Meanwhile, in France, hail fell and rain; the sky was vivid with lightning bolts. The pope crowned him emperor in 800, recognizing him as a new ruler of the old Western Roman Empire. Not now shall mine assent be won, Nor shall I say it is knightly done. To their own great land they are drawing nigh, And they look on the fields of Gascony. Why is Roland so intent on keeping the war going? 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. Pricked with the spur, and the rein let flow, To strike at the Gascon of Bordeaux, Whom shield nor cuirass availed to save.
Fight, my Franks, 'tis my last command. No champion of mine honor left; Without a friend beneath the sky; And though my kindred still be nigh, Is none like thee their ranks among. I can do no better. Causality and connection between phrases are almost always implicit; this form runs throughout the poem. Roland's pride is of such a height, Not to be vanquished by mortal wight; Hurl we our missiles, and hold aloof.
When the Emperor hither his steps hath bent, And he sees the Saracens' chastisement, Fifteen of their dead against our one, He will breathe on our souls his benison. God and his angels of heaven defend That France through me from her glory bend. They bound his hands with leathern thong, Beat him with staves and cordage strong; Nor hath he earned a better fee. Then rose the wrath of Count Walter high; His sword he drew, his helm he laced, Slowly in front of the line he paced, And with evil greeting his foeman faced. I am dying fast, I am well aware: Thy liegeman I, and claim thy care. None the twelve from their death shall screen, The swords we carry are bright and keen; We will dye them red with the hot blood's vent, The Franks shall perish and Karl lament.
They then snatched up the baggage, and, protected as they were by the cover of darkness, which was just beginning to fall, scattered in all directions without losing a moment. The barons of France spur hard behind; But on all there presseth one grief of mind That they stand not beside Count Roland then, As he fronts the power of the Saracen. In the Song of Roland, leadership and power were extremely important. The Emperor rideth in wrathful mood, The Franks in grievous solicitude; Nor one among them can stint to weep, Beseeching God that He Roland keep, Till they stand beside him upon the field, To the death together their arms to wield. Many times throughout the chanson, characters state what they believe they should do based on their knightly code.
The steel erect in the sunshine gleamed, With the snow - white pennon that from it streamed; The golden fringes beat on his hand. He blesses and gives penance to the Franks wholesale before the battle, and promises all that paradise awaits them. Yet for right and honor, the sooth ye say. According to tradition, Roland was the nephew of Charlemagne and possessed the sword Durandel and the horn Oliphant. It was no longer a tale of Basque treachery and Roland's simple death; it had become a saga of Muslim-Christian enmity and French loyalty to the cause of France and Church.
My nephew Roland, Olivier, my twelve peers, he sold. It gives a detailed, though not necessarily historically accurate account of the betrayal of Roland, a knight of King Charles, by his stepfather Ganelon as the Frankish campaign in Islamic Spain came to a close. Walter is slain as the missiles part; The archbishop's shield in pieces shred, Riven his helm, and pierced his head; His corselet of steel they rent and tore, Wounded his body with lances four; His steed beneath him dropped withal: What woe to see the archbishop fall! But Roland turns on Ganelon and simply ridicules him. Blancandrin lingers until they meet, And in cunning converse each other greet. Burgess, 9-10, translated from Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni, or, The Life of Charlemagne Those familiar with the events of the poem will notice several divergences between the poem and history. The King Marsilius holds the place, Who loveth not God, nor seeks His grace: He prays to Apollin, and serves Mahound; But he saved him not from the fate he found.
Laced is his helm, with gold inlaid, Girt on Joyeuse, the peerless blade, Which changes thirty times a day The brightness of its varying ray. They think of their homes and their manors there, Their gentle spouses and damsels fair. Steel and iron such strife may claim; Where is thy sword, Hauteclere by name, With its crystal pommel and golden guard? It is this pride that Roland carries that sheds light upon the culture out of which the poem emerges. To succor him our arms are bound. See these sables whose worth were told At full five hundred pounds of gold: Thine shall they be ere the coming day. Le Seigneur Roland des Roncesvalles is a legendary knight from the age of chivalry in France.
The poem describes what was impossible for Charlemagne but what would be possible during the Crusades: conquest of fabulously rich Moslem lands. Roland answers by insulting him even more viciously. Ten mules' burthen I give to thee Of gold, the finest of Araby; Nor ever year henceforth shall pass But it brings thee riches in equal mass Take the keys of my city gates, Take the treasure that Karl awaits Render them all; but oh, decide That Roland in the rear - guard bide; So may I find him by pass or height, As I swear to meet him in mortal fight. And set in place were benches four Thereon the champions take their seat, And all is ranged in order meet, The preparations Ogier speeds, And both demand their arms and steeds. The nature of Roland as a hero is somewhat different than other heroes because of his knack of. With that being said, he still lacks some of the majesty of Charlemagne, the Christian king, and the wisdom and knowledge of his friend, Oliver. Such prowess a cavalier befits, Who harness wears, and on charger sits; In battle shall he be strong and great, Or I prize him not at four deniers' rate; Let him else be monk in a cloister cell, His daily prayers for our souls to tell.