. Because in that condition, better for hunting.

[2] _Pallies._ A square piece of silk on which the knights used
to sit. (From Pallium).

[3] _Tables._ In the romances of the Middle Ages the game of
tables means tric-trac, chess, checkers, etc.

[4] Bezants. A Byzantine coin.

[5] A sort of undergarment made of gold and silk brocade
worn in time of war under the coat of mail, and in time of
peace under the mantle of fur. In the latter case it was of silk.

         *       *       *       *       *


Of places and words which may present some difficulty as regards origin
and meaning on account of their ancient orthography. For more complete
information see Léon Gautier's seventh edition of the text.

The numbers indicate stanzas in this edition.

AIX, capital of Charlemagne's empire. 3.

ALMAZOUR, Arab origin, a title. 69.

ALVERNE and ALFERNE, Auvergne, French Province. 224.

AMIRALZ, Admiral. 78.

AMURAFLE, from Emir, admiral. 98.

ARGONNE, city of France (Champagne). 227.

ASPRE, defile in the Pyrenees. 88.

ASTRIMUNIES, Pagan tribes. 236.

BALAGUER, Spanish Arabian city. 73.

BASCLE, Basque--W. Foester, 280. 254.

BELFERNE, Pagan kingdom. 66.

BELNE, Beaune, French city (Burgundy). 144.

BEVUM, man's name--Teutonic. 144.

BIRE and IMPHE, unknown. 293.

BLAVE, Blaye, near Bordeaux, France. 269.

BLOS, Pagan tribe. 234.

BRIGAL, Saracen country. 97.

BRUNS and ESCLAVOS, Teutonic etymology. 234

BRUISE, Prussia. 235.

{BUGRE, Bulgarian, and
{BUGUERIE, Bulgaria. 174, 211.

BURDELE, Bordeaux. 101.

BUTENTROT, country supposed to be situated in Cappadocia. 234.
  See P. Meyer in Romania, VII., p. 335.

CALIFERNE, unknown Pagan country. 211.

CANELIEUS, 236--said to be Chananians by P. Meyer in Romania, VI.,
  p. 477.

CICLATON, Arab silk material. 69.

COMMIBLES, supposed city of Spain. 14.

CLARBONE, imaginary Pagan place. 236.

DANEMARCHE, Denmark. 220.--Etymology, Dania and Marcha, limit.

DIGUN, Dijon, city of France. 144.

ENFRUNS, unknown Eastern Pagans. 256.

ENGLEZ, Sclavonic tribes. 235.

ERMINES, Pagan tribes. 234.

FALDSTOOL, an arm-chair. 32.

FLORÉDÉE, doubtful Pagan country. 240.

GARNAILLE, unknown. 145.

GASCUIGNE, Gascony, Gascuin, Gascon. 65.

GENNES, Genoa. 165.

GLAZA, Galaza, and adj. Galazin, place, and stuff made of silk
  and gold; from Asia. 215.

GROS, Pagans unknown. 234.

GUITSAND, town near Calais, 111.

HALTOIE, Spanish city. 14.

IMPHE, unknown. 293.

LEUTIS, believed to be Poland. 244. See G. Paris in Romania, II.,
  p. 331.

LOHENRENGS, from Lorraine. 269.

MAELGUT, a Pagan's name. 154.

MALPRUSE and MALPREISE, Pagan region. 236.

MARBRISE and MARBRUSE, unknown places. 193.

MARCHIS, old, for Marquis. 50.

MISMIA, unknown. 234.

MONTJOIE.--Etym. Mons gaudii, name of Carle's standard;
  the oriflamme and French war-cry. 93. See note in Gautier's
  seventh edition, p. 278.

MORS, Moors. 234.

NERBUNE, Narbone, city, South of France. 269.

NIGRES, perhaps _Nigri_. 234.

NOPLES, supposed city of Spain. 14.

NUBLES, a Pagan tribe, Nubians. 234.

OCCIANT, Pagan country. (?) 235.

OLIFANT, Roland's ivory horn. Etym. _Elephantus_. 85.

ORMALEIS, unknown. 238. See Romania, II., and Gautier's

OYEZ, of French; hear! 2.

PEITEVINS for Poitevins, of Poitou. 224.

PINCENEIS, Lat. _Pincinnati_; see Romania, II., p. 331-335,
  and Gautier's Glossary.

PINE, Piña, city of Spain. 14.

POUILLE, Apulia. 29.

PRIME, Arabian Province. 78.

PUILLANIE, Poland. 174.

REINS, Rheims, in Champagne. 12.

ROSNE, River Rhone. 121.

SAISNES, Saxons. 269.

SAINT-ROMAIN, church of Blaye, near Bordeaux. 269.

SAINTS (les), Les Saints of Cologne (Gautier); others say
  Sens, a city of Western France. 111.

SEBILE, Sevilla, Spain. 14.

SEIGNEURS, French for Lords. 2, &c.

SIZRE, now Cisa; Etym. Cæsaris, place of the defiles, near
  Ronceval. 45.

SOLTRAS and AVERS, Pagan tribes. 235.

SORBRES and SORZ, Pagan tribes. 234.

SORENCE, unknown. 276.

TIEDEIS, Deutch, German. 277.

TUELE, city in Navarra. 14.

TURTELUSE, Tortosa, Spain. 75.

VAL-TENEBRE, Spanish City. 54.

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