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!"


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