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Compact and firm they bend their daring way, 120
Where deep encamp'd the Christian army lay;
While Africa and Spain aloud they cry,
Now Pagans known to every ear and cyc.
Through all the host, to arnis, to arms, resound
A thousand tongues; but ere their arms they found, 193
The hostile stecl invades them unprepar’d,
And the first onset puts to flight the guard.
The Christian chiefs, while thus the tumult spread,
Scarce knew from whom, or why their soldiers fled :
Some deen’d this daring insult they sustain
From the fierce Swiss or hardy Gascon train :
But, while uncertain whence th’incursion canc,
They call the troops of every clime and name,
Loud beats the drum; the trump its clangor pours;
The sky re-echoes, and the tumult roars!
135 imperial Charles, amidst his gathering bands, All, save his helmet, arm’d, intrepid stands. lle calls his Paladins, and bids them tell, What sudden force could thus his legions quell. By threats now these, now those he stays from flight, And others lie beholds (too cruel sight!)
141 With heads dissever'd by the furious blade, With bosoms pierc'd, and bowels open laid; While some return (escap'd from greater harms) With bleeding linbs, with sever'd hands and arms. 143 Advancing still, he sees where, scatter'd round, Uunumber'd wretches sasping bite the ground; Dreadful to view! all weltering in their gore, When leech or drugs shall ne'er avail them more, Where'er this little band resistless came, They left eternal monuments of fame;
While Charles with wonder, griet, and shame, beheld
The fearful carnage of so dire a field.
So one, who suffers by the thunder's force,
Explores the track of its destructive course.
These noble four the tents had scarcely guin'd,
Where Afric's monarch still entrench’ú remain'd;
When on a different side, th' assault to aid,
Appear'd Rogero and the martial maid*.
Soon as the generous pair had darted round
Their skilful sight, to mark the camp and ground;
And saw how best the combat to maintain,
And raise the siege; llrey gave their steeds the rein.
As, when the mine fir’d, the straining eyes
Scarce view the flame as through the train it flies, 165
'Till bursting forth, the fury levels all,
Tears the firm rock, and shakes the strongest wall.
So swift Rogero and Marphisa flew,
Such was their rage amongst the warring crew.
Aslant, direct, their furious blows they dealt; 170
Dissever'd scalps, lopt arms, and shoulders felt
The trenchant steel, while, for escape too slow,
Huge crowds divide before each gallant fue.
Whoe'er has seen o'er hill or vale a storm
Sweep fiercely on, with ruin part deform,
Part leave unhurt, may judge how, scatter'd wide,
This warlike couple pierc'd the martial tide.
Those, who from Rodomont's destructive hand
Had fled, and 'scap'd the first assailing band
Of four such warriors, gave their thanks to ileaven, 180
That strength and swiftness to their fect had given.
But now with weapons brandisli'd at their breast,
By bold Rogero and Alarphisa prest,
They soc too late that liim who stands or flies,
What fate has sentenc'd, fate to shun denies. 183
New danger follows one already past,
Who 'scapes the first, must doubly pay the last.
So fares it with the timorous fox, expell’d
From ancient scats which once she safely held;
Whom for her thefts the village hinds conspire,
To chase with vapour of the smouldering fire,
Driv’n with her cubs upon the hound to run,
And mect that death she hop'd in vain to slun.
At length Marphisa and Rogero gain The inmost trenches, whom the Pagan train 195 Joyful receive with eyes on Heaven intent, In grateful thanks for aid so timely sent. No longer fear the meanost bosom knows, Each Pagan arm defies a hundred foes; With one united voice, their chiefs they call, 200 And burn with ardor on the camp to fall. The Moorish drum, the horn and timbrel blend Their rattling sounds that io the skies ascend : While streamers rais'd aloft, aud banners join’d, With mix'd devices tremble in the wind.
205 Not less the chiefs of Charles, with martial care The troops of Britamy and France prepare:
Ver. 180. Of four such warriors---] Rodomont, Naudricardo, Gra. dasso and Sacripant, who first attacked the camp of the Christians, and were asteriyards joined by Rogero and Marphisa.
With these Italian, German, English, close
Their martial lines, and fierce the battle glows!
Stern Rodomont, of unresisted might,
With Mandricardo, dreadful in the fight:
Noble Rogero (virtue's constant stream)
And king Gradasso, every nation's theme :
Marphisa steeld in arms, and with her join'ul
Circassia's* prince, who never lay'd behind; 215
All these at once the king of France assail'd,
And urg'd his vows, that nothing now avail'd.
On John and Dennis (patron saints) he calls,
But soon compell’d, retires to Paris' walls.
'Th' o'erbearing valour of this matchless train 220
(The knights and dame), the muse, my lord ! in vain
Attempts to paint, nor can describe in speech,
What beggars fancy, and no words can reach.
Think then what numbers fell of life bereav'il, What loss that day unhappy Charles receiv'd! 225 With these Ferrau demands his share of fame, And with himn many a Moor of gallant name; For haste, what numbers in the Seine were lost, The bridge uequal for the flying host! Some wish, like Icarus, for wings to soar
230 From death, that threats behind and threais beiore. What hapless Paladins were then enslav'd! Vienna's marquist, and Ugero sav'd Alone from bonds : see Olivero stand, Near his right shoulder by a hostile liand
235 The wound inflicted deep, while at his sido Ugero's head pours forth a purple tide.
It, like Rinaldo or Orlando lost,
Brave Brandimart had left the Christian host,
In exile then might Charles have led his life, 2.10
Lad Fortune giv'o him to survive the strite.
Whate'cr cool thought or strength of serve supply ii,
Jatrapid Brandimart hal vainly try'd;
Till fori'd at length: tu vive the tempest way;
Slow he recedes, aol sirce resigns the day,
The Agramant propitious Fortune view'il,
And once again the siege of Chark-s renew’d.
The cries of orphans, and the widows' moans,
Sons for their fathers, fathers for their sons,
From earth ascending reach'd th' empyreal height, 250
Where Michael sate in realms of purest light.
He heard; and looking down with sad survey,
Beheld, the food of wolves and birds of prey,
Stretch'd in their blood by thousands on the plain,
Of every nation his lov'd people slain.
255 The blessed angel blush'd celestial red, To find his great Creator ill obey’d: To Discord late he gave his high command, To kindle strife amidst the Pagan band; Far different now, he sees the Pagans' hate
260 All firmly join'd against the istian state. As when some faithful envoy; who at large Receives commission for a weighty charge,
Ver. 4.56. The blessed wigre brosse celestiut ral) Thus Milton makes his angel change colour,
To whom the angel, the pile that glow'd
Celestia? 10:1 red.........
Puradise Lost, B, vill, er 61: