La Chanson de Roland

Laisses CC - CCXLIX



2790
 
 
 

2795
 
 
 

2800
f.51r
 
 

2805

CC
«Sire amiralz,» dist Clarïens,
«En Rencesvals une bataille out íer.
Morz est Rollant e li quens Oliver,
Li .XII. per, que Carles aveit tant cher;
De lur Franceis i ad mort .XX. millers.
Li reis Marsilie le destre poign i perdit,
E l'emperere asez l'ad enchalcet,
En ceste tere n'est remes chevaler
Ne seit ocis o en Sebre neiet.
Desur la rive sunt Frances herbergiez:
En cest païs nus sunt tant aproeciez,
Se vos volez, li repaires ert grefs.»
E Baligant le reguart en ad fiers,
En sun curage en est joüs e liet.
Del faldestod se redrecet en piez,
Puis escriet: «Baruns, ne vos targez!
Eissez des nefs, muntez, si cevalciez!
S'or ne s'en fuit Karlemagne li veilz,
Li reis Marsilie enqui serat venget:
Pur sun poign destre l'en liverai le che(s)[f].»
CC
"Sir admiral," said to him Clariens,
"In Rencesvals was yesterday battle.
Dead is Rollanz and that count Oliver,
The dozen peers whom Charle so cherished,
And of their Franks are twenty thousand dead.
King Marsilie's of his right hand bereft,
And the Emperour chased him enow from thence.
Throughout this land no chevalier is left,
But he be slain, or drowned in Sebres bed.
By river side the Franks have pitched their tents,
Into this land so near to us they've crept;
But, if you will, grief shall go with them hence."
And Baligant looked on him proudly then,
In his courage grew joyous and content;
From the fald-stool upon his feet he leapt,
Then cried aloud: "Barons, too long ye've slept;
Forth from your ships issue, mount, canter well!
If he flee not, that Charlemagne the eld,
King Marsilies shall somehow be avenged;
For his right hand I'll pay him back an head."
  CCI
2810
Paien d'Arabe des nefs se sunt eissut,
Puis sunt muntez es chevals e es muls;
Si chevalcherent, que fereient il plus?
Li amiralz, ki trestuz les esmut,
Sin apelet Gemalfin, un sun drut:
2815
«Jo te cumant de tutes mes oz l'aunde.»
Puis en un sun destrer brun est munte;
Ensembl'od lui emmeinet .IIII. dux.
Tant chevalchat qu'en Sarraguce fut.
A un perron de marbre est descenduz,
2820
E quatre cuntes l'estreu li unt tenut.
Par les degrez el paleis muntet sus,
E Bramidonie vient curant cuntre lui;
Si li ad dit: «Dolente, si mare fui!
A itel hunte, sire, mon seignor ai perdut!»
2825
Chet li as piez, li amiralz la reçut;
Sus en la chambre ad doel en sunt venut. AOI.

CCII
Li reis Marsilie, cum il veit Baligant,
Dunc apelat dui Sarrazin espans:
f.51v
«Pernez m'as braz, sim(e) drecez en seant.»
2830
Al puign senestre ad pris un de ses guanz.
Ço dist Marsilie: «Sire reis, amiralz,
Teres tutes ici [...] rengnes vos rendemas
E Sarraguce e l'onur qu'i apent.
Mei ai perdut e tute ma gent.»
2835
E cil respunt: «Tant sy jo plus dolent.
Ne pois a vos tenir lung parlement:
Jo sai asez que Carles ne m'atent,
E nepurquant de vos receif le guant.»
Al doel qu'il ad s'en est turnet plurant. AOI.
2840
Par les degrez jus del paleis descent,
Muntet el ceval, vient a sa gent puignant.
Tant chevalchat, qu'il est premers devant,
De uns ad altres si se vait escriant:
«Venez paien, car ja s'en fuient Frant!» AOI.

CCIII
2845
Al matin, quant primes pert li albe,
Esveillez est li e[m]perere Carles.
Sein Gabriel, ki de part Deu le guarde,
Levet sa main, sur lui fait sun signacle.
Li reis descent, si ad rendut ses armes,
2850
Si se desarment par tute l'ost li altre.
Puis sunt muntet, par grant vertut chevalchent
Cez veiez lunges e cez chemins mult larges,
Si vunt ve[d]eir le merveillus damage
En Rencesvals, la ó fut la bataille. AOI.

CCIV
2855
En Rencesvals en est Carles venuz.
Des morz qu'il troevet cumencet a plurer.
f.52r
Dist a Franceis: «Segnu[r]s, le pas tenez;
Kar mei meïsme estoet avant aler
Pur mun nev[ol]d que vuldreie truver.
2860
A Eis esteie, a une féste anoel:
Si se vant(t)[er]ent mi vaillant chevaler
De granz batailles, de forz esturs pleners.
D'une raisun oï Rollant parler:
Ja ne (ne) murreit en estrange regnet
2865
Ne trespassast ses hume[s] e ses pers;
Vers lur païs avreit sun chef turnet;
Cunquerrantment si finereit li bers.»
Plus qu'en ne poet un bastuncel jeter,
Devant les altres est en un pui muntet.

CCV
2870
Quant l'empereres vait querre sun nevold,
De tantes herbes el pre truvat les flors,
Ki sunt vermeilz del sanc de noz barons!
Pitet en ad, ne poet muer n'en plurt.
Desuz dous arbres parvenuz est [...] li reis.
2875
Les colps Rollant conut en treis per(r)uns,
Sur l'erbe verte veit gesir sun nevuld;
Nen est merveille se Karles ad irur.
Descent a pied, aled i est pleins curs,
Entre ses mains ansdous prent le priest suus;
2880
Sur lui se pasmet, tant par est anguissus.

CCVI
Li empereres de pasmeisuns revint.
Naimes li dux e li quens Acelin,
Gefrei d'Anjou e sun frere Henri
Prenent le rei, sil drecent suz un pin.
f.52v
Guardet a la tere, veit sun nevold gesir.
Tant dulcement a regreter le prist:
«Amis Rollant, de tei ait Deus mercit!
Unques nuls hom tel chevaler ne vit
Por granz batailles juster e defenir.
2890
La meie honor est turnet en declin.»
Carles se pasmet, ne s'en pout astenir. AOI.

CCVII
Carles li reis se vint de pasmeisuns;
Par mains le tienent .III. de ses barons.
Guardet a tere, veit gesir sun nev[u]ld:
2895
Cors ad gaillard, perdue ad sa culur,
Turnez ses oilz, mult li sunt tenebros.
Carles le pleint par feid e par amur:
«Ami Rollant, Deus metet t'anme en flors,
En pareïs, entre les glorius!
2900
Cum en Espaigne venis [a] mal seignur!
Jamais n'ert jurn que de tei n'aie dulur.
Cum decarrat ma force e ma baldur!
N'en avrai ja ki sustienget m'onur;
Suz ciel ne quid aveir ami un sul!
2905
Se jo ai parenz, n'en i ad nul si proz.»
Trait ses crignels, pleines ses mains amsdous,
Cent milie Franc en unt si grant dulur
N'en i ad cel ki durement ne plurt. AOI.

CCVIII
«Ami Rollant, jo m'en irai en France.
2910
Cum jo serai a Loün, en ma chambre,
De plusurs regnes vendrunt li hume estrange;
Demanderunt: «U est quens cataignes?»
f.53r
Jo lur dirrai qu'il est morz en Espaigne.
A grant dulur tendrai puis mun reialme:
2915
Jamais n'ert jur que ne plur ne n'en pleigne.»

CCIX
- «Ami Rollant, prozdoem, juvente bele,
Cum jo serai a Eis, em ma chapele,
Vendrunt li hume, demanderunt noveles;
Jes lur dirrai, merveilluses e pesmes:
2920
«Morz est mis nies, ki tant me fist cunquere.»
Encuntre mei revelerunt li Seisne,
E Hungre e Bugre e tante gent averse,
Romain, Puillain e tuit icil de Palerne
E cil d'Affrike e cil de Califerne;
2925
Puis entrerunt mes peines e mes suffraites.
Ki guierat mes oz a tel poeste,
Quant cil est [morz] ki tuz jurz nos cadelet?
E! France, cum remeines deserte!
Si grant doel ai que jo ne vuldreie estre!»
2930
Sa barbe blanche cumencet a detraire,
Ad ambes mains les chevels de sa teste.
Cent milie Francs s'en pasment cuntre tere.

CCX
«Ami Rollant, de tei ait Deus mercit!
L'anme de tei seit mise en pareïs!
2935
Ki tei ad mort France ad mis en exill.
Si grant dol ai que ne voldreie vivre,
De ma maisnee, ki por mei est ocise!
Ço duinset Deus, le filz sainte Marie,
Einz que jo vienge as maistres porz de Sirie,
2940
L'anme del cors me seit oi departie,
f.53v
Entre les lur aluee e mise,
E ma car fust delez els enfuïe!»
Ploret des oilz, sa blanche bar[b]e tiret.
E dist dux Naimes: «Or ad Carles grant ire.» AOI.

CCXI
2945
- «Sire emperere,» ço dist Gefrei d'Anjou,
«Ceste dolor ne demenez tant fort!
Par tut le camp faites querre les noz,
Que cil d'Espaigne en la bataille unt mort;
En un carne(l)[r] cumandez que hom les port.»
2950
Ço dist li reis: «Sunez en vostre corn!» AOI.

CCXII
Gefreid d'Anjou ad sun greisle sunet.
Franceis descendent, Carles l'ad comandet.
Tuz lur amis qu'il i unt morz truvet,
Ad un carne(l)[r] sempres les unt portet.
2955
Asez i ad evesques e abez,
Munies, canonies, proveires coronez:
Si sunt asols e seignez de part Deu.
Mirre e timoine i firent alumer,
Gaillardement tuz les unt encensez;
2960
A grant honor pois les unt enterrez.
Sis unt laisez: qu'en fereient il el? AOI.

CCXIII
Li emperere fait Rollant costeïr
E Oliver e (e) l'arcevesque Turpin,
Devant sei les ad fait tuz uvrir
2965
E tuz les quers en paile recuillir:
Un blanc sarcou de marbre sunt enz mis;
E puis les cors des barons si unt pris,
En quirs de cerf les seignurs unt mis:
f.54r
Ben sunt lavez de piment e de vin.
2970
Li reis cumandet Tedbalt e Gebuin,
Milun le cunte e Otes le marchis:
«En .III. carettes les guiez [...] tres ben.»
Bien sunt cuverz d'un palie galazin. AOI.

CCXIV
Venir s'en volt li emperere Carles,
2975
Quant de paiens li surdent les enguardes.
De cels devant i vindrent dui messages,
De l'amirail li nuncent la bataille:
«Reis orguillos, nen est fins que t'en alges!
Veiz Baligant, ki apres tei chevalchet:
2980
Granz sunt les oz qu'il ameinet d'Arabe.
Encoi verrum se tu as vasselage.« AOI.
Carles li reis en ad prise sa barbe;
Si li remembret del doel e [del] damage,
Mult fierement tute sa gent reguardez;
2985
Puis si s'escriet a sa voiz grand e halte: 
«Barons franceis, as chevals e as armes!» AOI.

CCXV
Li empereres tuz premereins s'adubet:
Isnelement ad vestue sa brunie,
Lacet sun helme, si ad ceinte Joiuse,
2990
Ki pur soleill sa clartet n'en muet;
Pent a sun col un escut de Biterne,
Tient sun espiet, sin fait brandir la hanste,
En Tencendur, sun bon cheval, puis muntet:
Il le cunquist es guez desuz Marsune,
2995
Sin getat mort Malpalin de Nerbone;
Laschet la resne, mult suvent l'esperonet,
f.54v
Fait sun eslais, veant cent mil humes, AOI.
Recleimet Deu e l'apostle de Rome.

CCXVI
Par tut le champ cil de France descendent,
3000
Plus de cent milie s'en adubent ensemble;
Guarnemenz unt ki ben lor atalente[n]t,
Cevals curanz e lur armes mult gentes;
Puis sunt muntez e unt grant science.
S'il troevent oí, bataille quident rendre.
3005
Cil gunfanun sur les helmes lur pendent.
Quant Carles veit si beles cuntenances,
Sin apelat Jozeran de Provence,
Naimon li duc, Antelme de Maience:
«En tels vassals deit hom aveir fiance!
3010
Asez est fols ki entr'els se dem[ent]et.
Si Arrabiz de venir ne se repentent,
La mort Rollant lur quid cherement rendre.»
Respunt dux Neimes: «E Deus le nos cunsente!» AOI.

CCXVII
Carles apelet Rabe[l] e Guinemán.
3015
Ço dist li reis: «Seignurs, jo vos cumant,
Seiez es lius Oliver e Rollant:
L'un port l'espee e l'altre l'olifant,
Si chevalcez el premer chef devant,
Ensembl'od vos .XV. milie de Franc(ei)s,
3020
De bachelers, de noz (...) meillors vaillanz.
Apres icels en avrat altretant,
Sis guierat Gibuins e Guinemans.»
Naimes li dux e li quens Jozerans
Icez eschieles ben les vunt ajustant.
f.55r
S'il troevent oí, bataille i ert mult grant. AOI.

CCXVIII
De Franceis sunt les premeres escheles.
Apres les dous establisent la terce;
En cele sunt li vassal de Baivere,
A .XX. [milie] chevalers la preiserent;
3030
Ja devers els bataille n'ert lessee.
Suz cel n'ad gent que Carles ait plus chere,
Fors cels de France, ki les regnes cunquerent.
Li quens Oger li Daneis, li puinneres,
Les guierat, kar la cumpaigne est fiere. AOI.

CCXIX
3035
Treis escheles ad l'emperere Carles.
Naimes li dux puis establist la quarte
De tels barons qu'asez unt vasselage:
Alemans sunt e si sunt d'Alemaigne;
Vint milie sunt, ço dient tuit li altre.
3040
Ben sunt guarniz e de chevals e d'armes;
Ja por murir ne guerpirunt bataille.
Sis guierat Hermans li dux de Trace.
Einz i murat que cuardise i facet. AOI.

CCI

Pagan Arabs out of their ships issue,
Then mount upon their horses and their mules,
And canter forth, (nay, what more might they do?)
Their admiral, by whom they all were ruled,
Called up to him Gemalfin, whom he knew:
"I give command of all my hosts to you."
On a brown horse mounted, as he was used,
And in his train he took with him four dukes.
Cantered so far, he came to Sarraguce.
Dismounted on a floor of marble blue,
Where four counts were, who by his stirrup stood;
Up by the steps, the palace came into;
To meet him there came running Bramimunde,
Who said to him: "Accursed from the womb,
That in such shame my sovran lord I lose!
Fell at his feet, that admiral her took.
In grief they came up into Marsile's room. AOI.

CCII

King Marsilies, when he sees Baligant,
Calls to him then two Spanish Sarazands:
"Take me by the arms, and so lift up my back."
One of his gloves he takes in his left hand;
Then says Marsile: "Sire, king and admiral,
Quittance I give you here of all my land,
With Sarraguce, and the honour thereto hangs.
Myself I've lost; my army, every man."
He answers him: "Therefore the more I'm sad.
No long discourse together may we have;
Full well I know, Charles waits not our attack,
I take the glove from you, in spite of that."
He turned away in tears, such grief he had.
Down by the steps, out of the palace ran,
Mounted his horse, to's people gallopped back.
Cantered so far, he came before his band;
From hour to hour then, as he went, he sang:
"Pagans, come on: already flee the Franks!" AOI.

CCIII

In morning time, when the dawn breaks at last,
Awakened is that Emperour Charles.
Saint Gabriel, who on God's part him guards,
Raises his hand, the Sign upon him marks.
Rises the King, his arms aside he's cast,
The others then, through all the host, disarm.
After they mount, by virtue canter fast
Through those long ways, and through those roads so large;
They go to see the marvellous damage
In Rencesvals, there where the battle was. AOI.

CCIV

In Rencesvals is Charles entered,
Begins to weep for those he finds there dead;
Says to the Franks: "My lords, restrain your steps,
Since I myself alone should go ahead,
For my nephew, whom I would find again.
At Aix I was, upon the feast Noel,
Vaunted them there my valiant chevaliers,
Of battles great and very hot contests;
With reason thus I heard Rollant speak then:
He would not die in any foreign realm
Ere he'd surpassed his peers and all his men.
To the foes' land he would have turned his head,
Conqueringly his gallant life he'ld end."
Further than one a little wand could send,
Before the rest he's on a peak mounted.

CCV

When the Emperour went seeking his nephew,
He found the grass, and every flower that bloomed,
Turned scarlat, with our barons' blood imbrued;
Pity he felt, he could but weep for rue.
Beneath two trees he climbed the hill and looked,
And Rollant's strokes on three terraces knew,
On the green grass saw lying his nephew;
`Tis nothing strange that Charles anger grew.
Dismounted then, and went -- his heart was full,
In his two hands the count's body he took;
With anguish keen he fell on him and swooned.

CCVI

That Emperour is from his swoon revived.
Naimes the Duke, and the count Aceline,
Gefrei d'Anjou and his brother Tierry,
Take up the King, bear him beneath a pine.
There on the ground he sees his nephew lie.
Most sweetly then begins he to repine:
"Rollant, my friend, may God to thee be kind!
Never beheld any man such a knight
So to engage and so to end a fight.
Now my honour is turned into decline!"
Charle swoons again, he cannot stand upright. AOI.

CCVII

Charles the King returned out of his swoon.
Him in their hands four of his barons took,
He looked to the earth, saw lying his nephew;
All colourless his lusty body grew,
He turned his eyes, were very shadowful.
Charles complained in amity and truth:
"Rollant, my friend, God lay thee mid the blooms
Of Paradise, among the glorious!
Thou cam'st to Spain in evil tide, seigneur!
Day shall not dawn, for thee I've no dolour.
How perishes my strength and my valour!
None shall I have now to sustain my honour;
I think I've not one friend neath heaven's roof,
Kinsmen I have, but none of them's so proof."
He tore his locks, till both his hands were full.
Five score thousand Franks had such great dolour
There was not one but sorely wept for rue. AOI.

CCVIII

"Rollant, my friend, to France I will away;
When at Loum, I'm in my hall again,
Strange men will come from many far domains,
Who'll ask me, where's that count, the Capitain;
I'll say to them that he is dead in Spain.
In bitter grief henceforward shall I reign,
Day shall not dawn, I weep not nor complain.

CCIX

"Rollant, my friend, fair youth that bar'st the bell,
When I arrive at Aix, in my Chapelle,
Men coming there will ask what news I tell;
I'll say to them: `Marvellous news and fell.
My nephew's dead, who won for me such realms!'
Against me then the Saxon will rebel,
Hungar, Bulgar, and many hostile men,
Romain, Puillain, all those are in Palerne,
And in Affrike, and those in Califerne;
Afresh then will my pain and suffrance swell.
For who will lead my armies with such strength,
When he is slain, that all our days us led?
Ah! France the Douce, now art thou deserted!
Such grief I have that I would fain be dead."
All his white beard he hath begun to rend,
Tore with both hands the hair out of his head.
Five score thousand Franks swooned on the earth and fell.

CCX

"Rollant, my friend, God shew thee His mercy!
In Paradise repose the soul of thee!
Who hath thee slain, exile for France decreed.
I'ld live no more, so bitter is my grief
For my household, who have been slain for me.
God grant me this, the Son of Saint Mary,
Ere I am come to th' master-pass of Size,
From my body my soul at length go free!
Among their souls let mine in glory be,
And let my flesh upon their flesh be heaped."
Still his white beard he tears, and his eyes weep.
Duke Naimes says: "His wrath is great indeed." AOI.

CCXI

"Sire, Emperour," Gefrei d'Anjou implored,
"Let not your grief to such excess be wrought;
Bid that our men through all this field be sought,
Whom those of Spain have in the battle caught;
In a charnel command that they be borne."
Answered the King: "Sound then upon your horn." AOI.

CCXII

Gefreid d'Anjou upon his trumpet sounds;
As Charles bade them, all the Franks dismount.
All of their friends, whose bodies they have found
To a charnel speedily the bring down.
Bishops there are, and abbots there enow,
Canons and monks, vicars with shaven crowns;
Absolution in God's name they've pronounced;
Incense and myrrh with precious gums they've ground,
And lustily they've swung the censers round;
With honour great they've laid them in the ground.
They've left them there; what else might they do now? AOI.

CCXIII

That Emperour sets Rollant on one side
And Oliver, and the Archbishop Turpine;
Their bodies bids open before his eyes.
And all their hearts in silken veils to wind,
And set them in coffers of marble white;
After, they take the bodies of those knights,
Each of the three is wrapped in a deer's hide;
They're washen well in allspice and in wine.
The King commands Tedbalt and Gebuin,
Marquis Otun, Milun the count besides:
Along the road in three wagons to drive.
They're covered well with carpets Galazine. AOI.

CCXIV

Now to be off would that Emperour Charles,
When pagans, lo! comes surging the vanguard;
Two messengers come from their ranks forward,
From the admiral bring challenge to combat:
"'Tis not yet time, proud King, that thou de-part.
Lo, Baligant comes cantering afterward,
Great are the hosts he leads from Arab parts;
This day we'll see if thou hast vassalage."
Charles the King his snowy beard has clasped,
Remembering his sorrow and damage,
Haughtily then his people all regards,
In a loud voice he cries with all his heart:
"Barons and Franks, to horse, I say, to arms!" AOI.

CCXC

First before all was armed that Emperour,
Nimbly enough his iron sark indued,
Laced up his helm, girt on his sword Joiuse,
Outshone the sun that dazzling light it threw,
Hung from his neck a shield, was of Girunde,
And took his spear, was fashioned at Blandune.
On his good horse then mounted, Tencendur,
Which he had won at th'ford below Marsune
When he flung dead Malpalin of Nerbune,
Let go the reins, spurred him with either foot;
Five score thousand behind him as he flew,
Calling on God and the Apostle of Roum. AOI.

CCXVI

Through all the field dismount the Frankish men,
Five-score thousand and more, they arm themselves;
The gear they have enhances much their strength,
Their horses swift, their arms are fashioned well;
Mounted they are, and fight with great science.
Find they that host, battle they'll render them.
Their gonfalons flutter above their helms.
When Charles sees the fair aspect of them,
He calls to him Jozeran of Provence,
Naimon the Duke, with Antelme of Maience:
"In such vassals should man have confidence,
Whom not to trust were surely want of sense;
Unless the Arabs of coming here repent,
Then Rollant's life, I think, we'll dearly sell."
Answers Duke Neimes: "God grant us his consent!" AOI.

CCXVII

Charles hath called Rabel and Guineman;
Thus said the King: "My lords, you I command
To take their place, Olivier and Rollant,
One bear the sword and the other the olifant;
So canter forth ahead, before the van,
And in your train take fifteen thousand Franks,
Young bachelors, that are most valiant.
As many more shall after them advance,
Whom Gebuins shall lead, also Lorains."
Naimes the Duke and the count Jozerans
Go to adjust these columns in their ranks.
Find they that host, they'll make a grand attack. AOI.

CCXVIII

Of Franks the first columns made ready there,
After those two a third they next prepare;
In it are set the vassals of Baiviere,
Some thousand score high-prized chevaliers;
Never was lost the battle, where they were:
Charles for no race neath heaven hath more care,
Save those of France, who realms for him conquered.
The Danish chief, the warrior count Oger,
Shall lead that troop, for haughty is their air. AOI.

CCXIX

Three columns now, he has, the Emperour Charles.
Naimes the Duke a fourth next sets apart
Of good barons, endowed with vassalage;
Germans they are, come from the German March,
A thousand score, as all said afterward;
They're well equipped with horses and with arms,
Rather they'll die than from the battle pass;
They shall be led by Hermans, Duke of Trace,
Who'll die before he's any way coward. AOI.

CCXX

Naimes the Duke and the count Jozerans
The fifth column have mustered, of Normans,
A thousand score, or so say all the Franks;
Well armed are they, their horses charge and prance;
Rather they'ld die, than eer be recreant;
No race neath heav'n can more in th'field compass.
Richard the old, lead them in th'field he shall,
He'll strike hard there with his good trenchant lance. AOI.

CCXXI

The sixth column is mustered of Bretons;
Thirty thousand chevaliers therein come;
These canter in the manner of barons,
Upright their spears, their ensigns fastened on.
The overlord of them is named Oedon,
Who doth command the county Nevelon,
Tedbald of Reims and the marquis Oton:
"Lead ye my men, by my commission." AOI.

CCXXII

That Emperour hath now six columns yare
Naimes the Duke the seventh next prepares
Of Peitevins and barons from Alverne;
Forty thousand chevaliers might be there;
Their horses good, their arms are all most fair.
They're neath a cliff, in a vale by themselves;
With his right hand King Charles hath them blessed,
Them Jozerans shall lead, also Godselmes. AOI.

CCXXIII

And the eighth column hath Naimes made ready;
Tis of Flamengs, and barons out of Frise;
Forty thousand and more good knights are these,
Nor lost by them has any battle been.
And the King says: "These shall do my service."
Between Rembalt and Hamon of Galice
Shall they be led, for all their chivalry. AOI.








  CCXX
Naimes li dux e li quens Jozerans
3045
La quinte eschele unt faite de Normans:
.XX. milie sunt, ço dient tuit li Franc.
Armes unt beles e bons cevals curanz;
Ja pur murir cil n'erent recreanz.
Suz ciel n'ad gent ki plus poissent en camp.
3050
Richard li velz les guierat el camp:
Cil i ferrat de sun espiet trenchant. AOI.
 
     
  CCXXI
La siste eschele unt faite de Bretuns:
f.55v
.XXX. milie chevalers od els unt.
Icil chevalchent en guise de baron,
3055
Peintes lur hanstes, fermez lur gunfanun.
Le seignur d'els est apelet Oedun:
Icil cumandet le cunte Nevelun,
Tedbald de Reins e le marchis Otun:
«Guiez ma gent, jo vos en faz le dun!» AOI.
 
     
  CCXXII
3060
Li emperere ad .VI. escheles faites.
Naimes li dux puis establist la sedme
De Peitevins e des barons d'Alverne:
.XL. milie chevalers poeent estre.
Chevals unt bons e les armes mult beles.
3065
Cil sunt par els en un val suz un tertre;
Sis beneïst Carles de sa main destre.
Els guierat Jozerans e Godselmes. AOI.
 
     
  CCXXIII
E l'oidme eschele ad Naimes establie:
De Flamengs est [e] des barons de Frise.
3070
Chevalers unt plus de .XL. milie;
Ja devers els n'ert bataille guerpie.
Ço dist li reis «Cist ferunt mun servise.»
Entre Rembalt e Hamon de Galice
Les guierunt tut par chevalerie. AOI.
 
     
  CCXXIV
3075
Entre Naimon e Jozeran le cunte
La noefme eschele unt faite de prozdomes
De Loherengs e de cels de Borgoigne.
.L. milie chevalers unt par cunte,
Helmes laciez e vestues lor bronies;
3080
Espiez unt forz e les hanstes sunt curtes.
f.56r
Si Arrabiz de venir ne demurent,
Cil les ferrunt, s'il a els s'abandunent.
Sis guierat Tierris, li dux d'Argone. AOI.
CCXXIV

Between Naimon and Jozeran the count
Are prudent men for the ninth column found,
Of Lotherengs and those out of Borgoune;
Fifty thousand good knights they are, by count;
In helmets laced and sarks of iron brown,
Strong are their spears, short are the shafts cut down;
If the Arrabits demur not, but come out
And trust themselves to these, they'll strike them down.
Tierris the Duke shall lead them, of Argoune. AOI.
     
  CCXXV
La disme eschele est des baruns de France:
3085
Cent milie sunt de noz meillors cataignes.
Cors unt gaillarz e fieres cuntenances,
Les chefs fluriz e les barbes unt blanches,
Osbercs vestuz e lur brunies dubleines,
Ceintes espees franceises e d'Espaigne;
3090
Escuz unt genz, de multes cunoisances.
Puis sunt muntez, la bataille demandent;
«Munjoie!» escrient: Od els est Carlemagne.
Gefreid d'Anjou portet l'orieflambe:
Seint Piere fut (...), si aveit num Romaine;
3095
Mais de Munjoie iloec out pris eschange. AOI.
CCXXV

The tenth column is of barons of France,
Five score thousand of our best capitans;
Lusty of limb, and proud of countenance,
Snowy their heads are, and their beards are blanched,
In doubled sarks, and in hauberks they're clad,
Girt on their sides Frankish and Spanish brands
And noble shields of divers cognisance.
Soon as they mount, the battle they demand,
"Monjoie" they cry. With them goes Charlemagne.
Gefreid d'Anjou carries that oriflamme;
Saint Peter's twas, and bare the name Roman,
But on that day Monjoie, by change, it gat. AOI.
     
  CCXXVI
Li emperere de sun cheval descent;
Sur l'erbe verte se est culchet adenz,
Turnet su[n] vis vers le soleill levant,
Recleimet Deu mult escordusement:
3100
«Veire Paterne, hoi cest jor me defend,
Ki guaresis Jonas tut veirement
De la baleine ki en sun cors l'aveit
E espar(i)gnas le rei de Niniven
E Daniel del merveillus turment
3105
Enz en la fosse des leons o fut enz,
Les .III. enfanz tut en un fou ardant:
La tue amurs me seit hoi en present!
Par ta mercit, se tei plaist, me cunsent
f.56v
Que mun nevold pois[se] venger Rollant!»
3110
Cum ad oret, si se drecet en estant,
Seignat sun chef de la vertut poisant.
Muntet li reis en sun cheval curant;
L'estreu li tindrent Neimes e Jocerans;
Prent sun escut e sun espiet trenchant.
3115
Gent ad le cors, gaillart e ben seant,
Cler le visage e de bon cuntenant.
Puis si chevalchet mult aficheement.
Sunent cil greisle e derere e devant;
Sur tuz les altres bundist li olifant.
3120
Plurent Franceis pur pitet de Rollant.
CCXXVI

That Emperour down from his horse descends;
To the green grass, kneeling, his face he bends.
Then turns his eyes towards the Orient,
Calls upon God with heartiest intent:
"Very Father, this day do me defend,
Who to Jonas succour didst truly send
Out of the whale's belly, where he was pent;
And who didst spare the king of Niniven,
And Daniel from marvellous torment
When he was caged within the lions' den;
And three children, all in a fire ardent:
Thy gracious Love to me be here present.
In Thy Mercy, if it please Thee, consent
That my nephew Rollant I may avenge.
When he had prayed, upon his feet he stepped,
With the strong mark of virtue signed his head;
Upon his swift charger the King mounted
While Jozerans and Neimes his stirrup held;
He took his shield, his trenchant spear he kept;
Fine limbs he had, both gallant and well set;
Clear was his face and filled with good intent.
Vigorously he cantered onward thence.
In front, in rear, they sounded their trumpets,
Above them all boomed the olifant again.
Then all the Franks for pity of Rollant wept.
     
  CCXXVII
Mult gentement li emperere chevalchet:
Desur sa bronie fors ad mise sa barbe.
Pur sue amor altretel funt li altre:
Cent milie Francs en sunt reconoisable.
3125
Passent cez puis e cez roches plus haltes,
E cez parfunz val(ee)s, ces destreit anguisables,
Issent des porz e de la tere guaste,
Devers Espaigne sunt alez en la marche;
En un emplein unt prise lur estage.
3130
A Baligant repairent ses enguardes.
Uns Sulians ki ad dit sun message:
«Veüd avum li orguillus reis Carles.
Fiers sunt si hume, n'unt talent qu'il li faillent.
Adubez vus, sempres avrez bataille!»
3135
Dist Baligant: «Or oi grant vasselage.
Sunez voz graisles, que mi paien le sace[n]t!»
CCXXVII

That Emperour canters in noble array,
Over his sark all of his beard displays;
For love of him, all others do the same,
Five score thousand Franks are thereby made plain.
They pass those peaks, those rocks and those mountains,
Those terrible narrows, and those deep vales,
Then issue from the passes and the wastes
Till they are come into the March of Spain;
A halt they've made, in th'middle of a plain.
To Baligant his vanguard comes again
A Sulian hath told him his message:
"We have seen Charles, that haughty sovereign;
Fierce are his men, they have no mind to fail.
Arm yourself then: Battle you'll have to-day."
Says Baligant: "Mine is great vassalage;
Let horns this news to my pagans proclaim."
     
  CCXXVIII
f.57r
Par tute l'ost funt lur taburs suner,
E cez buisines e cez greisles mult cler:
Paien descendent pur lur cors aduber.
3140
Li amiralz ne se voelt demurer:
Vest une bronie dunt li pan sunt sasfret,
Lacet sun elme, ki ad or est gemmet,
Puis ceint s'espee al senestre costet.
Par sun orgoill li ad un num truvet:
3145
Par la spee Carlun dunt il oït parler
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ço ert s'enseigne en bataille campel:
Ses chevalers en ad fait escrier.
Pent a sun col un soen grant escut let:
3150
D'or est la bucle e de cristal listet,
La guige en est d'un bon palie roet;
Tient sun espiet, si l'apelet Maltet:
La hanste grosse cume uns tinels;
De sul le fer fust uns mulez trusset.
3155
En sun destrer Baligant est muntet;
L'estreu li tint Marcules d'Ultremer.
La forcheüre ad asez grant li ber,
Graisles les flancs e larges les costez;
Gros ad le piz, belement est mollet,
3160
Lees les espalles e le vis ad mult cler,
Fier le visage, le chef recercelet,
Tant par ert blancs cume flur en estet;
De vasselage est suvent esprovet.
Deus! quel baron, s'oüst chrestientet!
3165
Le cheval brochet, li sancs en ist tuz clers,
f.57v
Fait sun eslais, si tressalt un fosset,
Cinquante pez i poet hom mesurer.
Paien escrient: «Cist deit marches tenser!
N'i ad Franceis, si a lui vient juster,
3170
Voeillet o nun, n'i perdet sun edet.
Carles est fols que ne s'en est alet.» AOI.
CCXXVIII

Through all the host they have their drums sounded,
And their bugles, and, very clear trumpets.
Pagans dismount, that they may arm themselves.
Their admiral will stay no longer then;
Puts on a sark, embroidered in the hems,
Laces his helm, that is with gold begemmed;
After, his sword on his left side he's set,
Out of his pride a name for it he's spelt
Like to Carlun's, as he has heard it said,
So Preciuse he bad his own be clept;
Twas their ensign when they to battle went,
His chevaliers'; he gave that cry to them.
His own broad shield he hangs upon his neck,
(Round its gold boss a band of crystal went,
The strap of it was a good silken web;)
He grasps his spear, the which he calls Maltet; --
So great its shaft as is a stout cudgel,
Beneath its steel alone, a mule had bent;
On his charger is Baligant mounted,
Marcules, from over seas, his stirrup held.
That warrior, with a great stride he stepped,
Small were his thighs, his ribs of wide extent,
Great was his breast, and finely fashioned,
With shoulders broad and very clear aspect;
Proud was his face, his hair was ringleted,
White as a flow'r in summer was his head.
His vassalage had often been proved.
God! what a knight, were he a Christian yet!
His horse he's spurred, the clear blood issued;
He's gallopped on, over a ditch he's leapt,
Full fifty feet a man might mark its breadth.
Pagans cry out: "Our Marches shall be held;
There is no Frank, may once with him contest,
Will he or nill, his life he'll soon have spent.
Charles is mad, that he departs not hence." AOI.
     
  CCXXIX
Li amiralz ben resemblet barun.
Blanche ad la barbe ensement cume flur,
E de sa lei mult par est saives hom,
3175
E en bataille est fiers e orgoillus.
Ses filz Malpramis mult est chevalerus:
Granz est e forz e trait as anceisurs.
Dist a sun perre: «Sire, car cevalchum!
Mult me merveill se ja verrum Carlun.»
3180
Dist Baligant: «Oïl, car mult est proz.
En plusurs gestes de lui sunt granz honurs.
Il n'en at mie de Rollant sun nevold:
N'avrat vertut ques tienget cuntre nus.» AOI.
CCXXIX

That admiral to a baron's like enough,
White is his beard as flowers by summer burnt;
In his own laws, of wisdom hath he much;
And in battle he's proud and arduous.
His son Malprimes is very chivalrous,
He's great and strong; -- his ancestors were thus.
Says to his sire: "To canter then let us!
I marvel much that soon we'll see Carlun."
Says Baligant: " Yea, for he's very pruff;
In many tales honour to him is done;
He hath no more Rollant, his sister's son,
He'll have no strength to stay in fight with us." AOI.
     
  CCXXX
- «Bels filz Malpramis,» ço li dist Baligant,
3185
«Li altrer fut ocis le bon vassal Rollant
E Oliver, li proz e li vaillanz,
Li .XII. per qui Carles amat tant,
De cels de France .XX. milie cumbatanz.
Trestuz les altres ne pris jo mie un guant.
3190
Li empereres repairet veirement,
S'il m'at nunciet mes mes, li Sulians,
.X. escheles en unt faites mult granz.
Cil est mult proz ki sunet l'olifant,
f.58r
D'un graisle cler racatet ses cumpaignz;
3195
E si cevalcent el premer chef devant,
Ensembl'od els .XV. milie de Francs,
De bachelers que Carles cleimet enfanz.
Apres icels en i ad ben altretanz:
Cil i ferrunt mult orgoillusement.»
3200
Dist Malpramis: «Le colp vos en demant.» AOI.
CCXXX

"Fair son Malprimes," then says t'him Baligant,
"Was slain yestreen the good vassal Rollanz,
And Oliver, the proof and valiant,
The dozen peers, whom Charles so cherished, and
Twenty thousand more Frankish combatants.
For all the rest I'ld not unglove my hand.
But the Emperour is verily come back,
-- So tells me now my man, that Sulian --
Ten great columns he's set them in their ranks;
He's a proof man who sounds that olifant,
With a clear call he rallies his comrades;
These at the head come cantering in advance,
Also with them are fifteen thousand Franks,
Young bachelors, whom Charles calls Infants;
As many again come following that band,
Who will lay on with utmost arrogance."
Then says Malprimes: "The first blow I demand." AOI.
     
  CCXXXI
- «Filz Malpramis,» Baligant li ad dit,
«Jo vos otri quanque m'avez ci quis.
Cuntre Franceis sempres irez ferir;
Si i merrez Torleu, le rei persis,
3205
E Dapamort, un altre rei leutiz.
Le grant orgoill se ja puez matir,
Jo vos durrai un pan de mun païs
Des Cheriant entresqu'en Val Marchis.»
Cil respunt: «Sire, vostre mercit!»
3210
Passet avant, le dun en requeillit,
Ço est de la tere ki fut al rei Flurit,
A itel ore unches puis ne la vit,
Ne il n'en fut ne vestut ne saisit.
CCXXXI

"Fair son Malprimes," says Baligant to him,
"I grant it you, as you have asked me this;
Against the Franks go now, and smite them quick.
And take with you Torleu, the Persian king
And Dapamort, another king Leutish.
Their arrogance if you can humble it,
Of my domains a slice to you I'll give
From Cheriant unto the Vale Marquis."
"I thank you, Sire!" Malprimes answers him;
Going before, he takes delivery;
'Tis of that land, was held by king Flurit.
After that hour he never looked on it,
Investiture gat never, nor seizin.
     
  CCXXXII
Li amiraill chevalchet par cez oz.
3215
Sis filz le siut, ki mult ad grant le cors.
Li reis Torleus e li reis Dapamort
.XXX. escheles establissent mult tost:
Chevalers unt a merveillus esforz;
En la menur .L. milie en out.
3220
La premere est de cels de Butentrot,
E l'altre apres de Micenes as chefs gros;
f.58v
Sur les eschines qu'il unt en mi les dos
Cil sunt seiet ensement cume porc. AOI.
E la t(er)erce est de Nubles e de Blos,
3225
E la quarte est de Bruns e d'Esclavoz,
E la quinte est de Sorbres e de Sorz,
E la siste est d'Ermines e de Mors,
E la sedme est de cels de Jericho,
E l'oitme est de Nigres e la noefme de Gros,
3230
E la disme est de Balide la fort:
Ço est une gent ki unches ben ne volt. AOI.
Li amiralz en juret quanqu'il poet
De Mahumet les vertuz e le cors:
«Karles de France chevalchet cume fols.
3235
Bataille i ert, se il ne s'en destolt;
Jamais n'avrat el chef corone d'or.»
CCXXXII

That admiral canters among his hosts;
After, his son with's great body follows,
Torleus the king, and the king Dapamort;
Thirty columns most speedily they form.
They've chevaliers in marvellous great force;
Fifty thousand the smallest column holds.
The first is raised of men from Butenrot,
The next, after, Micenes, whose heads are gross;
Along their backs, above their spinal bones,
As they were hogs, great bristles on them grow.
The third is raised from Nubles and from Blos;
The fourth is raised from Bruns and Esclavoz;
The fifth is raised from Sorbres and from Sorz;
The sixth is raised from Ermines and from Mors;
The seventh is the men of Jericho;
Negroes are the eighth; the ninth are men of Gros;
The tenth is raised from Balide the stronghold,
That is a tribe no goodwill ever shews.
That admiral hath sworn, the way he knows,
By Mahumet, his virtues and his bones:
"Charles of France is mad to canter so;
Battle he'll have, unless he take him home;
No more he'll wear on's head that crown of gold."
     
  CCXXXIII
Dis escheles establisent apres.
La premere est des Canelius les laiz,
De Val Fuit sun venuz en traver.
3240
L'altre est de Turcs e la terce de Pers,
E la quarte est de Pinceneis e de Pers,
E la quinte est de Solteras e d'Avers,
E la siste est d'Ormaleus e d'Eugiez,
E la sedme est de la gent Samuel,
3245
L'oidme est de Bruise e la noefme de Clavers,
E la disme est d'Occian le desert:
Ço est une gent ki Damnedeu ne sert;
De plus feluns n'orrez parler jamais.
Durs unt les quirs ensement cume fer:
f.59r
Pur ço n'unt soign de elme ne d'osberc;
En la bataille sunt felun e engres. AOI.
CCXXXIII

Ten great columns they marshal thereafter;
Of Canelious, right ugly, is the first,
Who from Val-Fuit came across country there;
The next's of Turks; of Persians is the third;
The fourth is raised of desperate Pinceners,
The fifth is raised from Soltras and Avers;
The sixth is from Ormaleus and Eugez;
The seventh is the tribe of Samuel;
The eighth is from Bruise; the ninth from Esclavers;
The tenth is from Occiant, the desert,
That is a tribe, do not the Lord God serve,
Of such felons you never else have heard;
Hard is their hide, as though it iron were,
Wherefore of helm or hauberk they've no care;
In the battle they're felon murderers. AOI.
     
  CCXXXIV
Li amiralz .X. escheles ad justedes:
La premere est des jaianz de Malprese,
L'altre est de Hums e la terce de Hungres,
3255
E la quarte est de Baldise la lunge
E la quinte est de cels de Val Penuse
E la siste est de [...] Maruse,
E la sedme est de Leus e d'Astrimónies;
L'oidme est d'Argoilles e la noefme de Clarbone,
3260
E la disme est des barbez de Fronde:
Ço est une gent ki Deu nen amat unkes.
Geste Francor .XXX. escheles i numbrent.
Granz sunt les oz u cez buisines sunent.
Paien chevalchent en guise de produme. AOI.
CCXXXIV

That admiral ten columns more reviews;
The first is raised of Giants from Malpruse;
The next of Huns; the third a Hungar crew;
And from Baldise the Long the fourth have trooped;
The fifth is raised of men from Val-Penuse;
The sixth is raised of tribesmen from Maruse;
The seventh is from Leus and Astrimunes;
The eighth from Argoilles; the ninth is from Clarbune;
The tenth is raised of beardsmen from Val-Frunde,
That is a tribe, no love of God e'er knew.
Gesta Francor' these thirty columns prove.
Great are the hosts, their horns come sounding through.
Pagans canter as men of valour should. AOI.
     
  CCXXXV
3265
Li amiralz mult par est riches hoem.
Dedavant sei fait porter sun dragon
E l'estandart Tervagan e Mahum
E un ymagene Apolin le felun.
Des Canelius chevalchent envirun.
3270
Mult haltement escrient un sermun:
«Ki par noz Deus voelt aveir guarison,
Sis prit e servet par grant afflictiun!»
Paien i baissent lur chefs e lur mentun;
Lor helmes clers i suzclinent enbrunc.
3275
Dient F[r]anceis: «Sempres murrez, glutun!
De vos seit hoi male confusiun!
Li nostre Deu, guarantisez Carlun!
f.59v
Ceste bataille seit ju(ic)get en sun num!» AOI.
CCXXXV

That admiral hath great possessions;
He makes them bear before him his dragon,
And their standard, Tervagan's and Mahom's,
And his image, Apollin the felon.
Ten Canelious canter in the environs,
And very loud the cry out this sermon:
"Let who would from our gods have garrison,
Serve them and pray with great affliction."
Pagans awhile their heads and faces on
Their breasts abase, their polished helmets doff.
And the Franks say: "Now shall you die, gluttons;
This day shall bring you vile confusion!
Give warranty, our God, unto Carlon!
And in his name this victory be won!" AOI.
     
  CCXXXVI
Li amiralz est mult de grant saveir;
3280
A sei apelet sis filz e les dous reis:
«Seignurs barons, devant chevalchereiz,
Mes escheles tutes les guiereiz;
Mais des meillors voeill jo retenir treis:
L'un ert de Turcs e l'altre d'Ormaleis,
3285
E la terce est des jaianz de Malpreis.
Cil d'Ociant ierent e[n]sembl'ot mei,
Si justerunt a Charles e a Franceis.
Li emperere, s'il se cumbat od mei,
Desur le buc la teste perdre en deit.
3290
Trestut seit fiz, n'i avrat altre dreit.» AOI.
CCXXXVI

That admiral hath wisdom great indeed;
His son to him and those two kings calls he:
My lords barons, beforehand canter ye,
All my columns together shall you lead;
But of the best I'll keep beside me three:
One is of Turks; the next of Ormaleis;
And the third is the Giants of Malpreis.
And Occiant's, they'll also stay with me,
Until with Charles and with the Franks they meet.
That Emperour, if he combat with me,
Must lose his head, cut from his shoulders clean;
He may be sure naught else for him's decreed. AOI.
     
  CCXXXVII
Granz sunt les oz e les escheles beles;
Entr'els nen at ne pui ne val ne tertre,
Selve ne bois; asconse n'i poet estre;
Ben s'entreveient en mi la pleine tere.
3295
Dist Baligant: «La meie gent averse,
Car chevalchez pur la bataille quere!»
L'enseigne portet Amborres d'Oluferne.
Paien escrient, «Precieuse» l'apelent.
Dient Franceis: «De vos seit hoi grant perte!»
3300
Mult haltement: «Munjoie!» renuvelent.
Li emperere i fait suner ses greisles,
E l'olifan, ki tres(tu)tuz les esclairet.
Dient paien: «La gent Ca[r]lun est bele.
Bataille avrum e aduree e pesme.» AOI.
CCXXXVII

Great are the hosts, and all the columns fair,
No peak nor vale nor cliff between them there,
Thicket nor wood, nor ambush anywhere;
Across the plain they see each other well.
Says Baligant: "My pagan tribes adverse,
Battle to seek, canter ye now ahead!"
Carries the ensign Amboires of Oluferne;
Pagans cry out, by Preciuse they swear.
And the Franks say: "Great hurt this day you'll get!"
And very loud "Monjoie!" they cry again.
That Emperour has bid them sound trumpets;
And the olifant sounds over all its knell.
The pagans say: "Carlun's people are fair.
Battle we'll have, bitter and keenly set." AOI.
     
  CCXXXVIII
3305
Grant est la plaigne e large la cuntree.
f.60r
Luisent cil elme as perres d'or gemmees,
E cez escuz e cez bronies safrees,
E cez espiez, cez enseignes fermees.
Sunent cez greisles, les voiz en sunt mult cleres;
3310
De l'olifan haltes sunt les menees.
Li amiralz en apelet sun frere,
Ço est Canabeus, li reis de Floredee:
Cil tint la terre entresqu'en Val Sevree.
Les escheles Charlun li ad mustrees:
3315
«Veez l'orgoil de France la loee!
Mult fierement chevalchet li emperere;
Il est darere od cele gent barbee.
Desur lur bronies lur barbes unt getees,
Altresi blanches cume neif sur gelee.
3320
Cil i ferrunt de lances e d'espees,
Bataille avrum e forte e aduree:
Unkes nuls hom ne vit tel ajustee.»
Plus qu'om ne lancet une verge pelee,
Baligant ad ses cumpaignes trespassees.
3325
Une raisun lur ad dit e mustree:
«Venez, paien, kar jo(n) irai en l'estree.»
De sun espiet la hanste en ad branlee;
Envers Karlun la mure en ad turnee. AOI.
CCXXXVIII

Great is that plain, and wide is that country;
Their helmets shine with golden jewellery,
Also their sarks embroidered and their shields,
And the ensigns fixed on all their burnished spears.
The trumpets sound, their voice is very clear,
And the olifant its echoing music speaks.
Then the admiral, his brother calleth he,
'Tis Canabeus, the king of Floredee,
Who holds the land unto the Vale Sevree;
He's shewn to him Carlun's ten companies:
"The pride of France, renowned land, you see.
That Emperour canters right haughtily,
His bearded men are with him in the rear;
Over their sarks they have thrown out their beards
Which are as white as driven snows that freeze.
Strike us they will with lances and with spears:
Battle with them we'll have, prolonged and keen;
Never has man beheld such armies meet."
Further than one might cast a rod that's peeled
Goes Baligant before his companies.
His reason then he's shewn to them, and speaks:
"Pagans, come on; for now I take the field."
His spear in hand he brandishes and wields,
Towards Carlun has turned the point of steel. AOI.
     
  CCXXXIX
Carles li magnes, cum il vit l'amiraill,
3330
E le dragon, l'enseigne e l'estandart,
De cels d'Arabe si grant force i par (ar)ad,
De la cuntree unt purprises les parz,
Ne mes que tant (scue)[cume] l'empereres en ad,
f.60v
Li reis de France s'en escriet mult halt:
3335
«Barons franceis, vos estes bons vassals.
Tantes batailles avez faites en camps!
Veez paien: felun sunt e cuart,
Tutes lor leis un dener ne lur valt.
S'il unt grant gent, d'iço, seignurs, qui calt?
3340
Ki errer voelt, a mei venir s'en alt!»
Des esperons puis brochet le cheval,
E Tencendor li (a)ad fait .IIII. salz.
Dient Franceis: «Icist reis est vassals!
Chevalchez, bers! Nul de nus ne vus falt.»
CCXXXIX

Charles the Great, when he sees the admiral
And the dragon, his ensign and standard; --
(In such great strength are mustered those Arabs
Of that country they've covered every part
Save only that whereon the Emperour was.)
The King of France in a loud voice has called:
"Barons and Franks, good vassals are ye all,
Ye in the field have fought so great combats;
See the pagans; they're felons and cowards,
No pennyworth is there in all their laws.
Though they've great hosts, my lords, what matters that?
Let him go hence, who'ld fail me in the attack."
Next with both spurs he's gored his horse's flanks,
And Tencendor has made four bounds thereat.
Then say the Franks: "This King's a good vassal.
Canter, brave lord, for none of us holds back."
     
  CCXL
3345
Clers fut li jurz e li soleilz luisanz.
Les oz sunt beles e les cumpaignes granz.
Justees sunt les escheles devant.
Li quens Rabels e li quens Guinemans
Lascent les resnes a lor cevals curanz,
3350
Brochent a eit; dunc laisent curre Francs:
Si vunt ferir de lur espiez trenchanz. AOI.
CCXL

Clear is the day, and the sun radiant;
The hosts are fair, the companies are grand.
The first columns are come now hand to hand.
The count Rabel and the count Guinemans
Let fall the reins on their swift horses' backs,
Spurring in haste; then on rush all the Franks,
And go to strike, each with his trenchant lance. AOI.
     




3355
CCXLI
Li quens Rabels est chevaler hardiz,
Le cheval brochet des esperuns d'or fin,
Si vait ferir Torleu, le rei persis,
N'escut ne bronie ne pout sun colp tenir:
L'espiet a or li ad enz el cors mis,
Que mort l'abat sur un boissun petit.
Dient F[r]anceis: «Damnedeus nos aït!»
Carles ad dreit, ne li devom faillir.» AOI.
CCXLI
That count Rabel, he was a hardy knight,

He pricked his horse with spurs of gold so fine,
The Persian king, Torleu, he went to strike.
Nor shield nor sark could such a blow abide;
The golden spear his carcass passed inside;
Flung down upon a little bush, he died.
Then say the Franks: "Lord God, be Thou our Guide!
Charles we must not fail; his cause is right." AOI.
     

3360

f.61r



3365
CCXLII
E Guineman justet a un rei leutice.
Tute li freint la targe, ki est flurie;
Apres li ad la bronie descunfite;
Tute l'enseigne li ad enz el cors mise,
Que mort l'abat, ki qu'en plurt u kin riet.
A icest colp cil de France s'esc(ri)rient:
«Ferez, baron, ne vos targez mie!
Carles ad dreit vers la gent [pa]iesnie;
Deus nus ad mis al plus verai juïse.» AOI.
CCXLII
And Guineman tilts with the king Leutice;

Has broken all the flowers on his shield,
Next of his sark he has undone the seam,
All his ensign thrust through the carcass clean,
So flings him dead, let any laugh or weep.
Upon that blow, the Franks cry out with heat:
"Strike on, baron, nor slacken in your speed!
Charle's in the right against the pagan breed;
God sent us here his justice to complete." AOI.
     


3370




3375




3380
CCXLIII
Malpramis siet sur un cheval tut blanc;
Cunduit sun cors en la presse des Francs.
De (u) uns es altres granz colps i vait ferant,
L'un mort sur l'altre suvent vait trescevant.
Tut premereins s'escriet Baligant:
«Li mien baron, nurrit vos ai lung tens.
Veez mun fils, Carlun le vait querant,
A ses armes tanz barons calunjant:
Meillor vassal de lui ja ne demant.
Succurez le a voz espiez trenchant!»
A icest mot paien venent avant,
Durs colps i fierent, mult est li caples granz.
La bataille est merveilluse e pesant:
Ne fut si fort enceis ne puis cel tens. AOI.
CCXLIII
Pure white the horse whereon Malprimes sate;

Guided his corse amid the press of Franks,
Hour in, hour out, great blows he struck them back,
And, ever, dead one upon others packed.
Before them all has cried out Baligant:
"Barons, long time I've fed you at my hand.
Ye see my son, who goes on Carlun's track,
And with his arms so many lords attacks;
Better vassal than him I'll not demand.
Go, succour him, each with his trenchant lance!"
Upon that word the pagans all advance;
Grim blows they strike, the slaughter's very grand.
And marvellous and weighty the combat:
Before nor since was never such attack. AOI.
     



3385





3390

f.61v


3395
CCXLIV
Granz sunt les oz e les cumpaignes fieres,
Justees sunt trestutes les escheles,
E li paien merveillusement fierent.
Deus! tantes hanstes i ad par mi brisees,
Escuz fruisez e bronies desmaillees!
La veïsez la tere si junchee:
L'erbe del camp, ki est verte e delgee
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Li amiralz recleime sa maisnee:
«Ferez, baron, sur la gent chrestiene!»
La bataille est mult dure e afichee;
Unc einz ne puis ne fut si fort ajustee;
Josqu'a la [nuit] nen ert fins otriee. AOI.
CCXLIV
Great are the hosts; the companies in pride

Come touching, all the breadth of either side;
And the pagans do marvellously strike.
So many shafts, by God! in pieces lie
And crumpled shields, and sarks with mail untwined!
So spattered all the earth there would you find
That through the field the grass so green and fine
With men's life-blood is all vermilion dyed.
That admiral rallies once more his tribe:
"Barons, strike on, shatter the Christian line."
Now very keen and lasting is the fight,
As never was, before or since that time;
The finish none shall reach, unless he die. AOI.
     





3400
CCXLV
Li amiralz la sue gent apelet:
«Ferez, paien: por el venud n'i estes!
Jo vos durrai muillers gentes e beles,
Si vos durai feus e honors e teres.»
Paien respundent: «Nus le devuns ben fere.»
A colps pleners de lor espiez i perdent:
Plus de cent milie espees i unt traites.
Ais vos le caple e dulurus e pesmes;
Bataille veit cil ki entr'els volt estre. AOI.
CCXLV
That admiral to all his race appeals:

"Pagans, strike on; came you not therefore here?
I promise you noble women and dear,
I promise you honours and lands and fiefs."
Answer pagans: "We must do well indeed."
With mighty blows they shatter all their spears;
Five score thousand swords from their scabbards leap,
Slaughter then, grim and sorrowful, you'd seen.
Battle he saw, that stood those hosts between. AOI.
     

3405




3410




3415



f.62r
3420
CCXLVI
Li emperere recleimet ses Franceis:
«Seignors barons, jo vos aim, si vos crei.
Tantes batailles avez faites pur mei,
Regnes cunquis e desordenet reis!
Ben le conuis que gueredun vos en dei
E de mun cors, de terres e d'aveir.
Vengez voz fi[l]z, voz freres e voz heirs,
Qu'en Rencesvals furent morz l'altre seir!
Ja savez vos cuntre paiens ai dreit.»
Respondent Franc: «Sire, vos dites veir.»
Itels .XX. miliers en ad od sei,
Cumunement l'en prametent lor feiz,
Ne li faldrunt pur mort ne pur destreit.
N'en i ad cel sa lance n'i empleit;
De lur espees i fierent demaneis.
La bataille est de merveillus destreit. AOI.
CCXLVI
That Emperour calls on his Franks and speaks:

"I love you, lords, in whom I well believe;
So many great battles you've fought for me,
Kings overthrown, and kingdoms have redeemed!
Guerdon I owe, I know it well indeed;
My lands, my wealth, my body are yours to keep.
For sons, for heirs, for brothers wreak
Who in Rencesvals were slaughtered yester-eve!
Mine is the right, ye know, gainst pagan breeds."
Answer the Franks: "Sire, 'tis the truth you speak."
Twenty thousand beside him Charles leads,
Who with one voice have sworn him fealty;
In straits of death they never will him leave.
There is not one thenceforth employs his spear,
But with their swords they strike in company.
The battle is straitened marvellously. AOI.
     





3425
CCXLVII
E Malpramis parmi le camp chevalchet;
De cels de France i fait mult grant damage.
Naimes li dux fierement le reguardet,
Vait le ferir cum hume vertudable.
De sun escut li freint la pene halte,
De sun osberc les dous pans li desaffret;
El cors li met tute l'enseigne jalne,
Que mort [l'abat] entre .VII.C. des altres.
CCXLVII
Across that field the bold Malprimes canters;

Who of the Franks hath wrought there much great damage.
Naimes the Duke right haughtily regards him,
And goes to strike him, like a man of valour,
And of his shield breaks all the upper margin,
Tears both the sides of his embroidered ha'berk,
Through the carcass thrusts all his yellow banner;
So dead among sev'n hundred else he casts him.
     


3430





3435




3440
CCXLVIII
Reis Canabeus, le frere a l'amiraill,
Des esporuns ben brochot sun cheval;
Trait ad l'espee, le punt est de cristal,
Si fiert Naimun en l'elme principal:
L'une meitiet l'en fruissed d'une part,
Al brant d'acer l'en trenchet .V. des laz,
Li capelers un dener ne li valt;
Trenchet la coife entresque a la char,
Jus a la tere une piece en abat.
Granz fut li colps, li dux en estonat,
Sempres caïst, se Deus ne li aidast.
De sun destrer le col en enbraçat.
Se li paiens une feiz recuvrast,
Sempres fust mort li nobilies vassal.
Carles de France i vint, kil succurat. AOI.
CCXLVIII
King Canabeus, brother of the admiral,

Has pricked his horse with spurs in either flank;
He's drawn his sword, whose hilt is of crystal,
And strikes Naimun on's helmet principal;
Away from it he's broken off one half,
Five of the links his brand of steel hath knapped;
No pennyworth the hood is after that;
Right to the flesh he slices through the cap;
One piece of it he's flung upon the land.
Great was the blow; the Duke, amazed thereat,
Had fallen ev'n, but aid from God he had;
His charger's neck he clasped with both his hands.
Had the pagan but once renewed the attack,
Then was he slain, that noble old vassal.
Came there to him, with succour, Charles of France. AOI.
     


3445

f.62v


3450
CCXLIX
Naimes li dux tant par est anguissables,
E li paiens de ferir mult le hastet.
Carles li dist: «Culvert, mar le baillastes!»
Vait le ferir par sun grant vasselage:
L'escut li freint, cuntre le coer li quasset,
De sun osberc li desrumpt la ventaille,
Que mort l'abat: la sele en remeint guaste.
CCXLIX
Keen anguish then he suffers, that Duke Naimes,

And the pagan, to strike him, hotly hastens.
"Culvert," says Charles, "You'll get now as you gave him!"
With vassalage he goes to strike that pagan,
Shatters his shield, against his heart he breaks it,
Tears the chin-guard above his hauberk mailed;
So flings him dead: his saddle shall be wasted.


Next
Previous

La Chanson de Roland Main Page
Old French Period Main Page

French Texts Main Page
French Language Main Page

Modern Romance Languages Main Page
Orbis Latinus Main Page

This page is part of Orbis Latinus
© Zdravko Batzarov