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."


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