ページの画像
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Who vests and armour won from chicfs o’ertlırown,
Ilad hung tro grace the monumental stone :
She told, how far transcending every thought, 450
She saw the deeds by nad Orlando wrought,
Who on the bridye engag’d the Pagan foe,
And headlong plung'd him in the flood below.
But Brandimart, who dear Orlando lov'd,
With truth by friends, hy sons, by brothers prov'll; 455
Resolv'd, through every threateu’d toil, to find
The wretched earl, and heal his frantic mind.

In armour dight, he mounted on his steed,
And took the path his dame prepar'd to lead
To where she late unblest Orlando view'd :

460 Now-near they drew where Algier's monarch stood To guard the bridge; and now arriv'd in sight, The ready watchman to the Pagan knight The wonted signal gave, and lo! with speed His squire attending brought his arms and steed: 465 His arms were lac'd, his foaming courser rein'd, What time good Brandimart the banks had gain'd: Then with a thundering voice in impious pridc, To Brandimart the ruthless Pagan cry'd: Whoe'er thou art, by fortune hither led

170 Through error or design these shores to tread, Alight---despoil thine arms---and yonder tomh Grace with the troplıy ere I seal thy doom; And give thy life a victim, for the sake Of her pale ghost---then shall my fury take 475 What thou may'st now thy willing offering make.

He ended--Brandimart indignant burn’d, And answer with his spear in rest return'd :

Battoldo spurr’d (his gentle courser's name
Battoldo call) he with such ardor came

480
To meet the foe, as well his strength proclaim'd
A match for all in lists of combat faun'u;
While Rudumont as swift to battle diew,
And o'er the bulge with hoofs resounding flew.
Ilis steed that oft the narrow pass hail try'd,

185 And, ofi, as fortune channel on either side IIad headlung plung’l, now run without dismay, Nor fear'd the perils of the downward way. Battoldo little used such path to keel, Shook in carh joinč to view the fearful steep: 490 Trembles the bridge, aiid to the burihen bands; The bridise, whose sides nor fence nor rail defends, Alike their beam-like spcars the warriors drove, Such as they grew amid their native grove: Alike they rush'd, and in the meeting strife, 193 Well far'd each generous steed to 'scape with life; Yet both at once before the shock gave way, And on the bridge beneath their riders lay ; The spur had rouz’d them, but the plank unmeet No space afforded to their foundering feet : 500 Plung'il in the stream both equal fortume found, And with ilivir fall wale waves and skies resound, So roar'd out Po, receiving in his tide The youth * that ill his father's light couldi guide. Prone sunk the coursers with the ponderons weight 500 Of either knight that firmly kept his deat: While to the river's secret bed they fell, To searchı what nymphı or naiad there miglit dwell,

[ocr errors]

Not this the first or second venturous le:p
The Saracen had prov'd; lience well the deep, 310
The shallows well he knew; where rolld the tlouci
With bottom firm, where soft with ooze and mud.
112.14, breast, and sides, triumphant o'cr the waves
lle rears, and now at great advantage braves
The Christian knight, whose courser whirling round 513
An eddy buries in the sands profound,
Where deep intia’d, and by no strenst releas'l
Certain destruction threatens man and beast.
The water, foaming with resistless force,
Bears to the deepest current knight and horse, 10
Together roll d---while Brandimart beneath
His steed lies struggling in the jaws of death.
Fair Flordelis afflicted, from above,
Tears, vows, and prayers, employs to save her love.

Ah! Rodomont, by her, whom dead thy soul 525
Reveres so high---thy cruel thoughts control:
Permit not here, by such inglorious death,
So true, so brave a knight, to yield bis breath.
Ah! courteous lord ! if e'er thy heart could love,
Think what for him my bleeding heart must prose; 530
Suffice, that now he bears thy captive chain,
Suffice, with thee his arms and vest remain :
And know of all, by right of conquest thine,
No nobler spoils adorn the virgin-shrine.

She said; and such persuasive prayers ad:tress'u 530 As touch'd the Pagan king's obdurate breast; Then to her lord his saving hand he gave, Her lord whom buried deep beneath the wave His courser held; where without thirst he quaif': Compell'a from rushing streams the plentcouscht.

But cre the l'agan would his aid afford

511 He took from Braudiinart his helm and sword, Then drew the kniplit half lifeless to the shore, And clos’d, with others, in the marble tower.

Soon as the dame beheld him prisoner led, 515 All comfort from her tender bosom fled; Yet less she mourn’d than at the dreadful sight When late the streani o'erwhelm'd her faithful knight. Now self-reproach oppress'd her gentle thought; By her the luckless chief was thither brought; 530 By her he tell, by her was captive made; And Flordelis her Brandimart betray'd !

Departing thence she ponder'd in her mind Some gallant knight of Pepin's court to find : The Paladin Rinaldo far renown'd,

555 Guido, or Sansonetto, fearless found At all assays, some chief whose matchless hand Might dare the Saracen by flood or land; Who though not braver than her own true knight, With sortune more to friend might wage the fight. 560 Full long she journey'd ere she chanc'd to greet A champion for such bold encounter meet : Whose arm in battle might the task atchieve, T'o'erthrow the Pagan and her lord relieve From cruel thrall: full many a day she sought 565 Till chance before her sight a warrior brought Of gallant mien, whose arms a surcoat bore With trunks of cypress fair embroider'd o'er : But who the knight, some future time shall tell, First turn to what at Paris' walls befel,

570

Ver. 569.---some future time shall till, Ile returns to Flordelis, Book XXXV. ver. 215.

Where deep destruction crushi'd the Moorish bands
From Malayigi and Rinaldo's hands.

The countless numbers chas'd in speedy flight,
Or driven to Stygian realms from upper light,
The mantling shade from Turpin's view conceald, 375
Else had his page the slain and fled reveal’d.
To Agranant a knight the news convey’d,
Who lock'd in sleep in his pavilion laid
No danger heard; and only wak'd to know
Swift fight alone could save him from the fue. 580
He starts from rest, he casts around his eyes,
And guideless, disarray'd his soldiers 'spies :
Naked, unarm’d, now here now there they yield:
No time allows to grasp the fencing shield.
Confus'd in counsel, and in thought distrest, 583
The monarch fits his cuirass to his breast;
When Falsirones (sprung from boasted race)
Grandonio, Balugantes, near the place
Approach'd, his dauger to the king betray,
That death or slav'ry threats the least delay; 590
And could he thence his person safely bear
He well might boast propitious fortune's care.

Marsilius thus, alike Sobrino sage
With all the peers (whom equal cares engage)
Would

urge his flight, while by Rinaldo led 595
Destruction pointed at the monarch's head.
IIe, with the remnants of his routed train
In Arli or Narbona might remain:
Both strongly built and both provided well
With martial stores could long å siege repel : 600

« 前へ次へ »