A stately mansion, far and wide from whence
The sight ranged unimpeded, and survey'd 265
Streams, hills, and forests, fair variety!
The traveller knew its hospitable towers,
For open were the gates, and blazed for all
The friendly fire. By glory lured, the youth 269
Went forth; and he had bathed his falchion's edge
In many a Frenchman's blood; now crush'd beneath
The ponderous fragments force, his lifeless limbs
Lie quivering.

Lo! towards the levelled moat,
A moving tower the men of Orleans wheel
Four stages elevate. Above was hung, 275
Equalling the walls, a bridge; in the lower stage
A battering-ram: within a chosen troop
Of archers, through the opening, shot their shafts.
In the loftiest part was Conrade, so prepared
To mount the rampart; for, no hunter he, 280
He loved to see the dappled foresters
Browze fearless on their lair, with friendly eye,
And happy in beholding happiness,
Not meditating death : the bowman's art
Therefore he little knew, nor was he wont 285
To aim the arrow at the distant foe,

in close conflict, front to front,
His battle-axe, and break the shield and helm,
First in the war of men. There too the Maid
Awaits, impatient on the wall to wield

290 Her falchion. Onward moves the heavy tower, Slow o'er the moat and steady, though the foe Shower'd there their javelins, aim'd their engines there, And from the arbalist the fire-tipt dart

Shot burning through the sky. In vain it flamed,
For well with many a reeking hide secured, 296
Pass'd on the dreadful pile, and now it reach'd
The wall. Below, with forceful impulse driven,
The iron-headed engine swings its stroke,
Then back recoils ; while they within who guide,
In backward step collecting all their strength, 301
Anon the massy beam with stronger arm
Drive full and fierce. So rolls the swelling sea
Its curly billows to the unmoved foot
Of some huge promontory, whose broad base 305
Breaks the rough wave; the shiver'd surge rolls back,
Till, by the coming billow borne, it bursts
Again, and foams with ceaseless violence:
The wanderer, on the sunny clift outstretch'd,
Harks to the roaring surges, as they rock 310
His weary senses to forgetfulness.

But nearer danger threats the invaders now, For on the ramparts, lower'd from above The bridge reclines. An universal shout Rose from the hostile hosts. The exultant French Break out in loud rejoicing, whilst the foe 316 Raise a responsive cry, and call aloud For speedy succour there, with deafening shout Cheering their comrades. Not with louder din The mountain-torrent flings precipitate 320 Its bulk of waters, though amid the fall Shatter'd, and dashing silvery from the rock.

Lol on the bridge forth comes the undaunted man, Conrade! the gather'd foes along the wall

Throng opposite, and on him point their pikes, 325
Cresting with armed men the battlements.
He undismay'd, though on that perilous height,
Stood firm, and hurl'd his javelin; the keen point
Pierced through the destined victim, where his arm
Join'd the broad breast: a wound which skilful care
Haply had heal’d; but, him disabled now 331
For farther service, the unpitying throng
Of his tumultuous comrades from the wall
Thrust headlong. Nor did Conrade cease to throw
His deadly javelins fast, for well within 335
The tower was stored with weapons, to his hand
Quickly supplied. Nor did the mission'd Maid
Rest idle from the combat; she, secure,
Aim'd the keen quarrel, taught the cross-bow's use
By the willing mind that what it well desires 340
Gains aptly: nor amid the numerous throng,
Though haply erring from their destin'd mark,
Sped her sharp arrows frustrate. From the tower
Ceaseless the bow-strings twang: the knights below,
Each by his pavais bulwark’d, thither aim'd 345
Their darts, and not a dart fell woundless there;
So thickly throng'd they stood, and fell as fast
As when the monarch of the East goes forth
From Gemna's banks and the proud palaces
Of Delhi, the wild monsters of the wood 350
Die in the blameless warfare: closed within
The still-contracting circle, their brute force
Wasting in mutual rage, they perish there,
Or by each other's fury lacerate,
The archer's barbed arrow, or the lance 355
Of some bold youth of his first exploits vain,

Rajah or Omrah, in the war of beasts
Venturous, and learning thus the love of blood.

Shouts of alarm ring now along the wall, 359 For now the French their scaling ladders place, And bearing high their bucklers, to the assault Mount fearless : from above the furious troops Fling down such weapons as inventive care Or frantic rage supplies: huge stones and beams Crush the assailants ; some, thrust from the height, Fall living to their death; tormented some 366 And writhing wildly as the liquid lead Consumes their flesh, leap desperately down, To end their pain by death. Still others mount, And by their fellows' fate unterrified,

370 Still dare the perilous way. Nor dangerless To the English was the fight, though where they stood The vantage-place was theirs; for them amidst Fast fled the arrows there ; and brass-wing'd darts, There driven resistless from the espringal, 375 Keeping their impulse even in the wound, Whirl as they pierce the victim. Some fall crush'd Beneath the ponderous fragment that descends The heavier from its height: some the long lance, Whizzing impetuous on its viewless way, 380 Transfix'd. The cannon ever and anon With thunder rent the air ; conflicting shouts And war-cries French and English rung around, And Saints and Devils were invoked in prayers And execrations, Heaven and Hell adjured. 385

Conrade, meantime, who stood upon the bridge,

With many a well-aim'd javelin dealing death,
Made way upon the rampart and advanced

valour o'er his slaughter'd foes.
Two youths, the boldest of the English host, 390
Essay'd to thrust him from that perilous height;
At once they press'd upon him: he, his axe
Dropping, the dagger drew: one through the throat-
He pierced, and swinging his broad buckler round,
Struck down his comrade. Even thus unmoved,
Stood Corineus, the sire of Guendolen,

396 When grappling with his monstrous enemy He the brute vastness held aloft, and bore, And headlong hurl’d, all shatter'd to the sea, Down from the rock's high summit, since that day Him, hugest of the giants, chronicling,

401 Called Langoemagog.

Behold the Maid
Bounds o'er the bridge, and to the wind displays
Her hallowed banner. At that welcome sight
A general shout of acclamation rose,

And loud, as when the tempest-tossing forest
Roars to the roaring wind. Then terror seized
The garrison; and tired anew with hope,
The fierce assailants to their prize rush on
Resistless, Vainly do their English foes 410
Hurl there their beams, and stones, and javelins,
And fire-brands; fearless in the escalade,
The assailants mount, and now upon the wall
Wage equal battle.

Burning at the sight With indignation, Glacidas beheld

415 His troops fly scatter'd; fast on every side

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