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!


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