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النشر الإلكتروني

changed armor and steed, and during the night stole away from the hateful place to the greenwood that he might die there, since he could never possess his beloved. At the same time, Bradamant gave way to her grief in such a manner that Marphisa, already indignant at the treatment of her brother, appeared before the king in his behalf. declared that Rogero and Bradamant had already exchanged all the vows of those who marry and therefore she was not free to wed another. She then suggested that since the matter had gone so far, Leo and Rogero should meet in the lists to decide to whom the lady belonged.

Leo at once set out in search of his knight of the unicorn, who he believed would defend him from all peril, and found him in the forest, almost fainting from fasting and sleeplessness. The Greek embraced Rogero tenderly and implored him to betray the cause of his grief, and so tender were his words and so gracious his manner that Rogero could not but unbosom himself. And when Leo learned that his unknown champion was no other than Rogero himself he declared that he would gladly forego Bradamant for him, and would rather have forfeited his life than caused such grief to such a faithful friend.

Joy filled the court when the story of Rogero's fidelity was made known, and the joy was increased when ambassadors came from Bulgaria, seeking the unknown knight of the unicorn that they might offer their throne to him. Duke Aymon and his wife were reconciled when they found that Rogero was to be a king, and the wedding was celebrated with the greatest splendor, Charlemagne providing for Bradamant as though she were his daughter.

In the midst of the celebrations Rodomont appeared to defy Rogero, and that knight, nothing loath, met him in the lists. The Moor fell under Rogero's blows, and all the Christian court rejoiced to see the last of the pagan knights fall by the hand of their champion.



As Orlando talked with Zerbino, whose life he had saved and to whom he had given his lady Isabel, also rescued by him, Mandricardo the Tartar king came up and challenged Orlando to single combat. While they fought, Mandricardo's steed, from which Orlando had slipped the rein, became unmanageable, and fled with its rider. Orlando asked Zerbino and Isabel to tell Mandricardo, if they overtook him, that he would wait for him in that place for three days to renew the battle. But while waiting, Orlando learned of Angelica's love for Medoro, and losing his senses from grief, threw away his armor, and went wandering through France. Zerbino and Isabel returned to the place to see if Mandricardo had returned, and there learned of Orlando's condition.

Far off, he [Zerbino] saw that something shining lay,

And spied Orlando's corselet on the ground;
And next his helm; but not that head-piece gay
Which whilom African Almontes crowned :
He in the thicket heard a courser neigh,
And, lifting up his visage at the sound,
Saw Brigliadoro the green herbage browse,
With rein yet hanging at his saddle-bows.

For Durindane, he sought the greenwood, round,

Which separate from the scabbard met his view;
And next the surcoat, but in tatters, found;
That, in a hundred rags, the champaign strew.
Zerbino and Isabel, in grief profound,
Stood looking on, nor what to think they knew :
They of all matters else might think, besides
The fury which the wretched count misguides.

Had but the lovers seen a drop of blood,

They might have well believed Orlando dead :
This while the pair, beside the neighboring flood,
Beheld a shepherd coming, pale with dread.
He just before, as on a rock he stood,
Had seen the wretch's fury; how he shed
His arıns about the forest, tore his clothes,
Slew hinds, and caused a thousand other woes.

Questioned by good Zerbino, him the swain

Of all which there had chanced, informed aright.
Zerbino marvelled, and believed with pain,
Although the proofs were clear: This as it might,
He from his horse dismounted on the plain,
Full of compassion, in afflicted plight;
And went about, collecting from the ground
The various relics which were scattered round.

Isabel lights as well; and, where they lie

Dispersed, the various arms uniting goes.

Here Prince Zerbino all the arms unites,

And hangs like a fair trophy, on a pine.
And, to preserve them safe from errant knights,
Natives or foreigners, in one short line
Upon the sapling's verdant surface writes,
As he would say, “Let none this harness move,
Who cannot with its lord his prowess prove !”

Zerbino having done the pious deed,

Is bowning him to climb his horse ; when, lo !
The Tartar king arrives upon the mead.
He at the trophied pine-tree's gorgeous show,
Beseeches him the cause of this to read;
Who lets him (as rehearsed) the story know.
When, without further pause, the paynim lord
Hastes gladly to the pine, and takes the sword.

“None can (he said) the action reprehend,

Nor first I make the faulchion mine to-day ;
And to its just possession I pretend
Where'er I find it, be it where it may.
Orlando, this not daring to defend,
Has feigned him mad, and cast the sword away;
But if the champion so excuse his shame,
This is no cause I should forego my claim.”

“Take it not thence,” to him Zerbino cried,

“Nor think to make it thine without a fight :
If so thou tookest Hector's arms of pride,
By theft thou hadst them, rather than by right.”
Without more parley spurred upon each side,
Well matched in soul and valor, either knight.
Already echoed are a thousand blows;
Nor yet well entered are the encountering foes.

In 'scaping Durindane, a flame in show

(He shifts so swiftly), is the Scottish lord.
He leaps about his courser like a doe,
Where'er the road best footing does afford.
And well it is that he should not forego
An inch of vantage; who, if once that sword
Smite him, will join the enamored ghosts, which rove
Amid the mazes of the myrtle grove.

As the swift-footed dog, who does espy

Swine severed from his fellows, hunts him hard,
And circles round about; but he lies by
Till once the restless foe neglect his guard ;
So, while the sword descends, or hangs on high,
Zerbino stands, attentive how to ward,
How to save life and honor from surprise ;
And keeps a wary eye, and smites and flies.

On the other side, where'er the foe is seen

To threaten stroke in vain, or make it good,
He seems an Alpine wind, two hills between,
That in the month of March shakes leafy wood;
Which to the ground now bends the forest green,
Now whirls the broken boughs, at random strewed.
Although the prince wards many, in the end
One mighty stroke he cannot 'scape or fend.

In the end he cannot 'scape one downright blow,

Which enters, between sword and shield, his breast.
As perfect was the plate and corselet, so
Thick was the steel wherein his paunch was drest:
But the destructive weapon, falling low,
Equally opened either iron vest;
And cleft whate'er it swept in its descent,
And to the saddle-bow, through cuirass, went.

And, but that somewhat short the blow descends

It would Zerbino like a cane divide;
But him so little in the quick offends,
This scarce beyond the skin is scarified.
More than a span in length the wound extends;
Of little depth : of blood a tepid tide
To his feet descending, with a crimson line,
Stains the bright arms which on the warrior shine.

'Tis so, I sometimes have been wont to view

A hand more white than alabaster, part
The silver cloth with ribbon red of hue;
A hand I often feel divide my heart.

Here little vantage young Zerbino drew
From strength and greater daring, and from art;
For in the temper of his arms and might,
Too much the Tartar king excelled the knight.

The fearful stroke was mightier in show,

Than in effect, by which the prince was prest;
So that poor Isabel, distraught with woe,
Felt her heart severed in her frozen breast.
The Scottish prince, all over in a glow,
With anger and resentment was possest,
And putting all his strength in either hand,
Smote full the Tartar's helmet with his brand.

Almost on his steed's neck the Tartar fell,

Bent by the weighty blow Zerbino sped;
And, had the helmet been unfenced by spell
The biting faulchion would have cleft his head.
The king, without delay, avenged him well,
“ Nor I for you till other season,” said,
“Will keep this gift;" and levelled at his crest,
Hoping to part Zerbino to the chest.

Zerbino, on the watch, whose eager eye

Waits on his wit, wheels quickly to the right;
But not withal so quickly, as to fly
The trenchant sword, which smote the shield outright,
And cleft from top to bottom equally;
Shearing the sleeve beneath it, and the knight
Smote on his arm; and next the harness rended,
And even to the champion's thigh descended.

Zerbino, here and there, seeks every way

By which to wound, nor yet his end obtains;
For, while he smites upon that armor gay,
Not even a feeble dint the coat retains.
On the other hand, the Tartar in the fray
Such vantage o'er the Scottish prince obtains,
Him he has wounded in seven parts or eight,
And reft his shield and half his helmet's plate.

He ever wastes his blood; his energies

Fail, though he feels it not, as 't would appear ;
Unharmed, the vigorous heart new force supplies
To the weak body of the cavalier.
His lady, during this, whose crimson dyes
Were chased by dread, to Doralice drew near,
And for the love of Heaven, the damsel wooed
To stop that evil and disastrous feud.

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