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."


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