The song of Roland, translated by Jessie Crosland by JESSIE CROSLAND' 'LOUIS MAURICE BRANDIN


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Sample text

The French say: ÒThat was a valiant stroke! Ó 115. The French see the great numbers of the heathen and the fields covered with them on all sides. They call often on Oliver and Roland, and on the twelve peers to stand by them. The archbishop spoke out his mind to them: ÒSir barons, have no unworthy thoughts! For GodÕs sake I pray you that you do not flee, that no gallant man ever sing an evil song about us. It would be far better for us to die in battle. We are destined to end our lives quite soon and after to-day we shall no longer be alive.

Roland looks at OliverÕs face; it was ashen and grey, discoloured and pale. The bright blood streams down his body and falls in splashes to the ground. ÒGod,Ó said the count, Ònow I know not what to do. Sir comrade, pity it was for your valour! Never will there be a man to compare with thee. Ah! sweet France, how waste wilt thou be, deprived of thy good vassals, dishonoured and fallen. Ó At these words he swoops upon his horse. 149. There is Roland in a swoon upon his horse and Oliver wounded to death.

Then he called two of his knights, one Clarifan the other Clarien by name: ÒYou are the sons of king Maltraien who used to be a willing messenger. I command you to go to Saragossa. Tell Marsilie from me that I am come to help him against the French. If I come across their army there will be a great battle; give him as a pledge this glove pleated with gold and let him put it on his right hand. Take him this little staff of 53 pure gold also and bid him come to acknowledge his fief. I shall go to wage war on Charles in France.

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