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O! let us yet these vain debates compose,
Not one shall aid our king with readier speed
Thus he---but little heedful of the word,
By Ulien's mighty son, the thundering steel,
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
spurs his steed, and this with ready sword
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
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
Meantime Marphisa from the earth arose,