ページの画像
PDF
ePub

330

835

310

O! let us yet these vain debates compose,
Till Agramant is freed from Christian focs.
If each will thus neglect his country's right,
Then I with Mandricardo claim the fight;
To prove how well (for such his boast has been)
He from myself in arms myself can win;
But if our king demands our better care,
Then let us hence, and every strife forbear.

Not one shall aid our king with readier speed
Than I---But let him first restore the steed,
(Rogero cry'd)--let him my words attend,
Restore the courser, or himself defend.
Here will I fall in glorious combat slain,
Or, with Frontino, victor quit the plain.
Then Rodomont--The first may well befall;
The last for other force than thine

may

call---
Then thus pursu'd--Ilear, what I now protest,
If further ill betide our king distrest,
Yours be the blame, since here prepar'd I stand,
To act what duty and what fame demand.

Thus he---but little heedful of the word,
Rogero furious grasp'd his shining sword:
Like some wild boar with Rodomont he clos'd,
To shoulder shoulder, shield to shield oppos’d:
With sudden force the Sarzan prince he shook,
One foot the stirrup unawares forsook.
Defer the combat (Mandricardo cry’d)
Or if thou fight'st, with me thy arm be try'd.
He said, and now inflam'd with deeper spite,
Struck on the helmet of the youthful knight:
Low to his courser's neck Rogero bent,
Nor soon recovering rose, for swiftly sent

815

850

853

By Ulien's mighty son, the thundering steel,
With dreadful ruin on his head-piece fell :
Of adamantine proof his helm was made,

860
Else to his chin had cleft the reeking blade.
Rogero's hands unclos’d with sudden pain,
One lost the falchion, and one lost the rein;
The startled courser bears him o'er the land,
And Balisarda glitters on the sand.

865 Marphisa, who that day in arms had stood With brave Rogero, now the warrior view'd By two at once in strife unequal prest, And indignation fill’d her generous breast. On Mandricardo, turning swift, she sped

870 Her unsheath'd falchion at the Tartar's head. The king of Algiers on Rogero drives-Frontino's von, unless some aid arrives. But Richardetto and bold Vivian bring Their friendly aid: while 'twixt the knight and king

875 That

spurs his steed, and this with ready sword
Supplies Rogero, now to sense restor’d.
T'avenge his late disgrace Rogero burns,
And swift on Algiers' king indignant turns.
So when by chance some ox a lion gores

880
At unawares, the generous savage roars
With fury more than pain, while round he fings
His lashing tail, and swift to vengeance springs.
On Rodomont's proud head Rogero pour’d
A storm of blows, and had his own good sword 885
Then arm'd his hand, the Afric knight had found
His helm, though tough, too weak to ward the

wound;

That helm, which once for Babels king was wrought, When with the stars an impious war he sought. Discord, who now beholds with joyful eyes

890 Strife follow strife, on tumult tumult rise; Exults that contest never more could cease, By truce suspended, or compos’d by peace; Secure of ill, her sister Pride she calls, With her to seek again the cloister'd walls.

895 But let them hence---while we attend the fight, Where, on the forehead of the Sarzan knight, Rogero drove his weighty blade so well, That backward on his steed the rider fell; His harden'd scales behind, his haughty crest, 900 And clanking helm, Frontino's crupper press’d; While thrice, and four times, here and there he reel'd, And seem'd just falling on the grassy field : Nor had his open’d grasp the 'sword retain'd, But that a chain secur'd it to his hand.

905 With Mandricardo fierce Marphisa wag'd A dreadful fight, that all his force engag’d. Not less the Tartar fought with temper'd charms; Their corslets well secur'd each breast from harms, And either equal seem'd in strength and arms. 910 At length Marphisa's courser whceling round In narrow circuit on the slippery ground, Fell sidelong down, and while to rise he strove, Fierce Mandricardo Brigliadoro drove Against his flank, forgetting knightly lore,

915 And low to earth the struggling courser bore.

With grief Rogero saw the warrior-maid In evil plight, nor long his help delay'd:

Ilis arm at freedom, while the Sarzan fue
Was senseless from his late inflicted blow.

920
On Mandricardo swift the sword he sped,
The well-aim'd stroke had cleft the Tartar's head,
With Balisarda had his hand been arm’d,
Or the fierce Tartar's helm less strongly charm’d.
The king of Algiers, now recovering, view'd 925
Young Richardetto, whom he saw intrude
With daring aid the combat to molest,
When late his powerful arm Rogero press’d.
To him he turn'd, and came full well prepard,
His deeds of good with evil to reward :

930 But Malagigi, deep in magic taught, A strange device to save his kinsman wrought. Though wanting here his book, whose potent force Could stop the sun in his meridian course, His mem’ry yet those awful words retain'd,

935 Which the foul demons at his will restrain'd: On Doralis he prov'd his magic slight, And in her breast convey'd a subtle spright: The beast, that Stordilano's daughter bore, Receiv'd th' infernal angel, which the power 940 Of Vivian's brother from the realms of hell, Where Minos sits, had drawn by fated spell. The palfrey, late so gentle to command, That only mov'd by her directing hand, The sudden impulse of the demon found,

945 And thrice ten feet he vaulted from the ground; A dreadful leap! yet though he seem'd to fly, The fair one kept her seat, while from on high, Trembling for life she gave a fearful cry.

Now lighting on his feet, the frantic steed

950 Runs as the spirit drives, with furious speed; He bears the damsel, shrieking with affright, And leaves behind the feather'd arrow's fight.

Rous'd at her voice, the son of Ulien stays
His arm from combat, and the fair surveys. 955
The fair he follows, rapid as the wind,
And Mandricardo spurs as swift behind.
The Tartar bent no more, with hostile arm,
To work Rogero or Marphisa harm,
Awaits not truce or peace, but where he views 960
Stern Rodomont and Doralis, pursues.

Meantime Marphisa from the earth arose,
(With rage and shame her generous hosom glows)
And burning for revenge, too late beheld
The Tartar champion distant on the field.

965
Rogero, when he sees th' unfinish'd fray,
Roars like a lion baffled of his prey.
Both knew 'twas vain to chase, with either steed,
Good Brigliadoro or Frontino's speed.
Rogero deem'd disgrace must stain his name, 970
In his Frontino to renounce the claim
The list untry'd---nor will Marphisa rest,
Till prov'd in fight the Tartar breast to breast.
The martial virgin and the knight agree
To follow those on whom they wish'd to see 975
Their full revenge, and, if unfound before,
They hop'd to find them with the Turkish power;
Where, lest the siege might work the Pagans woe,
The knights would haste ť attack the Christian

foe.

« 前へ次へ »