La Chanson de Roland

Laisses L - XCIX

 

       L
       A tant i vint la reine Bramimunde.
635
«Jo vos aim mult, sire,» dist ele al cunte,  
«Car mult vos priset mi sire e tuit si hume. 
A vostre femme enveierai dous nusches;
Bien i ad or, matices e jacunces:
Eles valent mielz que tut l'aveir de Rume, 
640
Vostre emperere si bones n'en out unches.»  
Il les ad prises, en sa hoese les butet, AOI.

LI
Li reis apelet Malduit sun tresorer:
«L'aveir Carlun est il apareillez?»
E cil respunt: «Oïl, sire, asez bien:

645
.VII.C. cameilz, d'or e argent cargiez, 
E .XX. hostages, des plus gentilz desuz cel.» 
AOI.

LII
Marsilies tint Guen[elun] par l'espalle;
Si li ad dit: «Mult par ies ber e sage.
Par cele lei que vos tenez plus salve,

Guardez de nos ne turnez le curage. 
De mun aveir vos voeill dunner grant masse:
.X. muls cargez del plus fin or d'Arabe;
Jamais n'iert an, altretel ne vos face. 
Tenez les clefs de ceste citet large,
655
Le grant aveir en presentez al rei Carles,  
Pois me jugez Rollant a rereguarde.
Sel pois trover a port ne a passage,
Liverrai lui une mortel bataille.»
Guenes respunt: «Mei est vis que trop targe!» 
660
Pois est munted, entret en sun veiage. AOI. 


LIII
Li empereres aproismet sun repaire.
Venuz en est a la citet de Galne.
Li quens Rollant il l'ad e prise e fraite;
Puis icel jur en fut cent anz deserte.

665
De Guenelun atent li reis nuveles, 
E le treüd d'Espaigne, la grant tere.
Par main en l'albe, si cum li jurz esclairet, 
Guenes li quens est venuz as herberges. AOI.

LIV
Li empereres est par matin levet;

670
Messe e matines ad li reis escultet. 
Sur l'erbe verte estut devant sun tref.
Rollant i fut e Oliver li ber,
Neimes li dux e des altres asez.
Guenes i vint, li fels, li parjurez.
675
Par grant veisdie cumencet a parler, 
E dist al rei: «Salvez seiez de Deu!
De Sarraguce ci vos aport les clefs;
Mult grant aveir vos en faz amener,
E .XX. hostages; faites les ben guarder!
680
E si vos mandet reis Marsilies li ber, 
De l'algalifes nel devez pas blasmer,
Kar a mes oilz vi .IIII.C. milie armez,
Halbers vestuz, alquanz healmes fermez,
Ceintes espees as punz d'or neielez,
685
Ki l'en cunduistrent tresqu'en la mer: 
De Marcilie s'en fuient por la chrestientet, 
Que il ne voelent ne tenir ne guarder.
Einz qu'il oüssent .IIII. liues siglet,
Sis aquillit e tempeste e ored:
690
La sunt neiez, jamais nes en verrez; 
Se il fust vif, jo l'oüsse amenet.
Del rei paien, sire, par veir creez,
Ja ne verrez cest premer meis passet
Qu'il vos sivrat en France le regnet,
695
Si recevrat la lei que vos tenez, 
Jointes ses mains iert vostre comandet;
De vos tendrat Espaigne le regnet.»
Ço dist li reis: «Graciet en seit Deus!
Ben l'avez fait, mult grant prod i avrez.»
700
Par mi cel ost funt mil grailles suner; 
Franc desherbergent, funt lur sumers trosser:
Vers dulce France tuit sunt achiminez. AOI.

LV
Carles li magnes ad Espaigne guastede
Les castels pris, (. . .) les citez violees.

705
Ço dit li reis que sa guere out finee.
Vers dulce France chevalchet l'emperere. 
Li quens Rollant ad l'enseigne fermee
En sur un tertre cuntre le ciel levee.
Franc se herbergent par tute la cuntree. 
710
Paien chevalchent par cez greignurs valees,  
Halbercs vestuz e tres bien fermeez
Healmes lacez e ceintes lur espees,
Escuz as cols e lances adubees.
En un bruill par sum les puis remestrent, 
715
.IIII.C. milie atendent l'ajurnee. 
Deus! quel dulur que li Franceis nel sevent! 
AOI.

LVI
Tresvait le jur, la noit est aserie.
Carles se dort, li empereres riches.
Sunjat qu'il eret al greignurs porz de Sizer, 

720
Entre ses poinz teneit sa hanste fraisnine.  
Guenes li quens l'ad sur lui saisie;
Par tel air l'at estrussee e brandie,
Qu'envers le cel en volent les escicles. 
Carles se dort, qu'il ne s'esveillet mie. 

LVII

725
Apres iceste altre avisiun sunjat: 
Qu'il en France ert, a sa capele, ad Ais,
El destre braz li morst uns vers si mals. 
Devers Ardene vit venir uns leuparz,
Sun cors demenie mult fierement asalt.
730
D'enz de la sale uns veltres avalat, 
Que vint a Carles le galops e les salz,
La destre oreille al premer uer trenchat, 
Ireement se cumbat al lepart.
Dient Franceis, que grant bataille i ad; 
735
Il ne sevent, liquels d'els la veintrat.  
Carles se dort, mie ne s'esveillat. AOI.

LVIII
Tresvait la noit, e apert la clere albe. 
Par mi cel host suvent e menu reguarded:.
Li empereres mult fierement chevalchet.

740
«Seignurs barons,» dist li emperere Carles,  
«Veez les porz e les destreiz passages:
Kar me jugez, ki ert en la rereguarde.»
Guenes respunt: «Rollant cist miens fillastre: 
N'avez baron de si grant vasselage.»
745
Quant l'ot li reis, fierement le reguardet,  
Si li ad dit: «Vos estes vifs diables.
El cors vos est entree mortel rage.
E ki serat devant mei en l'ansguarde?»
Guenes respunt: «Oger de Denemarche:
750
N'avez barun, ki mielz de lui la facet.» AOI. 

LIX
Li quens Rollant quant il s'oït juger,  
Dunc ad parled a lei de chevaler:
«Sire parastre, mult vos dei aveir cher:
La rereguarde avez sur mei jugiet.

755
N'i perdrat Carles, li reis ki France tient,  
Men escientre palefreid ne destrer,
Ne mul ne mule que deiet chevalcher,
Ne n'i perdrat ne runcin ne sumer,
Que as espees ne seit einz eslegiet.»
760
Guenes respunt: «Veir dites, jol sai bien.» 
AOI.

LX
Quant ot Rollant, qu'il ert en la rereguarde, 
Ireement parlat a sun parastre:
«Ahi! culvert, malvais hom de put aire,
Qui[d]ás, le guant me caïst en la place,

765
Cume fist a tei le bastun devant Carle?» AOI. 

LXI
- «Dreiz emperere,» dist Rollant le barun,
«Dunez mei l'arc, que vos tenez el poign.
Men escientre nel me reproverunt
Que il me chedet, cum fist a Guenelun

770
De sa main destre, quant reçut le bastun.»  
Li empereres en tint sun chef enbrunc,
Si duist sa barbe, e detoerst sun gernun; 
Ne poet muer que des oilz ne plurt.

LXII
Anpres iço i est Neimes venud:

775
Meillor vassal n'out en la curt de lui; 
E dist al rei: «Ben l'avez entendut;
Li quens Rollant, il est mult irascut.
La rereguarde est jugee (...) sur lui:
N'avez baron ki jamais la remut.
780
Dunez li l'arc que vos avez tendut, 
Si li truvez ki tres bien li aiut!»
Li reis li dunet, e Rollant l'a reçut.

LXIII
Li empereres apelet ses nies Rollant:
«Bel sire nies, or savez veirement,

785
Demi mun host vos lerrai en present. 
Retenez les, ço est vostre salvement.»
Ço dit li quens: «Jo n'en ferai nient;
Deus me cunfunde, se la geste en desment! 
XX. milie Francs retendrai ben vaillanz.
790
Passez les porz trestut soürement: 
Ja mar crendrez nul hume a mun vivant!»
AOI.

LXIV
Li quens Rollant est muntet el destrer.
Cuntre lui vient sis cumpainz Oliver;
Vint i Gerins e li proz quens Gerers,

795
E vint i Otes, si i vint Berengers, 
E vint i Astors e Anseïs li veillz;
Vint i Gerart de Rossillon li fiers;
Venuz i est li riches dux Gaifiers.
Dist l'arcevesque: «Jo irai, par mun chef!» 
800
- «E jo od vos,» ço dist li quens Gualters; 
«Hom sui Rollant, jo ne li dei faillir.»
Entr'e[l]s eslisent .XX. milie chevalers. AOI.

LXV
Li quens Rollant Gualter de l'Húm apelet:
«Pernez mil Francs de France, nostre tere, 

805
Si purpernez les deserz e les tertres,  
Que l'emperere nis un des soens n'i perdet.»
Respunt gualter: «Pur vos le dei ben faire.» 
Od mil Franceis de France, la lur tere,
Gualter desrenget les destreiz e les tertres, 
810
N'en descendrat pur malvaises nuveles, 
Enceis qu'en seient. VII.C. espees traites. 
Reis Almaris, del regne de Belferne
Une bataille lur livrat le jur pesme. AOI.

LXVI
Halt sunt li pui e li val tenebrus,

815
Les roches bises, les destreiz merveillus. 
Le jur passerent Franceis a grant dulur; 
De .XV. lius en ot hom la rimur.
Puis que il venent a la Tere Majur,
Virent Guascuigne, la tere lur seignur.
820
Dunc le remembret des fius e des honurs, 
E des pulcele e des gentilz oixurs:
Cel nen i ad ki de pitet ne plurt.
Sur tuz les altres est Carles anguissus:
As porz d'Espaigne ad lesset sun nevold. 
825
Pitet l'en prent, ne poet muer n'en plurt. AOI. 

LXVII
Li .XII. per sunt remes en Espaigne.
.XX. milie F(r)rancs unt en lur cumpaigne,
N'en unt poür ne de murir dutance.
Li emperere s'en repairet en France;

830
Suz sun mantel en fait la cuntenance. 
Dejuste lui li dux Neimes chevalchet
E dit al rei: «De quei avez pesance?»
Carles respunt: «Tort fait kil me demandet! 
Si grant doel ai ne puis muer nel pleigne. 
835
Par Guenelun serat destruite France, 
Enoit m'avint un avisiun d'angele,
Que entre mes puinz me depeçout ma hanste, 
Chi ad juget mis nes a (la) rereguarde.
Jo l'ai lesset en une estrange marche!
840
Deus! se jol pert, ja n'en avrai escange!» 
AOI.

LXVIII
Carles li magnes ne poet muer n'en plurt. 
.C. milie Francs pur lui unt grant tendrur, 
E de Rollant merveilluse poür.

Guen[e]s li fels en ad fait traïsun: 
845
Del rei paien en ad oüd granz duns, 
Or e argent, palies e ciclatuns,
Muls e chevals e cameilz e leuns.
Marsilies mandet d'Espaigne les baruns,
Cuntes, vezcuntes e dux e almaçurs,
850
Les amirafles e les filz as cunturs: 
.IIII.C. milie en ajustet en .III. jurz.
En Sarraguce fait suner ses taburs;
Mahumet levent en la plus halte tur.
N'i ad paien nel prit e nel aort.
855
Puis si chevalchent, par mult grant cuntençun,
La Tere Certeine e les vals e les munz:
De cels de France virent les gunfanuns.
La rereguarde des .XII. cumpaignuns
Ne lesserat bataille ne lur dunt.

LXIX

860
Li nies Marsilie, il est venuz avant, 
Sur un mulet od un bastun tuchant.
Dist a sun uncle belement en riant:
«Bel sire reis, jo vos ai servit tant,
Sin ai oüt e peines e ahans,
865
Faites batailles e vencues en champ! 
Dunez m'un feu, ço est le colp de Rollant;
Jo l'ocirai a mun espiet trenchant.
Se Mahumet me voelt estre guarant,
De tute Espaigne aquiterai les pans
870
Des porz d'Espaigne entresqu'a Durestant.  
Las serat Carles, si recrerrunt si Franc;
Ja n'avrez mais guere en tut vostre vivant.» 
Li reis Marsilie l'en ad dunet le guant. AOI.

LXX
Li nies Marsilies tient le guant en sun poign, 

875
Sun uncle apelet de mult fiere raisun: 
«Bel sire reis, fait m'avez un grant dun. 
Eslisez mei .XII. de voz baruns,
Sim cumbatrai as .XII. cumpaignuns.»
Tut premerein l'en respunt Falsaron,
880
Icil ert frere al rei Marsiliun: 
«Bel sires nies, e jo e vos [í]irum.
Ceste bataille veirement la ferum:
La rereguarde de la grant host Carlun,
Il est juget que nus les ocirum.» AOI.

LXXI

885
Reis Corsalis, il est de l'altre part: 
Barbarins est e mult de males arz.
Cil ad parlet a lei de bon vassal:
Pur tut l'or Deu ne volt estre cuard [...]
As vos poignant Malprimis de Brigant:
890
Plus curt a piet que ne fait un cheval.  
Devant Marsilie cil s'escriet mult halt: 
«Jo cunduirai mun cors en Rencesvals;
Se truis Rollant, ne lerrai que nel mat!»

LXXII
Uns amurafles i ad de Balaguez:

895
Cors ad mult gent e le vis fier e cler; 
Puis que il est sur un cheval muntet,
Mult se fait fiers de ses armes porter;
De vasselage est il ben alosez;
Fust chrestiens, asez oüst barnet.
Devant Marsilie cil en est escriet:
«En Rencesvals irai mun cors juer!
Se truis Rollant, de mort serat finet,
E Oliver e tuz les .XII. pers.
Franceis murrunt a doel e a viltiet.
905
Carles li magnes velz est e redotez: 
Recreanz ert de sa guerre mener,
Si nus remeindrat Espaigne en quitedet.» 
Li reis Marsilie mult l'en ad merciet. AOI.

LXXIII
Uns almaçurs i ad de Moriane;

910
N'ad plus felun en la tere d'Espaigne. 
Devant Marsilie ad faite sa vantance:
«En Rencesvals guierai ma cumpaigne,
.XX. milie ad escuz e a lances.
Se trois Rollant, de mort li duins fiance. 
915
Jamais n'ert jor que Carles ne se pleignet.» AOI. 

LXXIV
D'altre part est Turgis de Turteluse:
Cil est uns quens, si est la citet sue.
De chrestiens voelt faire male vode.
Devant Marsilie as altres si s'ajust,

920
Ço dist al rei: «Ne vos esmaiez unches! 
Plus valt Mahum que seint Perre de Rume!
Se lui servez, l'onur del camp ert nostre. 
En Rencesvals a Rollant irai juindre,
De mort n'avrat guarantisun pur hume.
925
Veez m'espee, ki est e bone e lunge: 
A Durendal jo la metrai encuntre;
Asez orrez, laquele irat desure.
Franceis murrunt, si a nus s'abandunent;
Carles li velz avrat e deol e hunte:
930
Jamais en tere ne portera curone.» 

LXXV
De l'altre part est Escremiz de Valterne: 
Sarrazins est, si est sue la tere.
Devant Marsilie s'escriet en la presse,
«En Rencesvals irai l'orgoill desfaire.

935
Se trois Rollant, n'en porterat la teste,  
Ne Oliver, ki les altres cadelet;
Li .XII. per tuit sunt jugez a perdre;
Franceis murrunt e France en ert deserte, 
De bons vassals avrat Carles suffraite.» AOI.

LXXVI

940
D'altre part est uns paiens, Esturganz; 
Estramariz i est, un soens cumpainz:
Cil sunt felun, traïtur suduiant.
Ço dist Marsilie: «Seignurs, venez avant!
En Rencesvals irez as porz passant,
945
Si aiderez a cunduire ma gent.» 
E cil respundent: «(Sire,) a vostre comandement!
Nus asaldrum Oliver e Rollant;
Li .XII. per n'avrunt de mort guarant.
Noz espees sunt bones e trenchant;
950
Nus les feruns vermeilles de chald sanc.  
Franceis murrunt, Carles en ert dolent.
Tere Majur vos metrum en present.
Venez i, reis, sil verrez veirement:
L'empereor vos metrum en present.»

LXXVII

955
Curant i vint Margariz de Sibilie;
Cil tient la tere entre[s]qu'as Cazmarine. 
Pur sa beltet dames li sunt amies:
Cele nel veit vers lui ne s'esclargisset; 
Quant ele le veit, ne poet muer ne riet;
960
N'i ad paien de tel chevalerie. 
Vint en la presse, sur les altres s'escriet
E dist al rei: «Ne vos esmaiez mie!
En Rencesvals irai Rollant ocire,
Ne Oliver n'en porterat la vie;
965
Li .XII. per sunt remes en martirie. 
Veez m'espee, ki d'or est enheldie:
Si la tramist li amiralz de Primes.
Jo vos plevis qu'en vermeill sanc ert mise.
Franceis murrunt e France en ert hunie;
970
Carles li velz a la barbe flurie, 
Jamais n'ert jurn qu'il n'en ait doel e ire. 
Jusqu'a un an avrum France saisie;
Gesir porrum el burc de seint Denise.»
Li reis paiens parfundement l 'enclinet. AOI.

LXXVIII

975
De l'altre part est Chernubles de Munigre;  
Jusqu'a la tere si chevoel li balient;
Greignor fais portet par giu, quant il s'enveiset, 
Que .IIII. mulez ne funt, quant il sumeient. 
Icele tere, ço dit, dun il esteit,
980
Soleill n'i luist, ne blet n'i poet pas creistre,  
Pluie n'i chet, rusee n'i adeiset,
Piere n'i ad que tute ne seit neire.
Dient alquanz que diables i meignent.
Ce dist Chernubles: «Ma bone espee ai ceinte; 
985
En Rencesvals jo la teindrai vermeille. 
Se trois Rollant li proz enmi ma veie,
Se ne l'asaill, dunc ne faz jo que creire, 
Si cunquerrai Durendal od la meie.
Franceis murrunt e France en ert deserte.» 
990
A icez moz li .XII. [per] s'alient; 
Itels .C. milie Sarrazins od els meinent,
Ki de bataille s'argüent,e hasteient:
Vunt s'aduber desuz une sapide.

LXXIX
Paien s'adubent des osbercs sarazineis,

995
Tuit li plusur en sunt (saraguzeis) dublez en treis,
Lacent lor elmes mult bons sarraguzeis,
Ceignent espees de l'acer vianeis;
Escuz unt genz, espiez valentineis,
E gunfanuns blancs e blois e vermeilz.
1000
Laissent les mulz e tuz les palefreiz, 
Es destrers muntent, si chevalchent estreiz. 
Clers fut li jurz e bels fut li soleilz: 
N'unt guarnement que tut ne reflambeit.
Sunent mil grailles por ço que plus bel seit: 
1005
Granz est la noise, si l'oïrent Franceis.  
Dist Oliver: «Sire cumpainz, ce crei,
De Sarrazins purum bataille aveir.»
Respont Rollant: «E! Deus la nus otreit!
Ben devuns ci estre pur nostre rei:
1010
Pur sun seignor deit hom susfrir destreiz 
E endurer e granz chalz e granz freiz,
Sin deit hom perdre e del quir e del peil. 
Or guart chascuns que granz colps (l')[i] empleit,
Que malvaise cançun de nus chantet ne seit! 
1015
Paien unt tort e chrestiens unt dreit; 
Malvaise essample n'en serat, ja de mei.» 
AOI.

LXXX
Oliver est desur un pui haut muntez,
Guardet su destre par mi un val herbus,
Si veit venir cele gent paienur,

1020
Sin apelat Rollant, sun cumpaignun: 
«Devers Espaigne vei venir tel bruur,
Tanz blancs osbercs, tanz elmes flambius! 
Icist ferunt nos Franceis grant irur.
Guenes le sout, li fel, li traïtur,
1025
Ki nus jugat devant l'empereür.» 
- «Tais Oliver,» li quens Rollant respunt,
«Mis parrastre est, ne voeill que mot en suns.» 

LXXXI
Oliver est desur un pui muntet;
Or veit il ben d'Espaigne le regnet

1030
E Sarrazins, ki tant sunt asemblez. 
Luisent cil elme, ki ad or sunt gemmez,
E cil escuz e cil osbercs safrez
E cil espiez, cil gunfanun fermez.
Sul les escheles ne poet il acunter;
1035
Tant en i ad que mesure n'en set. 
E lui meïsme en est mult esguaret.
Cum il einz pout, del pui est avalet,
Vint as Franceis, tut lur ad acuntet.

LXXXII

Dist Oliver: «Jo ai paiens veüz: 
1040
Unc mais nuls hom en tere n'en vit plus.  
Cil devant sunt .C. milie ad escuz
Helmes laciez e blancs osbercs vestuz
Dreites cez hanstes, luisent cil espiet brun. 
Bataille avrez, unches mais tel ne fut.
1045
Seignurs Franceis, de Deu aiez vertut! 
El camp estez, que ne seium vencuz!»
Dient Franceis: «Dehet ait ki s'en fuit!
Ja pur murir ne vus en faldrat uns.» AOI.

LXXXIII
Dist Oliver: «Paien unt grant esforz,

1050
De noz Franceis m'i semblet aveir mult poi! 
Cumpaign Rollant, kar sunez vostre corn:
Si l'orrat Carles, si returnerat l'ost.»
Respunt Rollant: «Jo fereie que fols!
En dulce France en perdreie mun los.
1055
Sempres ferrai de Durendal granz colps; 
Sanglant en ert li branz entresqu'a l'or. 
Felun paien mar i vindrent as porz:
Jo vos plevis, tuz sunt jugez a mort.» AOI.

LXXXIV
- «Cumpainz Rollant l'olifan car sunez:

1060
Si l'orrat Carles, ferat l'ost returner, 
Succurrat nos li reis od tut sun barnet.»
Respont Rollant: «Ne placet Damnedeu
Que mi parent pur mei seient blasmet
Ne France dulce ja cheet en viltet!
1065
Einz i ferrai de Durendal asez,
Ma bone espee que ai ceint al costet:
Tut en verrez le brant ensanglentet.
Felun paien mar i sunt asemblez:
Jo vos plevis, tuz sunt a mort livrez.» AOI.

LXXXV

1070
- «Cumpainz Rollant, sunez vostre olifan: 
Si l'orrat Carles, ki est as porz passant. 
Je vos plevis, ja returnerunt Franc.»
- «Ne placet Deu,» ço li respunt Rollant,
«Que ço seit dit de nul hume vivant,
1075
Ne pur paien, que ja seie cornant! 
Ja n'en avrunt reproece mi parent!
Quant jo serai en la bataille grant
E jo ferrai e mil colps e .VII. cenz,
De Durendal verrez l'acer sanglent.
1080
Franceis sunt bon, si ferrunt vassalment,  
Ja cil d'Espaigne n'avrunt de mort guarant.» 

LXXXVI
Dist Oliver: «D'iço ne sai jo blasme?
Jo ai veüt les Sarrazins d'Espaigne,
Cuverz en sunt li val e les muntaignes

1085
E li lariz e trestutes les plaignes. 
Granz sunt les oz de cele gent estrange;
Nus i avum mult petite cumpaigne.»
Respunt Rollant: «Mis talenz en est graigne. 
Ne placet Damnedeu ne ses angles
1090
Que ja pur mei perdet sa valur France! 
Melz voeill murir que huntage me venget.
Pur ben ferir l'emperere plus nos aimet.» 

LXXXVII
Rollant est proz e Oliver est sage;

Ambedui unt me[r]veillus vasselage. 
1095
Puis que il sunt as chevals e as armes, 
Ja pur murir n'eschiverunt bataille.
Bon sunt li cunte e lur paroles haltes.
Felun paien par grant irur chevalchent.
Dist Oliver: «Rollant, veez en alques!
1100
Cist nus sunt pres, mais trop nus est loinz Carles.
Vostre olifan, suner vos nel deignastes;
Fust i li reis, n'i oüssum damage.
Guardez amunt devers les porz d'Espaigne:
Veeir poez, dolente est la rereguarde;
1105
Ki ceste fait, jamais n'en ferat altre.» 
Respunt Rollant: «Ne dites tel ultrage!
Mal seit del coer ki el piz se cuardet!
Nus remeindrum en estal en la place;
Par nos í ert e li colps e li caples.» 
AOI.

LXXXVIII

1110
Quant Rollant veit que la bataille serat, 
Plus se fait fiers que leon ne leupart.
Franceis escriet, Oliver apelat:
«Sire cumpainz, amis, nel dire ja!
Li emperere, ki Franceis nos laisat,
1115
Itels .XX. milie en mist a une part 
Sun escientre n'en i out un cuard.
Pur sun seignur deit hom susfrir granz mals 
E endurer e forz freiz e granz chalz,
Sin deit hom perdre del sanc e de la char. 
1120
Fier de [ta] lance e jo de Durendal, 
Ma bone espee, que li reis me dunat.
Se jo i moert, dire poet ki l'avrat
(E purrunt dire) que ele fut a noble vassal.»

LXXXIX
D'altre part est li arcevesques Turpin,

1125
Sun cheval broche e muntet un lariz, 
Franceis apelet, un sermun lur ad dit:
«Seignurs baruns, Carles nus laissat ci;
Pur nostre rei devum nus ben murir.
Chrestientet aidez a sustenir!
1130
Bataille avrez, vos en estes tuz fiz, 
Kar a voz oilz veez les Sarrazins.
Clamez vos culpes, si preiez Deu mercit! 
Asoldrai vos pur voz anmes guarir.
Se vos murez, esterez seinz martirs,
1135
Sieges avrez el greignor pareïs.» 
Franceis de[s]cendent, a tere se sunt mis,
E l'arcevesque de Deu les beneïst:
Par penitence les cumandet a ferir.

XC
Franceis se drecent, si se metent sur piez. 

1140
Ben sunt asols e quites de lur pecchez, 
E l'arcevesque de Deu les ad seignez;
Puis sunt muntez sur lur curanz destrers. 
Adobez sunt a lei de chevalers
E de bataille sunt tuit apareillez.
1145
Li quens Rollant apelet Oliver: 
«Sire cumpainz, mult ben le saviez
Que Guenelun nos ad tuz espiez;
Pris en ad or e aveir e deners.
Li emperere nos devreit ben venger.
1150
Li reis Marsilie de nos ad fait marchet; 
Mais as espees l'estuvrat esleger.» AOI.

XCI
As porz d'Espaigne en est passet Rollant
Sur Veillantif, sun bun cheval curant.
Portet ses armes, mult li sunt avenanz,

1155
Mais sun espiet vait li bers palmeiant, 
Cuntre le ciel vait la mure turnant,
Laciet en su un gunfanun tut blanc;
Les renges li batent josqu'as mains. 
Cors ad mult gent, le vis cler e riant.
1160
Sun cumpaignun apres le vait sivant, 
E cil de France le cleiment a guarant.
Vers Sarrazins reguardet fierement
E vers Franceis humeles e dulcement,
Si lur ad dit un mot curteisement:
1165
«Seignurs barons, suef pas alez tenant! 
Cist paien vont grant martirie querant.
Encoi avrum un eschec bel e gent:
Nuls reis de France n'out unkes si vaillant.» 
A cez paroles vunt les oz ajustant. AOI.

XCII

1170
Dist Oliver: «N'ai cure de parler. 
Vostre olifan ne deignastes suner,
Ne de Carlun mie vos n'en avez.
Il n'en set mot, n'i ad culpes li bers.
Cil ki la sunt ne funt mie a blasmer.
1175
Kar chevalchez a quanque vos puez! 
Seignors baruns, el camp vos retenez!
Pur deu vos pri, ben seiez purpensez
De colps ferir, de receivre e (de) duner!
L'enseigne Carle n'i devum ublier.»
1180
A icest mot sunt Franceis escriet. 
Ki dunc oïst «Munjoie» demander,
De vasselage li poüst remembrer.
Puis si chevalchent, Deus! par si grant fiertet! 
Brochent ad ait pur le plus tost aler,
1185
Si vunt ferir, que fereient il el? 
E Sarrazins nes unt mie dutez;
Francs e paiens, as les vus ajustez.

XCIII
Li nies Marsilie, il ad a num Aelroth;
Tut premereins chevalchet devant l'ost.

1190
De noz Franceis vait disant si mals moz:  
«Feluns Franceis, hoi justerez as noz,
Traït vos ad ki a guarder vos out.
Fols est li reis ki vos laissat as porz. 
Enquoi perdrat France dulce sun los,
1195
Charles li magnes le destre braz del cors.»  
Quant l'ot Rollant, Deus! si grant doel en out!
Sun cheval brochet, laiset curre a esforz, 
Vait le ferir li quens quanque il pout.
L'escut li freint e l'osberc li desclot, 
1200
Trenchet le piz, si li briset les os, 
Tute l'eschine li desevret del dos,
Od sun espiet l'anme li getet fors,
Enpeint le ben, fait li brandir le cors, 
Pleine sa hanste del cheval l'abat mort, 
1205
En dous meitiez li ad briset le col;
Ne leserat, ço dit, que n'i parolt:
«Ultre culvert! Carles n'est mie fol,
Ne traïsun unkes amer ne volt.
Il fist que proz qu'il nus laisad as porz: 
1210
Oí n'en perdrat France dulce sun los. 
Ferez i, Francs, nostre est li premers colps! 
Nos avum dreit, mais cist glutun unt tort.» 
AOI.

XCIV
Un duc i est, si ad num Falsaron:
Icil er[t] frere al rei Marsiliun;

1215
Il tint la tere Datliun e Balbiun. 
Suz cel nen at plus encrisme felun.
Entre les dous oilz mult out large le front, 
Grant demi pied mesurer i pout hom.
Asez ad doel quant vit mort sun nevold,
1220
Ist de la prese, si se met en bandun, 
E se s'escriet l'enseigne paienor;
Envers Franceis est mult cuntrarius:
«Enquoi perdrat France dulce s'onur!»
Ot le Oliver, sin ad mult grant irur;
1225
Le cheval brochet des oriez esperuns, 
Vait le ferir en guise de baron.
L'escut li freint e l'osberc li derumpt, 
El cors li met les pans del gunfanun,
Pleine sa hanste l'abat mort des arçuns; 
1230
Guardet a tere, veit gesir le glutun, 
Si li ad dit par mult fiere raison:
«De voz manaces, culvert, jo n'ai essoign. 
Ferez i, Francs, kar tres ben les veincrum!» 
- «Munjoie!» escriet, ço est l'enseigne Carlun. 
AOI.

XCV

1235
Uns reis i est, si ad num Corsablix: 
Barbarins est, d'un estra[n]ge païs.
Si apelad les altres Sarrazins:
«Ceste bataille ben la puum tenir,
Kar de Franceis i ad asez petit.
1240
Cels ki ci sunt devum aveir mult vil; 
Ja pur Charles n'i ert un sul guarit:
Or est le jur qu'els estuvrat murir.»
Ben l'entendit li arc[e]vesques Turpin.
Suz ciel n'at hume que [tant] voeillet haïr;
1245
Sun cheval brochet des esperuns d'or fin,  
Par grant vertut si l 'est alet ferir.
L'escut li freinst, l'osberc li descumfist, 
Sun grant espiet par mi le cors li mist,
Empeint le ben, que mort le fait brandir, 
1250
Pleine sa hanste l'abat mort el chemin. 
Guardet arere, veit le glutun gesir,
Ne laisserat que n'i parolt, ço dit:
«Culvert paien, vos i avez mentit!
Carles, mi sire, nus est guarant tuz dis;
1255
Nostre Franceis n'unt talent de fuïr. 
Voz cumpaignuns feruns trestuz restifs;
Nuveles vos di: mort vos estoet susfrir.
Ferez, Franceis! Nul de vus ne s'ublit!
Cist premer colp est nostre, Deu mercit!» 
1260
- «Munjoie!» escriet por le camp retenir. 

XCVI
Engelers fiert Malprimis de Brigal;

Sis bons escuz un dener ne li valt: 
Tute li freint la bucle de cristal,
L'une meitiet li turnet cuntreval;
1265
L'osberc li rumpt entresque a la charn, 
Sun bon espiet enz el cors li enbat.
Li paiens chet cuntreval a un quat;
L'anme de lui en portet Sathanas. AOI.

XCVII
E sis cumpainz Gerers fiert l'amurafle:

1270
L'escut li freint e l'osberc li desmailet,  
Sun bon espiet li me(n)t en la curaille,
Empeint le bien, par mi le cors li passet, 
Que mort l'abat el camp, pleine sa hanste. 
Dist Oliver: «Gente est nostre bataille!» 

XCVIII

1275
Sansun li dux, (il) vait ferir l'almaçur: 
L'escut li freinst, ki est a flurs e ad ór, 
Li bons osbercs ne li est guarant prod,
Trenchet li le coer, le firie e le pulmun, 
Que l'abat [mort], qui qu'en peist u qui nun. 
1280
Dist l'arcevesque: «Cist colp est de baron!»

XCIX
E Anseïs laiset le cheval curre,
Si vait ferir Turgis de Turteluse;
L'escut li freint desuz l'oree bucle,
De sun osberc li derumpit les dubles,

1285
Del bon espiet el cors li met la mure, 
Empeinst le ben, tut le fer li mist ultre, 
Pleine sa hanste el camp mort le tresturnet. 
Ço dist Rollant: «Cist colp est de produme!» 

L
In haste there came the Queen forth, Bramimound;
"I love you well, sir," said she to the count,
"For prize you dear my lord and all around;
Here for your wife I have two brooches found,
Amethysts and jacynths in golden mount;
More worth are they than all the wealth of Roum;
Your Emperour has none such, I'll be bound."
He's taken them, and in his hosen pouched. AOI.

LI
The King now calls Malduiz, that guards his treasure.
"Tribute for Charles, say, is it now made ready?"
He answers him: "Ay, Sire, for here is plenty
Silver and gold on hundred camels seven,
And twenty men, the gentlest under heaven." 
AOI.

LII
Marsilie's arm Guene's shoulder doth enfold;
He's said to him: "You are both wise and bold.
Now, by the law that you most sacred hold,
Let not your heart in our behalf grow cold!
Out of my store I'll give you wealth untold,
Charging ten mules with fine Arabian gold;
I'll do the same for you, new year and old.
Take then the keys of this city so large,
This great tribute present you first to Charles,
Then get me placed Rollanz in the rereward.
If him I find in valley or in pass,
Battle I'll give him that shall be the last."
Answers him Guenes: "My time is nearly past."
His charger mounts, and on his journey starts. AOI.

LIII
That Emperour draws near to his domain,
He is come down unto the city Gailne.
The Count Rollanz had broken it and ta'en,
An hundred years its ruins shall remain.
Of Guenelun the King for news is fain,
And for tribute from the great land of Spain.
At dawn of day, just as the light grows plain,
Into their camp is come the county Guene. AOI.

LIV
In morning time is risen the Emperere,
Mattins and Mass he's heard, and made his prayer;
On the green grass before the tent his chair,
Where Rollant stood and that bold Oliver,
Neimes the Duke, and many others there.
Guenes arrived, the felon perjurer,
Begins to speak, with very cunning air,
Says to the King: "God keep you, Sire, I swear!
Of Sarraguce the keys to you I bear,
Tribute I bring you, very great and rare,
And twenty men; look after them with care.
Proud Marsilies bade me this word declare
That alcaliph, his uncle, you must spare.
My own eyes saw four hundred thousand there,
In hauberks dressed, closed helms that gleamed in the air,
And golden hilts upon their swords they bare.
They followed him, right to the sea they'll fare;
Marsile they left, that would their faith forswear,
For Christendom they've neither wish nor care.
But the fourth league they had not compassed, ere
Brake from the North tempest and storm in the air;
Then were they drowned, they will no more appear.
Were he alive, I should have brought him here.
The pagan king, in truth, Sire, bids you hear,
Ere you have seen one month pass of this year
He'll follow you to France, to your Empire,
He will accept the laws you hold and fear;
Joining his hands, will do you homage there,
Kingdom of Spain will hold as you declare."
Then says the King: "Now God be praised, I swear!
Well have you wrought, and rich reward shall wear."
Bids through the host a thousand trumpets blare.
Franks leave their lines; the sumpter-beasts are yare
T'wards France the Douce all on their way repair. AOI.

LV
Charles the Great that land of Spain had wasted,
Her castles ta'en, her cities violated.
Then said the King, his war was now abated.
Towards Douce France that Emperour has hasted.
Upon a lance Rollant his ensign raised,
High on a cliff against the sky 'twas placed;
The Franks in camp through all that country baited.
Cantered pagans, through those wide valleys raced,
Hauberks they wore and sarks with iron plated,
Swords to their sides were girt, their helms were laced,
Lances made sharp, escutcheons newly painted:
There in the mists beyond the peaks remained
The day of doom four hundred thousand waited.
God! what a grief.  Franks know not what is fated.
AOI.

LVI
Passes the day, the darkness is grown deep.
That Emperour, rich Charles, lies asleep;
Dreams that he stands in the great pass of Size,
In his two hands his ashen spear he sees;
Guenes the count that spear from him doth seize,
Brandishes it and twists it with such ease,
That flown into the sky the flinders seem.
Charles sleeps on nor wakens from his dream.

LVII
And after this another vision saw,
In France, at Aix, in his Chapelle once more,
That his right arm an evil bear did gnaw;
Out of Ardennes he saw a leopard stalk,
His body dear did savagely assault;
But then there dashed a harrier from the hall,
Leaping in the air he sped to Charles call,
First the right ear of that grim bear he caught,
And furiously the leopard next he fought.
Of battle great the Franks then seemed to talk,
Yet which might win they knew not, in his thought.
Charles sleeps on, nor wakens he for aught. AOI.

LVIII
Passes the night and opens the clear day;
That Emperour canters in brave array,
Looks through the host often and everyway;
"My lords barons," at length doth Charles say,
"Ye see the pass along these valleys strait,
Judge for me now, who shall in rereward wait."
"There's my good-son, Rollanz," then answers Guenes,
"You've no baron whose valour is as great."
When the King hears, he looks upon him straight,
And says to him: "You devil incarnate;
Into your heart is come a mortal hate.
And who shall go before me in the gate?"
"Oger is here, of Denmark;" answers Guenes,
"You've no baron were better in that place." AOI.

LIX
The count Rollanz hath heard himself decreed;
Speaks then to Guenes by rule of courtesy:
"Good-father, Sir, I ought to hold you dear,
Since the rereward you have for me decreed.
Charles the King will never lose by me,
As I know well, nor charger nor palfrey,
Jennet nor mule that canter can with speed,
Nor sumpter-horse will lose, nor any steed;
But my sword's point shall first exact their meed."
Answers him Guenes: "I know; 'tis true in-deed."
AOI.

LX
When Rollant heard that he should be rerewarden
Furiously he spoke to his good-father:
"Aha! culvert; begotten of a bastard.
Thinkest the glove will slip from me hereafter,
As then from thee the wand fell before Charles?" AOI.

LXI
"Right Emperour," says the baron Rollanz,
"Give me the bow you carry in your hand;
Neer in reproach, I know, will any man
Say that it fell and lay upon the land,
As Guenes let fall, when he received the wand."
That Emperour with lowered front doth stand,
He tugs his beard, his chin is in his hand
Tears fill his eyes, he cannot them command.

LXII
And after that is come duke Neimes furth,
(Better vassal there was not upon earth)
Says to the King: "Right well now have you heard
The count Rollanz to bitter wrath is stirred,
For that on him the rereward is conferred;
No baron else have you, would do that work.
Give him the bow your hands have bent, at first;
Then find him men, his company are worth."
Gives it, the King, and Rollant bears it furth.

LXIII
That Emperour, Rollanz then calleth he:
"Fair nephew mine, know this in verity;
Half of my host I leave you presently;
Retain you them; your safeguard this shall be."
Then says the count: "I will not have them, me I
Confound me God, if I fail in the deed!
Good valiant Franks, a thousand score I'll keep.
Go through the pass in all security,
While I'm alive there's no man you need fear."
AOI.

LXIV
The count Rollanz has mounted his charger.
Beside him came his comrade Oliver,
Also Gerins and the proud count Geriers,
And Otes came, and also Berengiers,
Old Anseis, and Sansun too came there;
Gerart also of Rossillon the fierce,
And there is come the Gascon Engeliers.
"Now by my head I'll go!" the Archbishop swears.
"And I'm with you," says then the count Gualtiers,
"I'm Rollant's man, I may not leave him there."
A thousand score they choose of chevaliers. AOI.

LXV
Gualter del Hum he calls, that Count Rollanz;
"A thousand Franks take, out of France our land;
Dispose them so, among ravines and crags,
That the Emperour lose not a single man."
Gualter replies: "I'll do as you command."
A thousand Franks, come out of France their land,
At Gualter's word they scour ravines and crags;
They'll not come down, howe'er the news be bad,
Ere from their sheaths swords seven hundred flash.
King Almaris, Belserne for kingdom had,
On the evil day he met them in combat. AOI.

LXVI
High are the peaks, the valleys shadowful,
Swarthy the rocks, the narrows wonderful.
Franks passed that day all very sorrowful,
Fifteen leagues round the rumour of them grew.
When they were come, and Terra Major knew,
Saw Gascony their land and their seigneur's,
Remembering their fiefs and their honours,
Their little maids, their gentle wives and true;
There was not one that shed not tears for rue.
Beyond the rest Charles was of anguish full,
In Spanish Pass he'd left his dear nephew;
Pity him seized; he could but weep for rue. AOI.

LXVII
The dozen peers are left behind in Spain,
Franks in their band a thousand score remain,
No fear have these, death hold they in disdain.
That Emperour goes into France apace;
Under his cloke he fain would hide his face.
Up to his side comes cantering Duke Neimes,
Says to the King: "What grief upon you weighs?"
Charles answers him: "He's wrong that question makes.
So great my grief I cannot but complain.

France is destroyed, by the device of Guene:
This night I saw, by an angel's vision plain,
Between my hands he brake my spear in twain;
Great fear I have, since Rollant must remain:
I've left him there, upon a border strange.
God! If he's lost, I'll not outlive that shame." 
AOI.

LXVIII
Charles the great, he cannot but deplore.
And with him Franks an hundred thousand mourn,
Who for Rollanz have marvellous remorse.
The felon Guenes had treacherously wrought;
From pagan kin has had his rich reward,
Silver and gold, and veils and silken cloths,
Camels, lions, with many a mule and horse.
Barons from Spain King Marsilies hath called,
Counts and viscounts and dukes and almacours,
And the admirals, and cadets nobly born;
Within three days come hundreds thousands four.
In Sarraguce they sound the drums of war;
Mahum they raise upon their highest tow'r,
Pagan is none, that does not him adore.
They canter then with great contention
Through Certeine land, valleys and mountains, on,
Till of the Franks they see the gonfalons,
Being in rereward those dozen companions;
They will not fail battle to do anon.

LXIX
Marsile's nephew is come before the band,
Riding a mule, he goads it with a wand,
Smiling and clear, his uncle's ear demands:
"Fair Lord and King, since, in your service, glad,
I have endured sorrow and sufferance,
Have fought in field, and victories have had.
Give me a fee: the right to smite Rollanz!
I'll slay him clean with my good trenchant lance,
If Mahumet will be my sure warrant;
Spain I'll set free, deliver all her land
From Pass of Aspre even unto Durestant.
Charles will grow faint, and recreant the Franks;
There'll be no war while you're a living man."
Marsilie gives the glove into his hand. AOI.

LXX
Marsile's nephew, holding in hand the glove,
His uncle calls, with reason proud enough:
"Fair Lord and King, great gift from you I've won.
Choose now for me eleven more baruns,
So I may fight those dozen companions."
First before all there answers Falfarun;
-- Brother he was to King Marsiliun --
"Fair sir nephew, go you and I at once
Then verily this battle shall be done;
The rereward of the great host of Carlun,
It is decreed we deal them now their doom." AOI.

LXXI
King Corsablis is come from the other part,
Barbarian, and steeped in evil art.
He's spoken then as fits a good vassal,
For all God's gold he would not seem coward.
Hastes into view Malprimis of Brigal,
Faster than a horse, upon his feet can dart,
Before Marsile he cries with all his heart:
"My body I will shew at Rencesvals;
Find I Rollanz, I'll slay him without fault."

LXXII
An admiral is there of Balaguet;
Clear face and proud, and body nobly bred;
Since first he was upon his horse mounted,
His arms to bear has shewn great lustihead;
In vassalage he is well famoused;
Christian were he, he'd shewn good baronhead.
Before Marsile aloud has he shouted:
"To Rencesvals my body shall be led;
Find I Rollanz, then is he surely dead,
And Oliver, and all the other twelve;
Franks shall be slain in grief and wretchedness.
Charles the great is old now and doted,
Weary will be and make no war again;
Spain shall be ours, in peace and quietness."
King Marsilies has heard and thanks him well. AOI.

LXXIII
An almacour is there of Moriane,
More felon none in all the land of Spain.
Before Marsile his vaunting boast hath made:
"To Rencesvals my company I'll take,
A thousand score, with shields and lances brave. 
Find I Rollanz, with death I'll him acquaint;
Day shall not dawn but Charles will make his plaint."
AOI.

LXXIV
From the other part, Turgis of Turtelose,
He was a count, that city was his own;
Christians he would them massacre, every one.
Before Marsile among the rest is gone,
Says to the King: "Let not dismay be shewn!
Mahum's more worth than Saint Peter of Rome;
Serve we him well, then fame in field we'll own.
To Rencesvals, to meet Rollanz I'll go,
From death he'll find his warranty in none.
See here my sword, that is both good and long
With Durendal I'll lay it well across;
Ye'll hear betimes to which the prize is gone.
Franks shall be slain, whom we descend upon,
Charles the old will suffer grief and wrong,
No more on earth his crown will he put on."

LXXV
From the other part, Escremiz of Valtrenne,
A Sarrazin, that land was his as well.
Before Marsile he cries amid the press:
"To Rencesvals I go, pride to make less;
Find I Rollanz, he'll not bear thence his head,
Nor Oliver that hath the others led,
The dozen peers condemned are to death;
Franks shall be slain, and France lie deserted.
Of good vassals will Charles be richly bled." AOI.

LXXVI
From the other part, a pagan Esturganz;
Estramariz also, was his comrade;
Felons were these, and traitors miscreant.
Then said Marsile: "My Lords, before me stand!
Into the pass ye'll go to Rencesvals,
Give me your aid, and thither lead my band."
They answer him: "Sire, even as you command.
We will assault Olivier and Rollant,
The dozen peers from death have no warrant,
For these our swords are trusty and trenchant,
In scalding blood we'll dye their blades scarlat.
Franks shall be slain, and Chares be right sad.
Terra Major we'll give into your hand;
Come there, Sir King, truly you'll see all that
Yea, the Emperour we'll give into your hand."

LXXVII
Running there came Margariz of Sibile,
Who holds the land by Cadiz, to the sea.
For his beauty the ladies hold him dear;
Who looks on him, with him her heart is pleased,
When she beholds, she can but smile for glee.
Was no pagan of such high chivalry.
Comes through the press, above them all cries he,
"Be not at all dismayed, King Marsilie!
To Rencesvals I go, and Rollanz, he
Nor Oliver may scape alive from me;
The dozen peers are doomed to martyry.
See here the sword, whose hilt is gold indeed,
I got in gift from the admiral of Primes;
In scarlat blood I pledge it shall be steeped.
Franks shall be slain, and France abased be.
To Charles the old, with his great blossoming beard,
Day shall not dawn but brings him rage and grief,
Ere a year pass, all France we shall have seized,
Till we can lie in th' burgh of Saint Denise."
The pagan king has bowed his head down deep. AOI.

LXXVIII
From the other part, Chemubles of Muneigre.
Right to the ground his hair swept either way;
He for a jest would bear a heavier weight
Than four yoked mules, beneath their load that strain.
That land he had, God's curse on it was plain.
No sun shone there, nor grew there any grain,
No dew fell there, nor any shower of rain,
The very stones were black upon that plain;
And many say that devils there remain.
Says Chemubles "My sword is in its place,
At Rencesvals scarlat I will it stain;
Find I Rollanz the proud upon my way,
I'll fall on him, or trust me not again,
And Durendal I'll conquer with this blade,
Franks shall be slain, and France a desert made."
The dozen peers are, at this word, away,
Five score thousand of Sarrazins they take;
Who keenly press, and on to battle haste;
In a fir-wood their gear they ready make.

LXXIX
Ready they make hauberks Sarrazinese,
That folded are, the greater part, in three;
And they lace on good helms Sarragucese;
Gird on their swords of tried steel Viennese;
Fine shields they have, and spears Valentinese,
And white, blue, red, their ensigns take the breeze,
They've left their mules behind, and their palfreys,
Their chargers mount, and canter knee by knee. 
Fair shines the sun, the day is bright and clear,
Light bums again from all their polished gear.
A thousand horns they sound, more proud to seem;
Great is the noise, the Franks its echo hear.
Says Oliver: "Companion, I believe,
Sarrazins now in battle must we meet."
Answers Rollanz :"God grant us then the fee!
For our King's sake well must we quit us here;
Man for his lord should suffer great disease,
Most bitter cold endure, and burning heat,
His hair and skin should offer up at need.
Now must we each lay on most hardily,
So evil songs neer sung of us shall be.
Pagans are wrong: Christians are right indeed.
Evil example will never come of me." 
AOI.

LXXX
Oliver mounts upon a lofty peak,
Looks to his right along the valley green,
The pagan tribes approaching there appear;
He calls Rollanz, his companion, to see:
"What sound is this, come out of Spain, we hear,
What hauberks bright, what helmets these that gleam?
They'll smite our Franks with fury past belief,
He knew it, Guenes, the traitor and the thief,
Who chose us out before the King our chief."
Answers the count Rollanz: "Olivier, cease.
That man is my good-father; hold thy peace."

LXXXI
Upon a peak is Oliver mounted,
Kingdom of Spain he sees before him spread,
And Sarrazins, so many gathered.
Their helmets gleam, with gold are jewelled,
Also their shields, their hauberks orfreyed,
Also their swords, ensigns on spears fixed.
Rank beyond rank could not be numbered,
So many there, no measure could he set.
In his own heart he's sore astonished,
Fast as he could, down from the peak hath sped
Comes to the Franks, to them his tale hath said.

LXXXII
Says Oliver: "Pagans from there I saw;
Never on earth did any man see more.
Gainst us their shields an hundred thousand bore,
That laced helms and shining hauberks wore;
And, bolt upright, their bright brown spearheads shone.
Battle we'll have as never was before.
Lords of the Franks, God keep you in valour!
So hold your ground, we be not overborne!"
Then say the Franks "Shame take him that goes off:
If we must die, then perish one and all." AOI.

LXXXIII
Says Oliver: "Pagans in force abound,
While of us Franks but very few I count;
Comrade Rollanz, your horn I pray you sound!
If Charles hear, he'll turn his armies round."
Answers Rollanz: "A fool I should be found;
In France the Douce would perish my renown.
With Durendal I'll lay on thick and stout,
In blood the blade, to its golden hilt, I'll drown.
Felon pagans to th' pass shall not come down;
I pledge you now, to death they all are bound. AOI.

LXXXIV
"Comrade Rollanz, sound the olifant, I pray;
If Charles hear, the host he'll turn again;
Will succour us our King and baronage."
Answers Rollanz: "Never, by God, I say,
For my misdeed shall kinsmen hear the blame,
Nor France the Douce fall into evil fame!
Rather stout blows with Durendal I'll lay,
With my good sword that by my side doth sway;
Till bloodied o'er you shall behold the blade.
Felon pagans are gathered to their shame;
I pledge you now, to death they're doomed to-day."

LXXXV
"Comrade Rollanz, once sound your olifant!
If Charles hear, where in the pass he stands,
I pledge you now, they'll turn again, the Franks."
"Never, by God," then answers him Rollanz,
"Shall it be said by any living man,
That for pagans I took my horn in hand!
Never by me shall men reproach my clan.
When I am come into the battle grand,
And blows lay on, by hundred, by thousand,
Of Durendal bloodied you'll see the brand.
Franks are good men; like vassals brave they'll stand;
Nay, Spanish men from death have no warrant."

LXXXVI
Says Oliver: "In this I see no blame;
I have beheld the Sarrazins of Spain;
Covered with them, the mountains and the vales,
The wastes I saw, and all the farthest plains.
A muster great they've made, this people strange;
We have of men a very little tale."
Answers Rollanz: "My anger is inflamed.
Never, please God His Angels and His Saints,
Never by me shall Frankish valour fail!
Rather I'll die than shame shall me attain.
Therefore strike on, the Emperour's love to gain."

LXXXVII
Pride hath Rollanz, wisdom Olivier hath;
And both of them shew marvellous courage;
Once they are horsed, once they have donned their arms,
Rather they'd die than from the battle pass.
Good are the counts, and lofty their language.
Felon pagans come cantering in their wrath.
Says Oliver: "Behold and see, Rollanz,
These are right near, but Charles is very far.
On the olifant deign now to sound a blast;
Were the King here, we should not fear damage.
Only look up towards the Pass of Aspre,
In sorrow there you'll see the whole rereward.
Who does this deed, does no more afterward."
Answers Rollanz: "Utter not such outrage!
Evil his heart that is in thought coward!
We shall remain firm in our place installed;
From us the blows shall come, from us the assault."
AOI.

LXXXVIII
When Rollant sees that now must be combat,
More fierce he's found than lion or leopard;
The Franks he calls, and Oliver commands:
"Now say no more, my friends, nor thou, comrade.
That Emperour, who left us Franks on guard,
A thousand score stout men he set apart,
And well he knows, not one will prove coward.
Man for his lord should suffer with good heart,
Of bitter cold and great heat bear the smart,
His blood let drain, and all his flesh be scarred.
Strike with thy lance, and I with Durendal,
With my good sword that was the King's reward. 
So, if I die, who has it afterward
Noble vassal's he well may say it was."

LXXXIX
From the other part is the Archbishop Turpin,
He pricks his horse and mounts upon a hill;
Calling the Franks, sermon to them begins:
"My lords barons, Charles left us here for this;
He is our King, well may we die for him:
To Christendom good service offering.
Battle you'll have, you all are bound to it,
For with your eyes you see the Sarrazins.
Pray for God's grace, confessing Him your sins!
For your souls' health, I'll absolution give
So, though you die, blest martyrs shall you live,
Thrones you shall win in the great Paradis."
The Franks dismount, upon the ground are lit.
That Archbishop God's Benediction gives,
For their penance, good blows to strike he bids.

XC
The Franks arise, and stand upon their feet,
They're well absolved, and from their sins made clean,
And the Archbishop has signed them with God's seal;
And next they mount upon their chargers keen;
By rule of knights they have put on their gear,
For battle all apparelled as is meet.
The count Rollant calls Oliver, and speaks
"Comrade and friend, now clearly have you seen
That Guenelun hath got us by deceit;
Gold hath he ta'en; much wealth is his to keep;
That Emperour vengeance for us must wreak.
King Marsilies hath bargained for us cheap;
At the sword's point he yet shall pay our meed." AOI.

XCI
To Spanish pass is Rollanz now going
On Veillantif, his good steed, galloping;
He is well armed, pride is in his bearing,
He goes, so brave, his spear in hand holding,
He goes, its point against the sky turning;
A gonfalon all white thereon he's pinned,
Down to his hand flutters the golden fringe:
Noble his limbs, his face clear and smiling.
His companion goes after, following,
The men of France their warrant find in him.
Proudly he looks towards the Sarrazins,
And to the Franks sweetly, himself humbling;
And courteously has said to them this thing:
"My lords barons, go now your pace holding!
Pagans are come great martyrdom seeking;
Noble and fair reward this day shall bring,
Was never won by any Frankish King."
Upon these words the hosts are come touching. AOI.

XCII
Speaks Oliver: "No more now will I say.
Your olifant, to sound it do not deign,
Since from Carlun you'll never more have aid.
He has not heard; no fault of his, so brave.
Those with him there are never to be blamed.
So canter on, with what prowess you may!
Lords and barons, firmly your ground maintain!
Be minded well, I pray you in God's Name,
Stout blows to strike, to give as you shall take.
Forget the cry of Charles we never may."
Upon this word the Franks cry out amain.
Who then had heard them all "Monjoie!" acclaim
Of vassalage might well recall the tale.
They canter forth, God! with what proud parade,
Pricking their spurs, the better speed to gain;
They go to strike,-- what other thing could they? --
But Sarrazins are not at all afraid.
Pagans and Franks, you'ld see them now engaged.

XCIII
Marsile's nephew, his name is Aelroth,
First of them all canters before the host,
Says of our Franks these ill words as he goes:
"Felons of France, so here on us you close!
Betrayed you has he that to guard you ought;
Mad is the King who left you in this post.
So shall the fame of France the Douce be lost,
And the right arm from Charles body torn."
When Rollant hears, what rage he has, by God!
His steed he spurs, gallops with great effort;
He goes, that count, to strike with all his force,
The shield he breaks, the hauberk's seam unsews,
Slices the heart, and shatters up the bones,
All of the spine he severs with that blow,
And with his spear the soul from body throws
So well he's pinned, he shakes in the air that corse,
On his spear's hilt he's flung it from the horse:
So in two halves Aeroth's neck he broke,
Nor left him yet, they say, but rather spoke:
"Avaunt, culvert!  A madman Charles is not,
No treachery was ever in his thought.
Proudly he did, who left us in this post;
The fame of France the Douce shall not be lost. 
Strike on, the Franks!  Ours are the foremost blows.
For we are right, but these gluttons are wrong."
AOI.

XCIV
A duke there was, his name was Falfarun,
Brother was he to King Marsiliun,
He held their land, Dathan's and Abirun's;
Beneath the sky no more encrimed felun;
Between his eyes so broad was he in front
A great half-foot you'ld measure there in full.
His nephew dead he's seen with grief enough,
Comes through the press and wildly forth he runs,
Aloud he shouts their cry the pagans use;
And to the Franks is right contrarious:
"Honour of France the Douce shall fall to us!"
Hears Oliver, he's very furious,
His horse he pricks with both his golden spurs,
And goes to strike, ev'n as a baron doth;
The shield he breaks and through the hauberk cuts,
His ensign's fringe into the carcass thrusts,
On his spear's hilt he's flung it dead in dust.
Looks on the ground, sees glutton lying thus,
And says to him, with reason proud enough:
"From threatening, culvert, your mouth I've shut.
Strike on, the Franks!  Right well we'll overcome."
"Monjoie,"  he shouts, 'twas the ensign of Carlun.
AOI.

XCV
A king there was, his name was Corsablix,
Barbarian, and of a strange country,
He's called aloud to the other Sarrazins:
"Well may we join battle upon this field,
For of the Franks but very few are here;
And those are here, we should account them cheap,
From Charles not one has any warranty.
This is the day when they their death shall meet."
Has heard him well that Archbishop Turpin,
No man he'ld hate so much the sky beneath;
Spurs of fine gold he pricks into his steed,
To strike that king by virtue great goes he,
The hauberk all unfastens, breaks the shield,
Thrusts his great spear in through the carcass clean,
Pins it so well he shakes it in its seat,
Dead in the road he's flung it from his spear.
Looks on the ground, that glutton lying sees,
Nor leaves him yet, they say, but rather speaks:
"Culvert pagan, you lied now in your teeth,
Charles my lord our warrant is indeed;
None of our Franks hath any mind to flee.
Your companions all on this spot we'll keep,
I tell you news; death shall ye suffer here.
Strike on, the Franks!  Fail none of you at need!
Ours the first blow, to God the glory be!"
"Monjoie!" he cries, for all the camp to hear.

XCVI
And Gerins strikes Malprimis of Brigal
So his good shield is nothing worth at all,
Shatters the boss, was fashioned of crystal,
One half of it downward to earth flies off;
Right to the flesh has through his hauberk torn,
On his good spear he has the carcass caught.
And with one blow that pagan downward falls;
The soul of him Satan away hath borne. AOI.

XCVII
And his comrade Gerers strikes the admiral,
The shield he breaks, the hauberk unmetals,
And his good spear drives into his vitals,
So well he's pinned him, clean through the carcass,
Dead on the field he's flung him from his hand.
Says Oliver: "Now is our battle grand."

XCVIII
Sansun the Duke goes strike that almacour,
The shield he breaks, with golden flowers tooled,
That good hauberk for him is nothing proof,
He's sliced the heart, the lungs and liver through,
And flung him dead, as well or ill may prove.
Says the Archbishop: "A baron's stroke, in truth."

XCIX
And Anseis has let his charger run;
He goes to strike Turgis of Turtelus,
The shield he breaks, its golden boss above,
The hauberk too, its doubled mail undoes,
His good spear's point into the carcass runs,
So well he's thrust, clean through the whole steel comes,
And from the hilt he's thrown him dead in dust.
Then says Rollant: "Great prowess in that thrust."


Laisses I - XLIX
Laisses C - CXLIX

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