ページの画像
PDF
ePub

That breaks the trees, destroys the golden grain,
And marrs the harvest of th' expecting swain.
Oft have you heard of Durindana's fame,

370 What fatal wounds from Balisarda came, Judge what their strokes must prove which two such

warriors aiin.
But while so wary each his guard maintain'd,
No blows descended worthy either's hand :
The Tartar first his dreadful sword impellid

375
That through the middle of the buckler held
Its biting course, thence through the corselet hew'd,
And to the flesh its cruel way pursu'd.
A wound so dreadful freezes

every

heart Of those that favour'd good Rogero's part;

380 And would but Fortune so exert her sway, To give the palm where general suffrage lay, Stern Mandricardo soon must fall or yield; And thus this stroke offended half the field. But sure some Angel's interposing power Preserv'd Rogero in that dangerous hour, All terrible in wrath the warrior burn'd, And to the foe his answer swift return'd; At Mandricardo's helmet from above He rais’d the sword, but with such haste he drove, 390 It fell not edgeways : nor the knight I blame, Whose noble warmth deceiv'd his better aim, And had not Balisarda faild to wound, In vain the foe had Hector's helmet found. So sorely Mandricardo felt the stroke,

395 Senseless he seem'd, the reins his hand forsook ; And threatening headlong thrice to fall, he reeld, While Brigliadoro cours'd around the field;

385

400

Thai Briglialoro, once Orlan lu's care,
Who still laments a foreign lord to bear.
Not with such rage the trodden serpent glows;
Not half so fierce the rounded lion shows:
As Mandricardo to himself restor''
From the late fury of Rovero's sword:
The deeper wrath and pride inilanı'd his breast, 40.
The more his strength and valour shone confess’d.
Ile spurs his steel, and to Rogero flies,
Ile lifts his sword, he measures with his eyes,
Iligh on his stirrups rais'd in fell design
With one fierce stroke to cleave him to the chine. 110
Rogero, heedful of the foc's intent,
While yet the hand hung threatening in descent,
Beneath his arın impell’d the pointed blade,
And through the mail an ample passage made,
Then from the wound with life-blood smoking drew 415
His Balisarda dy'd to crimson hue;
And took such vigour from the stroke away,
That Durindana fell with lighter sway,
Though backward to his courser's crupper sent,
llis brows, with anguish writh'd, Rogero bent;

420
Ani had his helm of common stech been fram'di,
That stroke had well the striker's force proclaim'u.
Rogero to his steed the spur apply'd,
And swift at Mandricardo's better side
The weapon aim'd, whiere jointed armour clos'ch 425
With strongly temper'd plates, in vain oppos'd:
The fatal falchion, forg'd with potent charms,
Where'er it falls divides the strongest arms;
Through plate and mail a specdy course it found,
Acd in the Tartar's side infix'd a wound;

430

133

440

Who, loud blaspheming, with such fury rilles,
As roaring occan black with stormy waves.
Prepar'd to prove his strength, the fatal shield
That bears the eagle on its azure field,
With fierce impatience to the ground he cast,
And grasp'd with either hand his falchion fast.
Full dearly hast thou prov'd (Rogero cry'd)
Thou ill deserv'st the crest thou throw'st aside;
Now thrown aside, cleft by thy sword leiure,
Claim not to this thy right or title more.

Thus he; but while he spoke was doom’d to feel
The fatal edge of Durindana's steel.
Divided sheer its force the vizor prov'd,
At happy distance from his face remov');
Next through the saddle-bow with dire descent,
Through iron plates the gleaming falchion went,
Through skirted mail the jointed cuishes found,
And in his thigh impress’d a ghastly wound.
From both the combatants the gushing tide
To purple hue their shining armour dy'd;
"That doubtful yet it seem'd of either knight
Who best might claim th' advantage of the fight:
Bui soon Rogero shall that doubt decide ;
Th fatal sword by which such numbers dy'd,
He whirld around, and the sharp point impell’d
Where late the Tartar knight his buckler held:

415

450

455

Ver. 132. As roaring ocean.-) So Spenser when the monster is wounded by the Red Cross knight : Ile cry'd, as raging seas are wont to roar,

B. I, c. xi. st. 21.

Ver. 439. --- cleft by thy sword before, ] See ver. 376, where Mana dricardiu cuts through Rogero's shield.

Corselet and side he pierc'd with thrilling smart,
And found a passage to his panting heart,
His heart unguarded by liis ample shield;
Stern idaidricardo now 10 fate must yield;

460
Must yield tlie ea,le to its youthful lord;
Must yield his title to the glorious sword;
And ah! for final issue to the strise,
With sword and targe must yield his dearer life.

He dy'd; nor yet without revenge he dy’d, 465 For, ere the hostile weapon pierc'd his side, His falchion, won so ill, he rais'd anew, Whose edge had cleft Rugero's brows in two, But that the wound the Tartar knight receiv'd, Of wonted strength his furious arm bereav’d. 170 From Jandricardo as Rogero tock His wretched life, the Tartar aim'd the stroke; And through the helm with unresisted sway, Deep Durindana foreil its cruel way. Back fell Rogero senseless on the ground,

475 A purple current gushing from the wound. First fell Rogero, while the Tartar knight Still kept his seat, as victor of the fight, And each believ'l his valiant arm had gain'd The wreath in such a glorious list obtain’d.

480 Fair Doralis, in that day's fight deceiv'd With fears and hopes, th' cvent with all believ'd; And gave with lifted hands her thanks to Heaven For such an issue to the combat given : But when appear’d to all the Pagan train

485 Rogero living, Mandricardo slain;

Ver. 486. Rogero living, Mandricardo slain. )

I believe every reader will agree that this combat is adinirably described, that all

In different breasts new passions take their turn,
These smile that wept, and those that triumph'd mouri.

The king, the lords, and knights the most renownd, To lrave Rogero, scarcely from the ground

190 With anguish rais'd, a friendly greeting wise, And in their arms the conquering youth receive. All with the knight rejoice, and all express Sincere the thought, their secret souls confess : All save Gradasso, who within conceals

495 Far other feeling than his tongue reveals: llis outwarıl looks the marks of joy impart, But hidden envy rankles at his heart, While oit he calls the lot of fate aceurst That from the urn disclos’l Rourro first. How shall I speak the marks of love sincere By royal Agramant, wlio hell him dear, Giv'n to the youth, without who caliant hand The king refus’d t embark from itric's land, Tu spread his martial banners to the wind,

505
Or trust the force of all his por ors combin’d?
And now by him the Tartar chief'o'erthrown,
He deems all strength comprizid in him alone.

Not only to Rogero's weal inclin'd
The manly sex, but woman's gentler kind;

510
From Spain and Afric, many a lovely dame,
That with the bandeid powers to Gallia came,
Wiih looks and tongue would now his worth and

praise proclaim.

500

the turns of fortune are painted in the most lively colours, the expectation artfully kept up, and the issue unexpectedly brought about by the death of Mandricardo and the victory of Rogero.

« 前へ次へ »