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."


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