The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 131 pages of information about The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga.

     Pinabel, lord of Sorrence’s keep,
     Smote Thierry’s helm with stroke so deep
     The very fire that from it came
     Hath set the prairie round in flame;
     The edge of steel did his forehead trace
     Adown the middle of his face;
     His hauberk to the centre clave. 
     God deigned Thierry from death to save.

     CCXLII

     When Thierry felt him wounded so,
     For his bright blood flowed on the grass below,
     He smote on Pinabel’s helmet brown,
     Cut and clave to the nasal down;
     Dashed his brains from forth his head,
     And, with stroke of prowess, cast him dead. 
     Thus, at a blow, was the battle won: 
     “God,” say the Franks, “hath this marvel done.”

     CCXLIII

     When Thierry thus was conqueror,
     He came the Emperor Karl before. 
     Full fifty barons were in his train,
     Duke Naimes, and Ogier the noble Dane,
     Geoffrey of Anjou and William of Blaye. 
     Karl clasped him in his arms straightway
     With skin of sable he wiped his face;
     Then cast it from him, and, in its place,
     Bade him in fresh attire be drest. 
     His armor gently the knights divest;
     On an Arab mule they make him ride: 
     So returns he, in joy and pride. 
     To the open plain of Aix they come,
     Where the kin of Ganelon wait their doom.

     CCXLIV

     Karl his dukes and his counts addressed: 
     “Say, what of those who in bondage rest—­
     Who came Count Ganelon’s plea to aid,
     And for Pinabel were bailsmen made?”
     “One and all let them die the death.” 
     And the king to Basbrun, his provost, saith
     “Go, hang them all on the gallows tree. 
     By my beard I swear, so white to see,
     If one escape, thou shalt surely die.” 
     “Mine be the task,” he made reply. 
     A hundred men-at-arms are there: 
     The thirty to their doom they bear. 
     The traitor shall his guilt atone,
     With blood of others and his own.

     CCXLV

     The men of Bavaria and Allemaine,
     Norman and Breton return again,
     And with all the Franks aloud they cry,
     That Gan a traitor’s death shall die. 
     They bade be brought four stallions fleet;
     Bound to them Ganelon, hands and feet: 
     Wild and swift was each savage steed,
     And a mare was standing within the mead;
     Four grooms impelled the coursers on,—­
     A fearful ending for Ganelon. 
     His every nerve was stretched and torn,
     And the limbs of his body apart were borne;
     The bright blood, springing from every vein,
     Left on the herbage green its stain. 
     He died a felon and recreant: 
     Never shall traitor his treason vaunt.

     CCXLVI

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The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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