Montjoie! - Betrayal (I) and Bravery (II)



[Count Roland said to Oliver right so:]
Sir my companion, too true the word you spoke
That all of us by Ganelon were sold
He's ta'en his wage of wealth and goods and gold
The Emperor's vengeance I think will not be slow!
Marsile the King has bargained for our bones
He'll need the sword to fetch his purchase home

Through Gate of Spain Roland goes riding past
On Veillantif, his swiftly-running barb
Well it becomes him to go equipped in arms
Bravely he goes, and tosses up his lance

High in the sky he lifts the lancehead far
A milk-white pennon is fixed above the shaft
Whose falling fringes whip his hands on the haft
Nobly he bears him, with open face he laughs

And his companion behind him follows hard
The Frenchmen all acclaim him their strong guard
On Saracens he throws a haughty glance
But meek and mild looks on the men of France

To whom he speaks out of a courteous heart:
Now, my lord barons, at walking pace - advance!
Looking for trouble these Paynims ride at large
A fine rich booty we'll have ere this day's past
Never French king beheld the like by half

E'en as he speaks, their battles join and charge
Quoth Oliver: I have no more to say
To sound your horn for help you would not deign

So here you are, you've not got Charlemayn
Little he knows, brave heart! he's not to blame
Nor those with him, nowise in fault are they
Ride forward then and do the best you may!

Barons my lords, hold firm amid the fray!
Now for God's sake be resolute, I pray
To strike hard blows, to give them and to take
Montjoie... King Carlon's war-cry
Montjoie... forget not to proclaim!

[A mighty shout the Frenchmen give straightway
Whoso had heard the cry "Mountjoy" they raise
He would remember its valiance all his days]

They charge - Lord God, was ever sight so brave?
They spur their steeds to make the greater haste
They fall afighting - there is no other way
The Saracens join battle undismayed
Paynims and Franks are fighting face to face